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An Awesome Book of Thanks! Hardcover – November 18, 2010

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Editorial Reviews Review

Book Description: Inspired by the idea of being thankful for all that you have, An Awesome Book of Thanks! is a beautifully written, fantastically illustrated walk through a world of magical unicorns, robotic dinosaurs, and all of life's simple moments, great and small. Crafted for children ages 0-1000, this timeless story is sure to be an instant classic, at home in the hands of anyone looking for the perfect reminder of just how beautiful life can be.
A Q&A with Dallas Clayton

Question: How did you start writing?

Dallas Clayton: I grew up writing zines, poems, journals, short stories--printing them myself and selling them to people on the street. That's where I came from. I started doing that when I was 12 or 13, and like most things you start doing at that age, I didn't really have any scope of how big of a part of my life it would become; it was just something I did because it was fun. I moved to Los Angeles when I was 18, and after a few months of going to shows, art galleries, markets, and performance spaces, people started offering me writing jobs. It was never something I'd planned on--it was just something that happened that way.

Question: How did you make the transition into children’s literature?

Dallas Clayton: I had never written a kids' book before. Honestly, I'd never written any sort of book before An Awesome Book! But after my son was born I knew I wanted to write something for him while he was still young enough to appreciate it. So I started to write a kids’ book a day and the first one I wrote was An Awesome Book! After I put it down on paper I stopped and thought, "Okay--what now?"

Question: People took to it?

Dallas Clayton: Well, the first pressing sold out in a week, then the second pressing sold out between when I ordered it and when it arrived, and then it just kept going. Pretty soon people were ordering so many copies that I basically had to change everything I was doing. I became a kids' author overnight. I was shipping orders out of my house to people all over the world and every day something even crazier than the day before would happen. Getting letters from people all over the world, requests to come speak, people wanting me to collaborate with them--just tons of unexpected magic.

Question: With all of the success of An Awesome Book!, what was your approach to following it up?

Dallas Clayton: Well, I just wanted to make something Awesome. People were so happy with the first one and that made me so happy, I knew making another book could only double that happiness. And after reading to so many kids and talking to them about their hopes and their dreams, I knew I wanted to talk about the idea of being thankful, like all of your aspirations are important but remember to be thankful for all of the small things we tend to take for granted. That's the idea behind An Awesome Book of Thanks!--dream big, but be thankful for what you have.

Question: What are you hoping people take away from your books?

Dallas Clayton: I guess the same things I would hope people would take away from anything worth appreciating. To offer them a little break in their day to contemplate all the amazing possibilities that life has to offer. For me, kids' books are just the same as any other art form--your goal shouldn't be to tell a story, your goal should be to communicate an idea to try and share a theme, to give someone a bigger experience. All the authors that I grew up reading, all the classics I think did that. All the major forces in the modern kids' world did that: Dr. Seuss, Walt Disney, Jim Henson--those are people whose ideas inspire me.

A Look Inside An Awesome Book of Thanks!
Click on the images below to see a few of our editors' favorite pages from An Awesome Book of Thanks!

From Booklist

Teaching young children about gratitude might be daunting, especially since that audience often forgets to say thank you. But Clayton’s exuberant book shows kids how to look around and be grateful for all the wonderful things in their lives. “There didn’t use to be boats,” the book begins and then follows with a list of things to be thankful for. Along with trees and trains, the breeze and rain, Clayton takes a leap of imagination and is thankful for rope-skipping jungle cats and alligator acrobats. On a more realistic note, the book reminds children to be thankful for “places to go / when you want to cry” and even bad things that might turn out to be good, “for they make us all stronger.” Although the examples may go on a tad too long, the deliciously childlike art will sustain readers. Packaged in a compact horizontal format, the art skips across the pages, sometimes silly, sometimes practical (tiny combs, glasses, toasters, teapots) and always appealing. This will make kids and their parents say “Thank you.” (Grades K-2) --Ilene Cooper
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 84 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (November 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193559737X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935597377
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

My name is Dallas Clayton. I write kids' books. When I was a kid I dreamt about traveling around the world meeting new people every day, having amazing experiences and sharing the stories from those experiences with other new people. That's pretty much what I do now. When I am not doing that, I am writing, drawing, having my mind blown by my nine-year-old child, or jumping into a large body of water. When I am not writing for children, I am writing for adults and the companies that adults run, drawing pictures for adults and reading things out loud to a crowd of strangers. I love strangers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By GrimLockz on November 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift from a friend who is familiar with my interest in quirky things. Although it is technically a children's book (and I have no children) I enjoyed the book for a few simple reasons. The book, "An Awesome Book of Thanks," can be considered a piece of folk art because the illustrations are not perfect but, in a whimsical way, they are heartwarming and filled with vibrant colors, capturing the attention of the reader. In addition, the book's message is an important lesson that transcends age, reminiscent of earlier classic works such as the "The Giving Tree". The author artfully and plainly reminds the reader of all we have which can be taken for granted and that we should be thankful for those things. Finally, the book is quite sturdy which is great for young children who tend to batter their books and toys, or if you are like me and just have a bad habit of leaving books everywhere, this book will endure the punishment.

