Ten Beautiful Things

Ten Beautiful Things, by Molly Beth Griffin, Illustrated by Maribel Lechuga, Charlesbridge 2020

I found this treasure on the new books shelf at my local library. Ten Beautiful Things tells the story of Lily, who is moving to her Gram’s house. The story doesn’t tell us why, but it’s clear her parents cannot care for her anymore, for whatever reason (foster care, death, deployment?). Lily’s sadness and trepidation about the move comes across in both the sweet illustrations and the lyrical text that tells us how the sadness feels in Lily’s body. (I love this because children often have a hard time identifying their big emotions, but they can recognize the physical symptoms caused by those emotions much more easily.) Lily’s Gram senses her sadness, too, and tells her they will try to find “ten beautiful things along the way.” Lily struggles to see the beauty in the rural landscape at first, but soon she starts spotting beautiful things like the sun breaking over the horizon and a red-winged blackbird. Before long, they are finding other beautiful things that are less obvious – the gurgly sound of a melting creek, a dilapidated barn, and the smell of mud. In this way, the story pulls in more senses and introduces the practice of mindfulness – focusing on one sense and letting it fill you. When they finally arrive at Gram’s house, Lily’s disappointed that they have only found nine beautiful things. But Gram gives Lily a hug and says ten is easy. “We’re ten.” It’s such a sweet and heartwarming ending to an already beautiful book. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone facing a big change or loss.

2 thoughts on “Ten Beautiful Things

  1. A beautiful review. Can we list your review in Pirate Tree?

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

    1. Thank you! And yes. That would be lovely.

      Like

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