A sweet celebration of the best thing life has to offer.
ALA Best and Notable Books

What parents need to know

Educational value

With text in both English and Spanish, readers have the opportunity to practice their reading skills in both languages.

Positive messages

The narrator expresses gratitude for the blessing of his life, both big and small. The book models a positive way of looking at life and values of togetherness and gratitude.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book may inspire their own family gratitude lists.

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What's the story?

A simple book of gratitude, the narrator takes the reader through his day to share all the things that matter to him. From the time he wakes up, through his day playing outdoors and with his family and ending with him cozy back in bed with pajamas "so soft they feel like I'm putting on air." Spanish text runs alongside English so that families can read either side to get the story.

Is it any good?


Sweet without being cloying, kids will relate to things that matter to the narrator. From the small things like a ladybug to big things like friends and family, the list rings true and everyday. This is a book that transcends a "thankfulness" genre that can very easily turn to treacle instead.

Acrylic on illustration board paintings are textured with rich colors reminiscent of Mexican folk art. The many details bring weight to the narrator to help make him real to the reader. Clearly this is an ordinary little boy and one kids will understand. 

Primitive-looking pictures are terrifically detailed and saturated with color. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what they are grateful for.

  • Families can talk about who the narrator is thanking. What is he trying to express?

  • Kids can try thinking of new ways to look at things that they are not

  • sure that they are thankful for. For example, the narrator thanks bees

  • for not stinging him. What other negatives can be turned into a

  • positive?

  • The illustrations are very detailed. What kinds of things can kids

  • discover about the narrator and his family that aren't mentioned in the

  • text? For example, what sports does the narrator like?

Book details

Author:Pat Mora
Illustrator:John Parra
Genre:For Beginning Readers
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Lee & Low Books
Publication date:October 20, 2009
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4
Read alone:8
Award:ALA Best and Notable Books

This review of Gracias/Thanks was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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