"An Awesome Book of Thanks" would be an excellent addition to any classroom, child's book shelf, or for any one who enjoys collecting interesting books.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By K. Zhang on December 7, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i am reviewing for the kindle version. the art is too small on the kindle and it also lacks colors,so much of the appeal is lost. however i gave this book 5 stars for just one feature - its brilliant prose. simple, flowing, evocative. the art and its emotion are fully captured in the words. if the author was a more famous person, this book will count as one of the timeless classics. its very much worth paying 99 cents to have this book on my kindle.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brenda on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the book everyone needs just to remember how fortunate we are and it is a perfect tool to get children to understand what it means to be thankful and that they should always be thankful, even for the little things.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By msaggieamy on December 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's driving me crazy that folks here are condemning the "grammatical error" that "starts on the first page." Arg. It's not a grammatical error: There is pretty much only one instance when we would use "use to" instead of "used to," and it's when the word "did" or "didn't" appears in the sentence as well. Google it. Here is one site I found quickly that has the explanation:


Anyway, I'm giving it 4 stars because of the length. My almost 4-year old lost interest somewhere in the middle, and while I wanted to keep reading and thoroughly enjoyed the entire book, she may or may not want to read it with me again. We'll try again in a few weeks because I truly love the quirky thoughtfulness of it all.

Also, I am a follower of Jesus Christ and am not convicted that this book contradicts our truth. It relays a message of gratitude in our entitled culture. We can use the thank yous as starting off points to start a discussion on to whom we are thankful.

Thank you for the sweet book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Spudman TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ever take a wrong turn and stumble onto something totally unexpected, memorable, and impossible to categorize? Opening the lavender cover of An Awesome Book of Thanks is sort of like that. Each page is a rush of positivity, a flood of color, and a big dose of awesomeness.

I'm impressed that the author could do so much with such a basic concept and could create a book that transcends ages and generations. After reading Clayton's book several times, I see it as a read aloud book for the elementary set, a book to share, a book to examine, a book to discuss.

The author/artist is talented and incredibly creative. It's hard to describe the explosion of detail, texture, and quirkiness found on each heavy-stock matte page. A rubber stamped book this is not. On a page plastered with spiders, acorns, leaves, and bugs, the careful observer will notice the differences of color, size, and shape that abound. No two spiders, or acorns, or leaves, or bugs are exactly the same. Such delightful differences.

I was taken aback by the scofflaw grammar usage on the opening pages, but with each successive page of thanks and warmth those grammatical transgressions become easier to forgive.

Thanks Dallas. Your book is awesome and so are you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By China Mom on December 9, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Kindle version of the book was offered for $0.99 so I figured, why not buy it - I'm slo glad I did! We have the hard copy of An Awesome Book! and love the message and illustrations so I knew that I would probably like An Awesome Book Of Thanks! , just not so sure about the Kindle version. I liked that when I viewed the book for the first time, a suggestion to view in landscape setting would help optimize my reading/viewing. While changing the layout helped, the illustrations are hard to view and you don't get the same impact as the seeing the vibrant colors that appear in the hard copy. Still the fun, carefree feel of the drawings come through. The best part is the prose - thoughtful, quirky, fun, with a good message. I'm so glad that I do have this book on my Kindle as I can read it anytime I need a pick-me-up!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Silva VINE VOICE on January 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A simple enough concept, but beautifully executed in both word and illustration by Dallas Clayton. I got this as an antidote to post-Christmas "is that all there is?" - itis, and it was very effective. I love the way Clayton starts the book, with several pages of "There didn't used to be's" -- boats, cars, people, stars, anything. The next page is crowded with an illustration of city buildings, bridge, airplane, roads, water, etc., and the words "But now there's a lot/So when I look around/At all that we've got", then it's time to turn the page, read "I say," and see nine little critters holding huge placards with the words Thank You! The rest of the book is a beautifully illustrated list, in rhyme, of the things Clayton is thankful for, from "ocean deep, desert dry and mountain steep" to the less predictable and charming "And balls to kick/ And kites to fly/ And places to go/ When you want to cry." It's just a delight from start to finish, if a tad long for the littlest listener. And, it worked -- the kids started talking about how lucky they are to have what they have. Perfect.
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