Book Review: Grow Grateful
By: Sage Foster-Lasser and Jon Lasser, PhD
Illustrated by: Christopher Lyles
Reviewer: Michele Byerly
Kiko is about to go on a field trip with her class, and she’s excited because she’s never been camping before. But she’s a little anxious too, especially when she finds out her parents aren’t going with her and that she’ll be climbing a high, steep ridge with her classmates. At the campsite, she discovers the snacks her dad has lovingly packed, and she feels happy that he knows what she likes. Despite the setback of a cactus spine in her finger, Kiko triumphantly reaches the top of the ridge with her hiking buddies. That night around the campfire, their teacher explains the concept of gratitude and asks them to tell what they’re grateful for. Kiko falls asleep with her heart full of gratitude for her parents, her friends, her teacher and her experiences on the campout. The book ends with a question to the reader: How do you grow grateful? This invites young readers into reflection and gratitude. The brightly-patterned collage illustrations depict a multi-ethnic group of students with desert flora in the background. Young readers may enjoy pointing out interesting details on each page, such as a bird roasting marshmallows or a shooting star. A Reader’s Note after the story provides insights into the educational theory behind this book and offers discussion questions as well as a list of ideas for how to help children develop gratitude.
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