Inspiring Young Readers

posted on 18 May 2024

Thank You by Jarvis

If you are looking for a book for a young child that’s unapologetically packed with positivity, then you may have found the perfect one if you buy a copy of Thank You by Jarvis.

There’s nothing complex in the message that Jarvis is giving us – we need to give thanks for even the most everyday experiences in our lives. This is not necessarily a religious message – it’s more a celebration of our physical, emotional and sensory existence. Page after page, a young child in a striking red bobble-hat offers a simple word of thanks for the everyday events – the moonlight, the sun. trees, boots, hats, puddles and plenty more.

Sometimes the list of objects to thank gets a little bit surreal:

“And I ha a reason to thank elephants but I seem to have forgotten, so…..

I’ll thank the Tyrannosaurus for being the longest word I know.”

It’s also very pleasing to see that Jarvis can follow the sometimes convoluted rationales that children often deploy:

“I thank the bowl for the jelly.

Thank you too little spoon.

I’d like to thank my belly

for making just a little room.”

And the book concludes with one giant embrace:

“Thank you EVERYTHING.”

The simple nature of the words inevitably plays something of a second place to the real star of the book – the wonderful artwork. The joy of the richly coloured illustrations starts on the cover of the book where our bobble-hatted child lies resting on the crescent of the moon set in a dark blue background. Run your fingers over the illustration and you’ll discover the child is in a modest three-dimensions – raised and textured slightly for your fingers to discover.

Inside the artist’s distinctive use of collage and what looks like pastel or crayon mixes white backgrounds with deep colours and vice versa. Jarvis manages to fill his illustrations with action and vitality – the page showing the child at the drum set bursts out at us.

We’ve reviewed work from Jarvis elsewhere on the website (herehere and here) and this is another that we can heartily endorse. It is published by Walker Books and you’ll be able to get a copy from your local independent bookshop – who will be able to order it for you if they don’t have it on their shelves.


Terry Potter

May 2024