Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Gift that I Can Give by Kathie Lee Gifford, Illustrated by Julia Seal

The Gift that I Can Give by Kathie Lee Gifford is an empowering picture book that shows the many gifts given by God and how children can share their gifts with the world. Told in short rhyming quatrains, through the story the narrator questions whether the gift she is given is dancing, singing, sharing while playing football, helping animals, cheering on a friend, joining a marching band, visiting someone in the hospital, or giving her family hugs. The ending includes a prayer for her to be able to share her gifts with others, and the revelation that God's love is the gift she can give. The message is encouraging: that God has given her so many gifts that she can share with others. The specific mentions of acts of services is an especially creative way of teaching children that gifts don't have to just be innate skills.

The text is in first person, but the illustrations follow a little girl through the pages, accompanied by lots of butterflies, pinks, and purples. The dust jacket also features glittery butterflies. Despite playing in to some gender stereotypes, the illustrations redeem themselves through a racially and gender-diverse game of flag football. Julia Seal's illustrations are cute and colorful and add depth to the story through little details.

The religious message that our gifts come from God is strong, as is the message that we should be sharing those gifts with others. This book encourages community engagement, friendship, and generally compassion for others, shared through a catchy rhyming verse. For these reasons, I'd recommend this book for children ages 3 to 7.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was not required to post a positive review.

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