Friday, November 01, 2013

Giving Thanks; Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving

Edited and with reflections by Katherine Paterson, Illustrations by Pamela Dalton.Chronicle Books, 2013. (review copy) I was delighted to receive this lovely, timely book in the mail the other day. It is absolutely gorgeously illustrated with paper cut done by Dalton in a sixteenth century German and Swiss technique called "Scherenschnitte" or "scissor cuts," which was brought to the States by Pennsylvania German settlers. See some of her work and read more about it at her site The team of Paterson and Dalton also produced Brother Sun, Sister Moon in 2011.

Giving Thanks is a collection of short prayers, poems and praise songs taken from a variety of cultures and traditions. Opening to a random page one can find wisdom and beauty shared from Islamic prayers, Chinese proverbs, Native American poems, Vietnamese prayers, King James Bible verses, and traditional American blessings. It is a balanced and graceful smorgesbord that will charm a child's heart and lift the spirits of weary adults gathering the family together at the end of a long day or preparing to face the day's challenges. Hildegard of Bingen and Matsuo Basho share a page to remind us of the simple joys found in a single, precious day:

Katherine Patterson introduces each section of the book with a reflection of her life and growing up years. Her stories are just the right touch to bring us closer to finding meaning and unity in this diverse, wide ranging panorama of the celebration of thanks in the human heart. If you are looking for a refreshing splash of thankfulness and joy this season presented with beauty and exquisite skill - this is the book for you and your family!

Publisher's Weekly review

Friday Poetry is hosted by Linda at Teacher Dance on this All Saint's Day. Enjoy!