Early Elementary Books

Theme: Thanks

Andy and the Lion - (ISBN: 978-0140502770)

by James Daugherty

After Andy gets a book out of the library about African lions, he dreams of helping a lion in the jungle. Following the events in the classic tale of Androcles and the Lion, he helps pull a thorn from the lion’s paw. Although Andy has a tool in his pocket to pull the thorn with (unlike the classic tale), the feeling of gratitude the lion has is the same as in the old fable. Later, when Andy is at the circus and an escaped lion runs after him, Andy realizes it is the same lion from his dream. Can you guess what happens?

Chrysanthemum - (ISBN: 0688096999)

by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum’s name causes endless teasing until she finds out her teacher’s name is also that of an uncommon flower. In a major switch of viewpoints, the other girls who had mocked Chrysanthemum now want their names to be flowers also. What flower name would you choose if you decided to change yours?

Gratitude Soup - (ISBN: 978-1448681280)

by Olivia Rosewood

Violet imaginatively puts all the items she is grateful for in her “pot” of soup. She includes not only physical things but also people and experiences. Her warm “soup” keeps her grateful throughout her busy day. Try making your own pot of soup, putting drawings of what you are thankful for into a real container. As you think of it during the day, your heart will warm with gratefulness.

Seen Art? - (ISBN: 978-0670059867 )

by Jon Scieszka

A young boy is looking for his friend Art in a museum in New York, but every time he asks about art, people show him more and more marvelous works of art. Although he explores art in a variety of media, he does not find his friend until the very end. He leaves much richer and more thankful for his marvelous experience with another part of the world he had not looked into before. Visit an art museum with a friend or family member.

Thanks a Million - (ISBN: 978-0688172930)

by Nikki Grimes

In a series of poems, famed author Nikki Grimes looks at what children have to be thankful for. The poems remind us of the importance of the two little words, “Thank you.” Make a list of what you are grateful for or draw pictures of the things you value.

Thanks and Giving All Year Long - (ISBN: 1416915869)

by Marlo Thomas

This collection of stories by famous authors shares the theme of people, animals, and even monsters whose lives have a positive effect on those around them. Feeding hungry people, helping friends, and being someone to rely on are the motifs in this great collection of tales.

The Secret of Saying Thanks - (ISBN: 978-0689854101)

by Douglas Wood

A young girl walks with her dog and notices all the wonderful things in nature and in her life she has to be thankful for. She says thank you quietly to herself for all of the natural wonders that she sees. Take a walk yourself and notice what you should be grateful for.

My Gratitude Soup - (ISBN: 978-1492707578)

by Olivia Rosewood

Thank You Sarah - (ISBN: 978-0689851438)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Blue Daisy - (ISBN: 978-1490957906)

by Stacie Theis

The Quiltmaker’s Gift - (ISBN: 978-0439309103)

by Jeff Brumbeau

Activities for this Theme

Learn how to say thank you in different languages. How many can you learn?

Use this list of ideas as a starting point for ideas to commit random acts of kindness at home and at school.

Spread kindness by decorating and sharing kindness rocks in your community. Share kind thoughts and phrases on your your rocks to bring joy to others.