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Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite
Sometimes it is hard to be grateful. In How Grizzly Found Gratitude by Dennis Mathew, we are introduced to Grizzly Bear who has become lost. One day Bird notices him and asks him if he is new to the neighborhood. Bear tells Bird, sadly, that he has been lost for a long time. Bird cheers him up with some delicious honey and asks him about his home. Bear tells Bird how wonderful it was and becomes sad again. Bird tells Bear that he was once lost too, but his journey got easier for him when he decided to have gratitude. Bear decides to try being grateful and spends many months with Bird and his friends. One day they see a sleuth of bears and Bird says maybe they can lead Bear back home. Will Bear stay or go?
Dennis Mathew has written a wonderful story about friendship and gratitude. Parents and teachers are often looking for books with stories that teach values but aren’t heavy-handed about it. How Grizzly Found Gratitude is a satisfying story that also happens to include a lesson on gratitude. After hearing How Grizzly Found Gratitude, kids will be able to recognize all the things in their life that they can be grateful for. I really enjoyed how the friendships that developed between the animals included give and take, what a valuable lesson for kids to hear. Taylor Barron’s illustrations are saturated with color, and the characters are full of personality. They highlight the story perfectly. I highly recommend How Grizzly Found Gratitude. It will make a great read-aloud!