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An Awesome Book of Thanks! Hardcover – November 18, 2010
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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!
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Top Customer Reviews
"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.
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love, love, love this book. It's an awesome read aloud for children as well as a great gift for adults you want to thank. Great message!Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
I loved the idea of this when I first read about it. I'm disappointed now that I have the book in hand. IT'S TOO LONG!!! Read morePublished 11 days ago by gypsyrebel
Great message for all ages. Dallas Claytons artwork is inspirational.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Read this book to my kids and they keep finding new things to be thankful for all the time. They even thank their shoes, books, tv, etc... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Abisatou Dampha
A very important skill to teach kids in a fun way! I even enjoy reading it!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Nice book that sparks conversation about the things you are thankful for. My 4 year old loves the bright fun illustrations. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Crystal
For all ages. Gave it to my teenage children for Christmas, one of them read it aloud to everybody after we opened all the presents. Good times!Published 4 months ago by B T
This was a gift for a niece and the day after she received I got a wonderful note from her parents saying how much they liked the book and intended to buy more books written by... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Gina