Thank You for the Little Things by Caryl Hart, Illustrated by Emily Hamilton.

Whenever I am feeling sad

Or life feels hard or wrong or bad,

I focus for a little while

On LITTLE THINGS that make me smile…

With war raging in Ukraine and a pandemic bubbling away in the background, the world feels a frightening and overwhelming place. With rising fuel and energy costs, families are being hit hard and sometimes it feels like there is very little to smile about.

In gentle lyrical rhyming prose, Thank You for the Little Things encourages us all, (big or small) to reflect on the simple things in life that make us happy – it could be swinging high on the swings in the park, squelching through mud…

…finding a ladybird

…or making a daisy chain. They say the best things in life are free and they truly are!

Thank You for the Little Things celebrates the ordinary magic of everyday life. We all have bad days and sad days but this hopeful and uplifting book helps children to appreciate the simple wonders of the world around them. As with the Scandinavian feeling of Hygge, we are inspired to recognise activities that create a mood of coziness and comfort, like the youngster in the story snuggling up with a book and a warm milky drink at bedtime. Everyone will have favourite activities they associate with feelings of wellness and contentment and these can be key in promoting happiness and relieving stress.

What Are You Thankful For?

Cultivating a culture of gratitude with children is one way of being mindful every day. I’ve been following the blog tour with interest and I just love this lovely little gratitude game that Caryl shared in her interview with The Federation of Children’s Book Groups (FCBG). You can read the full interview here but here is the game that would be fantastic to do either in the classroom or at home – I think it will be great to talk through with my own children in the car at the end of a long day:

In a small group, each person takes a turn to talk about the following. Take one question and take turns to answer before looking at the next question:

One thing that you DID for YOURSELF that made you happy.

One thing that you DID for SOMEONE ELSE that you are thankful for.

One thing that SOMEONE ELSE did for YOU that you are thankful for.

One thing you SAW that you’re thankful for.

One thing you FELT that you’re thankful for, or that made you happy.

Emily Hamilton’s illustrations are simply delightful and as a family of mixed Black African and White British heritage it was lovely to see ourselves represented in the story. Hart and Hamilton have clearly put a great deal of thought into how the main character should look and the lovely little person narrating the tale is also very neutral in terms of gender, giving both girls and boys an equal chance to feel like this book is for them. This ensures there is no hint of gender bias attached to any of the activities the child enjoys in the story either.

Thank You for the Little Things will appeal on so many different levels. From the tiniest of toddlers snuggling up for a gentle rhyming before bedtime, pre-schoolers spotting favourite familiar activities to school-age children who are able to express on a simple level what they are thankful for, this is a must-have picture book this Spring!

I have so much to be thankful for, but this week I’m particularly thankful my family and I got to watch my son win his first Cup Final on Sunday. It was a truly wonderful day that will stay forever in our hearts.

Thank You for the Little Things was published on the 3rd March and is available now!

With thanks to Bloomsbury for my review copy and inviting me to take part in the Twitter blog tour.

There’s also lots of fantastic accounts to follow along with on the instagram tour and bookish ways to play every day!

If you missed the wonderful instagram Live Q&A with Caryl hosted by the lovely @picturebooksnob, catch up here

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