Cover image for Father, we thank you
Father, we thank you
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882.
Publication Information:
New York : SeaStar Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC K-2 2.3 1 Quiz: 32448 Guided reading level: F.
Subject Term:
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS1623 .F34 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



In this poem of simple everyday pleasures by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the renowned essayist and poet, the inspiration and beauty of nature is captured in the modest words of a grateful heart. Mark Graham gracefully renders these simple pleasures with impressionistic landscapes that show a family's camping adventure in the wilderness—a special time of togetherness, joy, and wonder. With its spare text and breathtaking art, here is a perfect gift that will speak to readers of all ages and diverse religious backgrounds.

Author Notes

Known primarily as the leader of the philosophical movement transcendentalism, which stresses the ties of humans to nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and essayist, was born in Boston in 1803. From a long line of religious leaders, Emerson became the minister of the Second Church (Unitarian) in 1829. He left the church in 1832 because of profound differences in interpretation and doubts about church doctrine. He visited England and met with British writers and philosophers. It was during this first excursion abroad that Emerson formulated his ideas for Self-Reliance.

He returned to the United States in 1833 and settled in Concord, Massachusetts. He began lecturing in Boston. His first book, Nature (1836), published anonymously, detailed his belief and has come to be regarded as his most significant original work on the essence of his philosophy of transcendentalism. The first volume of Essays (1841) contained some of Emerson's most popular works, including the renowned Self-Reliance.

Emerson befriended and influenced a number of American authors including Henry David Thoreau. It was Emerson's practice of keeping a journal that inspired Thoreau to do the same and set the stage for Thoreau's experiences at Walden Pond. Emerson married twice (his first wife Ellen died in 1831 of tuberculosis) and had four children (two boys and two girls) with his second wife, Lydia. His first born, Waldo, died at age six. Emerson died in Concord on April 27, 1882 at the age of 78 due to pneumonia and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 3-8. Emerson's passionate regard for nature and his advocacy of environmentalism are his legacy to us and one that young readers will experience in this beautiful book based on his classic poem. Emerson's philosophy is expressed in his thankfulness to the Father for the flowers, the tender grass, the bird songs, the streams and sky, the breezes, and the blooming trees. Graham's lovely impressionistic oil paintings are a resonant accompaniment to the words. They sing with brilliant cool shades of blue and green, bright flashes of yellow, hot red, or orange. The deeply spiritual aspects of the poem are made accessible with scenes of a family hiking together, discovering mountain vistas, and apple trees in bloom. A brother and sister leap and run, watch an owl in flight, and roast marshmallows--sweet images set against the quiet five-syllable refrain, "Father, we thank you." --Shelley Townsend-Hudson

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-8-The joys of nature vividly come across in Graham's vibrant impressionistic paintings. They validate the passion for the vast beauty and sanctity of nature that Emerson expresses in this poem that celebrates his transcendental philosophy. For him, all of nature was a place of worship. Through realistic paintings of a family camping trip, readers are shown such varied moods as tranquility, surprise, discovery, and awe. The illustrations pull the audience in and give life to the words. Because of this excellent blend of art forms, this picture book should be considered for most poetry collections. It is similar in tone and feeling to Barbara Juster Esbensen's Echoes for the Eye (HarperCollins, 1996) and J. Patrick Lewis's Earth Verses and Water Rhymes (Atheneum, 1991).-Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.