Thursday, November 18, 2010

A time for thanks to those we love (and a poem to share)

As we head toward Thanksgiving, making plans to see family and friends, I want to take a personal moment to say thank you to people around me. I'd also like to share two books that encourage us to do this with our children.
Thanks a MillionThanks a Million
by Nikki Grimes
illustrated by Cozbi A Cabrera
NY: Greenwillow Books, 2005
ages 6 - 10
available at your local public library and used on Amazon
I have long admired Nikki Grimes for her ability to speak to my heart. I discovered her book Thank a Million this week, and want to share a poem here with you. This collection of 16 poems include many different poetic forms, all expressing gratitude. Some are tender and sweet, while others tug at your heart strings. In the "Shelter," a homeless child longs for his own room ("I wish I had a room / that I was forced to clean") and yet the child expresses his thanks ("At least, I'm not alone") as his mother wraps her arms around him.

As part of Poetry Friday, I'd like to share the first poem in Thanks a Million.
by Nikki Grimes

"Thank you"
is a seed I plant
in the garden
of your heart.
Your smile
is the flower.
A slow and sweet surprise,
it blooms before my eyes!
I'd like to share this poem with so many different people. It makes me think about all the people I'd like to thank. I'm so busy in our daily rush, that I'm sure I never really take the time to really thank these people:
  • my family, sending them thanks for all the support and encouragement they've given me as I've pursued my dreams; 
  • my new colleagues at Emerson and Berkeley Unified, for welcoming me and helping me share my love of reading with children; 
  • my friends, who talk and share stories, worries and laughter; 
  • librarians friends, for sharing their love of reading and laughing and sighing; 
  • blogging friends, especially my Poetry Friday friends, who've helped rekindle my love of poetry; 
  • authors and artists, who inspire me every day, and in turn make me want to inspire children to ask, to think, to feel, to learn;
  • publishers, who have supported my blog by sharing books so generously; 
  • and especially my three mentors, Diane, Helen and Kathy, who helped launch me into this new adventure.
Thank you for planting a seed, for nourishing me and helping me grow.

Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is at Random Noodling. Head over there for a sumptuous pre-Thankgiving feast of poetry. 

The review copy came from my school library. If you make any purchases on Amazon through the links on this site, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support.


  1. Mary Ann, how perfect for Thanksgiving! Wonderful. Makes me want to write a "thanks" poem, too.

  2. Thank YOU for sharing this lovely book and these poems. You've given me a smile and something to look for. :)

  3. It looks like a great book, Mary Ann. What are some of the poetic forms Grimes uses?

  4. Great poem for Thanksgiving-time (or any time, for that matter)! Thank you and all librarians for introducing us to great books and encouraging kids in their exploration of the wonderful world of reading!

  5. Lovely - I need to get this collection for my class library.

  6. Oh my gosh! I forgot this book! I have it in my poetry collection. Thanks for the reminder! And I think I will write a few thank you notes this weekend!

  7. Thank you all for the lovely comments - they added a glow to my weekend! Grimes uses free verse, haiku, rebus, and a riddle in these poems.

  8. What a great post--and this is one of my favorite books by Nikki. She captures simple, honest, sometimes heartwrenching emotion so beautifully. (Have you read her What Is Goodbye? Oh my lord.)

    Thank *you,* Mary Ann, for this lovely end to a hectic day.