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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Former library book, Mild discoloration wrinkle on cover, otherwise very good condition.
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Circle of Thanks Hardcover – October, 1998

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The drama and interconnectedness of the natural world swirl through this luminous picture book set on the Alaskan tundra. An unnamed boy and his mother venture into the spring sunshine, gorgeously depicted as bands of color in Catalanotto's (The Painter) striking watercolors. When Mama rescues an otter pup that has fallen into icy water, the otter seemingly responds by later performing a good deed for an injured raven. Thus, a chain of kind acts is set in motion, from animal to animal, throughout each season of the year. In the end, an arctic fox plays a role when the boy injures himself and cannot get home as a snowstorm approaches. In evocative language, Fowler (I'll See You When the Moon Is Full) introduces a somewhat exotic, isolated region of wide-open spaces, where humans are completely in tune with and responsive to nature; a gentle humor keeps the tone from being earnest or precious. She also effectively relays bits of information about the wildlife and flora indigenous to Alaska as well as basic animal behavior. Catalanotto's delicately lit art fluidly renders the beauty of a rugged wilderness in both summer bloom and winter snow. Thanks to imaginative perspectives, the interactions between his animals seem spontaneous and dynamic. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Alaska is the setting for this satisfying circular tale. A Yupik mother's rescue of an otter pup in the spring sets in motion a chain of kindness from one animal to another over the seasons. The circle is complete as winter approaches and the mother is led to her injured son by an Arctic fox. In spite of their active participation in acts of charity, the animals are not otherwise anthropomorphized. The focus is on the natural world and the interrelatedness of all living things (although romanticized). Catalanotto's realistic yet poetic watercolors, similar to his paintings in George Ella Lyon's Dreamplace (Orchard, 1993), wonderfully capture the sweep of the tundra. The artist uses unusual points of view to increase the drama of the encounters between animals, or animals and people, and beautifully captures the warmth of the cozy cabin and the love shared by the boy and his mother. Pair this with Virginia L. Kroll's The Seasons and Someone (Harcourt, 1994), which is also set in Alaska, and James Magdanz's Go Home, River (Alaska Northwest, 1996), which gives a picture of native life before European contact.
Pam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 1st edition (October 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590100661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590100663
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,963,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up in Juneau, Alaska. When I was young, Juneau was a small town of a few thousand people. It's grown more than five times over--it's now a "booming metropolis" of somewhere around 32,000 people--but we still have porcupines and bears wandering our downtown neighborhoods. There was a black bear right up the street when I came home from my Dad's last night. A creek with spawning salmon is just a few blocks from our home. And although our home appraisal says "no view," we are surrounded by mountains from which we watch mountain goats in the spring, herons in their nests across the street, and eagles wheeling overhead year round. Sure seems like a view to me. This is a good home place and I loved growing up here and coming back as an adult, marrying and raising two amazing daughters in the home my husband and I live in still. My two grandchildren live nearby, and in fact, there are four generations of my family within a few block radius (along with those bears and porcupines).

While my writing isn't autobiographical (with the exception of my essays for adults), there are elements of my life in all my stories. Of my now nine children's books, only the newest one, ARCTIC AESOP'S FABLES: TWELVE RETOLD TALES (February 2013) and CIRCLE OF THANKS (on the Bank Street "Best of the Best" List - Outstanding Books from 1997-2008) are set in the north. But although my other books aren't necessarily Alaska stories, I feel as if Alaska, the sense of community here, the connection to the natural world, the rhythm of the seasons and the pace of life, seeps into everything I write.

When I wrote ARCTIC AESOP'S FABLES: Twelve Retold Tales, I had to double check what I knew about the habitat and habits of animals that live in the Arctic. I've spent time in the Arctic, but the Alaska land and life I know best is the coastal panhandle of southeast Alaska where the environment is very different than the Arctic and even many of the animals are different. Fables are obviously not intended to be "true," but I wanted the animals I chose for my retellings to make sense. My husband Jim, a landscape painter and the illustrator of fourteen children's books, counting our new ARCTIC AESOP'S FABLES, is more of a naturalist than I and he helped me out as did current and former staff of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The wonderful WILDLIFE NOTEBOOK SERIES published by the department plus several on-line sources were helpful, too. I am grateful to them all.

I enjoy talking with kids and adults about writing and about Alaska and am available for school or library visits.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my second grade class during the Thanksgiving holiday. They loved it! The text flows wonderfully for a read aloud and the illustrations are simply stunning. Alaskan kids could relate easily to this story of the circle of life with a holiday theme. A definate must have for teachers in colder climates!
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Format: Hardcover
As I said to my children in California, we give thanks for Alaska. Alaska is a land that is still alive, where the animals are still wild and some people and animals are still blessed with the grace of talking with one another. This is a beautiful tribute to the natural world, to a mother and her son, to the web of life. Peter Catalanotto's illustrations perfectly complement Susi Gregg Fowler's text.
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Format: Paperback
The guidance counselor at our school used this book to teach students about "Random Acts of Kindness" and how one good deed can prompt a host of others to follow suit. My students are fourth graders and really enjoyed this beautiful picture book. At the close of the book, students shared their thoughts about random acts of kindness and what they could do continue the "Circle of Thanks."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the favorite book of our Down Syndrome daughter. She would bring it to me to read. It has a nice saddle theme to it. I enjoyed reading it to her.
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