The Power of Gratitude

Unlocking Hidden Treasures

Children - Picture Book
36 Pages
Reviewed on 12/09/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Natalie Soine for Readers' Favorite

The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures by Ruth Maille tells the story of Orbit, a character in the shape of our planet, who is going to a sleepover camp. Orbit and all his friends are excited about the camp and can’t wait to see each other again. When they get there, Orbit teaches all his friends what gratitude is. Being thankful for people and things as well as the emotions that we feel when we are grateful for something. When events don’t go as planned, there are still reasons to be grateful for what we CAN do instead. The more often we practice gratitude, the more things we will find to be grateful for. All the children do a fantastic job of finding 26 things to be grateful for, each one beginning with a letter of the alphabet.

The Power of Gratitude is a fantastic little book, educational for both children and adults alike. We can all do with a reminder to be grateful for what we have. Ruth Maille’s unique way of using the alphabet to create examples serves as a double lesson for children. The book is based on Ruth’s personal research and children’s understanding of the world around them. Children need positive encouragement for emotional development and relationship building. This is a delightful book, filled with beautiful pictures and a new way of learning through Orbit. Each character is unique with their own personality and features. I love the images which are a work of art. I recommend this book to all parents for their children.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Orbit is visiting a sleepover camp and decides to share his thoughts about gratitude. He makes it into an alphabet game, sort of like a treasure hunt. As he lists a letter of the alphabet and a word that starts with that letter, such as “A is for acorn,” then someone lists what makes us feel gratitude for it. Dominic shares his gratitude about acorns: “Acorns grow into giant oak trees. We are grateful to have picnics under an oak tree because the big leaves give us shade and keep us cool.” The young people are learning many things they can be grateful for while, at the same, brushing up on their alphabet skills.

Ruth Maille’s picture book story, The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures, is a clever way to teach young people to be thankful, to show gratitude for all that is around them, while also reinforcing their knowledge of the alphabet and improving their reading skills. The plot begins with Orbit’s excitement about visiting a sleepover camp and his opening discussion about gratitude. The story then follows Orbit as he leads the young people on an alphabetic treasure hunt to find things to inspire gratitude. It’s a creative way to make the story interactive and teach young readers valuable lessons while improving their reading skills.

The illustrations are bright and colorful and help move the story forward. Everything about the story (text and illustrations) focuses on the positive and the power of showing gratitude: how it makes us feel good and strong inside. Gratitude is a complex concept to understand, especially for the very young, but this author has some ingenious ideas on how to make it more comprehensible. The ideas shared in this story will certainly open the doors for more creative ideas from young readers as they look at the world around them to find more positive things to be grateful for.

Carolina Restrepo

The Power of Gratitude by Ruth Maille is a wonderfully illustrated children’s book about the importance of being grateful for what we have, the people around us, and even things that don’t particularly have to do with us. Orbit sheds light on the fact that we should all try to find gratitude, even in the smallest of things, from when we are children until we are old. The overall lesson taken from Orbit is that being grateful in this life will become a positive presence in our lives; we will tend to see the brighter side of situations, even when they impede us from doing what we want. In this hectic modern world, we tend to forget about the simple things that make our lives better.

Being grateful for one daily thing will turn our lives around by transforming us into better people. Even though this is a children’s book, I took the lessons to heart. One could say that being an adult, it is harder to remember to be grateful for certain things; we become used to things and take them for granted. Books like this remind us just how important it is to be appreciative of what we have, for what happened, and even for what didn’t happen. Teaching children from a very early age to be grateful for our planet, our friends, and ourselves is a life-changing attitude that will help our future generations. The Power of Gratitude by Ruth Maille should be available in every school and home library.

Asher Syed

The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures by Ruth Maille is a children's picture book presented as a dual alphabet book and character-building exercise. The book begins with its primary narrator named Orbit, a worldly leader who is exactly that: Orbit is a sentient globe that walks, talks, and teaches. Readers familiar with Orbit will have met him before in The Power of Positivity and The Power of Kindness. Orbit is hosting a group of children for a sleepover camp where he asks the children what gratitude means to them. Alongside other attributes of the feeling, Orbit describes gratitude as being similar to a treasure hunt. A game is then started that involves all the children, and the reader too.

Ruth Maille brings us another solid piece of educational children's literature with The Power of Gratitude. I was initially caught off guard by the first few pages as it's got quite a lot of text, but this was shaken off almost immediately once I fully grasped where the story was going. From there, both I and my young readers were fully engaged and ready to play. I love the alphabet formatting because it really allows for the game to be played outside bedtime multiple times. The concept of providing a letter of the alphabet and a phrase, such as “P is for Puddle”, and then having the children state what they are grateful for and incorporating the word puddle into the sentence—it is super unique and creative. The illustrations are also fantastic and designed to a beautiful standard. But what I loved about this book is secondary to what my youngest reader did, and she says, “O is for Oval—and I'm grateful to meet him!”

Jamie Michele

Ruthe Maille gives a fresh way of addressing what a reader is thankful for in her children’s book The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures. Orbit is a globe that takes some kids on a camping trip. They’re all having what looks like a great time around a campfire when Orbit proposes they play a fun game. A single letter and a treasure that starts with the letter are assigned to one of the kids. The letters are in alphabetical order and Orbit teaches them that the object of the game is to spin the treasure word into a sentence that explains what they’re grateful for. The kids all play and it becomes evident that in this beautiful world we live, that Orbit emulates in his own body, there is much to be thankful for. All of the pictures are cute and colorful with the alphabet and affirmation sentences on display.

The Power of Gratitude: Unlocking Hidden Treasures is, at least I certainly hope, the beginning of a new series. My kids are resistant to ABC books with the argument that these are too babyish for them. This is kind of laughable given that one is only four and still says L through O with the phonetic “elemeno” and is blissfully unaware that she’s missed four whole letters. They liked Orbit and his game, and because the book encompasses the entirety of the alphabet, and that gives it some good girth, there is room to set it aside after one or two affirmations of gratitude, giving kids something to look forward to on the next night. It is also perfect in the lead up to Thanksgiving. I personally think it will be a while before the word ‘elemeno’ is cast aside in favor of the letters themselves, but at least I can sleep peacefully in the knowledge that in our own game, L for Love can mean that a four-year-old is grateful for a daddy who loves her so much that he does not make her repeat L - O clearly until she gets it right. I am so grateful to be a parent!