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15 Special Children’s Books and 7 Special People –A Cornucopia of Gratitude and Thankfulness


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” — Melody Beattie

This time of year, we tend to find ourselves looking more inward to the things in our lives for which we are thankful. This year, these thoughts and feelings are more intense as we reflect on the roles and influence of others in our lives. It is with joy that Lawley Publishing spotlights special individuals who exemplify a cornucopia of traits for which we are grateful. We whole-heartedly thank these individuals, and others in similar lines of work, for their impact now and always. Thank you for sharing in our lives, contributing to our well-being, and inspiring us to be the best versions of ourselves.

What led us to spotlight these individuals, you may ask?

Adam the Ant! Adam the Ant, by Julie Awerkamp and Holly Andreason, is a children’s story where Adam is the Hero of Insectum Academy. Adam the Ant shows us that we all are different, yet essential to our families, friends, and communities. Lawley Publishing recommends this book for teaching about individual strengths. This fabulous book, with lovely illustrations by Jesi Yap, would be a PERFECT book to read before fire and lockdown drills.

Jessica Chavez

VP of Innovative Learning Strategies

Arizona Science Center

“Working at Arizona Science Center, we see STEM in everything we do! At the Center, I work in the learning department, focusing on Educator Professional Learning.  We offer training on integrating STEM, and meeting educators where they are at, even if it’s starting with a book you love!”

Book Choice #1- What Floats in a Moat

The first book I have selected is What Floats in a Moat, written by Lynne Berry and illustrated by Matthew Cordell. This book is about a very silly goat named Archie and his friend Skinny the Hen, who are on a mission to cross a moat to deliver buttermilk to the queen. What I love about this book is it is a perfect example of the Engineering Design Process! Archie and Skinny Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve a solution to their problem, not accepting failure! It’s such an easy way to get students to think about their thinking, all while having fun and using a great book as a hook!

Book Choice #2- Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing

Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing, written by April Jones Prince and illustrated by Francois Roca, is a book based on real events involving the Brooklyn Bridge and twenty-one elephants. The bridge took fourteen years to build, and in a stunt to test the strength of the bridge, they had twenty-one grown elephants cross at once! After reading this book, we like to ask participants to Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve a solution to creating their own bridge using items provided creatively.


Val Gale

Assistant Chief over Operations

Chandler Fire Departments