And Here’s to You! – David Elliott

hereThis fun children’s picture book is a celebration of life. Each page is illustrated with rich, saturated color, a treat for the eyes. Words of gratitude are frequent, and the reader can feel the joy that comes from going outside on a brilliant spring day and just enjoying nature.

The author raises a salute to birds, using his young female narrator to say, “Here’s to you!” She calls them “feather people,” and gives special mention to the birds who whooo, cockadoodledoo, the ones who have red breasts and the ones who sit on telephone wires. She appreciates all of them for their uniqueness and variety.

Another narrator, a boy who is swimming beneath the water, expresses his love for fish of all colors, shapes and varieties, the ones that are fat and the ones that are skinny.

We meet a girl who loves to go in the woods and see the bears. She loves black and brown bears, white ones and those that like to swim.

Another boy appreciates the bugs out in nature. He takes his magnifying glass and studies them, from the ones that sting to the ones that crawl. He really loves those bugs.

This boy loves cats. He loves the ones that purr, the ones that creep, the ones that live in the country and in the city. He loves to pet and play with cats.

From birds to fish to bugs to cats to dogs of every size, shape and color, we go on to cows and frogs, each receiving their due attention and appreciation for the marvelous creations that they are. Then, we applaud people. People with their different hair and skin color, no matter what they’re wearing. And who’s the most remarkable person of all? You! Here’s to you, with all your talents and all the wonderful things about you.

I love this book. It leaves me with a feeling of uplift and encouragement, a sense of being able to face my day. Share this one with your child when you get the chance.

(This book was published in 2004 by Candlewick Press and was illustrated by Randy Cecil.)

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Picture Books by Lynne Jonell and Petra Mathers

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