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

4.6 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 - 7 years
  • Lexile Measure: NP (What's this?)
  • 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 (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My two-year-old nephew's favorite word is "thank you". What better way to help him understand the idea of giving thanks than with this book. We have enjoyed reading this book together, and he loves the illustrations. It makes him smile, laugh and of course say thank you.

While the book is a bit long for a him, it is a book that he literally can grow into and take its message with him as he gets older. That makes this a great read people of all ages, because we all have something to be thankful for.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An Awesome Book Of Thanks! By Dallas Clayton should be in every body's personal library. It's simply that important! Dallas writes a simple book that starts in the beginning of time and acknowledges at first there was nothing. He mentions the familiar, like boats and cars or people were not here and then heads to the sky, "There didn't use to be anything." However, now he notes "There's a lot so when I look around at all that we've got I say thank you." He proceeds to thank everyone and everybody, sometimes thoughtful, "the breeze and for the rain." and sometimes absurd "girelephants in silly hats".

He thanks for books, and the ocean deep, pigs and cows and ducks and sheep. He mentions to be grateful for "having all the time it takes and boxes for pretend and balls to kick and kites to fly and places to go when you want to cry".

He remembers to thank not only each member of a family, but doctors and artists and teachers as well. He states "It's so easy we see these things everyday to forget to say thank you in every way."

He thinks of everything from good to bad "for they make us all stronger" and takes us on a journey to thank people in all different languages. Best of all, he thanks the reader "just for being yourself" as important as anything else."

Colorful pictures with adorable fuzzy people make it fun to share with your child. What a great way to end the day, by bedtime reflection of all things we should be thankful for.

The book is one long run on sentence and can be read as fast or as slow as you like. We live in an amazing time, where resources make it possible for us to multi task and keep taking on more and more new responsibilities to tackle.
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