GRATEFUL JAKE

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Before Jake, a small, white canine, found a loving forever home, he lived alone on the streets. During this “very scary” time, Jake explains, he “wished for even the simplest of things to help me feel better.” Repeating the phrase “I am so grateful,” Jake describes what he values. Some of the things are practical, like water, food, and the ability to read. Others are fun, as when Jake says, “I am so grateful I can…PICK.” The image shows Jake and a squirrel friend selecting a movie to see. Jake also recognizes kindness and demonstrates his willingness to assist others. Ultimately, the pooch cherishes his friends and the world around him. Jake is a sprightly protagonist, and young readers will enjoy his energetic actions and thoughtful realizations. Hardy’s tale will inspire kids to consider the wonderful things in their own lives. LL’s robust illustrations offer delightful, busy scenes with vivid details. While the spreads mainly mirror Jake’s experiences, they also feature different animals in related scenarios. For instance, when Jake says, “I am so grateful I can…WALK!” he saunters on a leash while an accompanying image shows a bandaged horse strolling and a sign reading “SECOND CHANCE: Horse Physical Therapy.” When Jake helpfully distributes water bottles after a community crisis, supplemental pictures include a squirrel inviting a lone raccoon to play and a beaver visiting the “WOOD RECYCLING CENTER.”

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