The thank-you present by Jane Marino

cover image

Illus. by Annie White. Smiling Mind 1. Penguin, 2020. ISBN: 9781761040054.
Subtitled A book about gratitude, this book is also the first in a five book series by the Australian mindfulness organisation Smiling Mind.
The story follows two best friends Evie and Lola who share a major love for many things including their birthday month July and opening presents!
With the help of Lola's Dad, the two girls look for ways to show their gratitude/thankfulness for each other's friendship. They aim to make the greatest presents ever, for the most amazing friend in the world.
Once they have made their respective gifts, both girls show worry and excitement. Will their friend like their gift? Will it show how they feel about their friend?
I liked the concept of this story (showing gratitude for people in your life) and thought that it was written in a way that young children could understand and relate too.
This book would be a great edition to a school/kindergarten library for use in lessons within the topic of kindness/gratitude or even for individual use when potential issues arise.
The back of the book also provides some extra activities and information for readers to create their own thank you presents, or letters. There is also information regarding a Smiling Mind meditation which is designed for children and young people. This is a great addition to the book and a nice introduction to the Smiling Mind app and general meditation.
Overall I liked the story and will be interested to read the other four in the series, and use them as part of our classroom curriculum resources.
Lauren Fountain