Dick and Jane readers were a wonderful part of my childhood – I still get such a cozy feeling just looking at them. So, when my sister, Abby and I decided to exchange little handmade Thanksgiving books last year, I chose the Dick and Jane theme for the “We Give Thanks” book I made for Fran.
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you, God, for everything.
First I photocopied illustrations from a Dick and Jane reprint that I’d bought a few years ago at Wal-Mart (these reprints were from the 1950s’ editions). I also have 2 copies of original editions, and I wish I had used them to copy because the pictures are much better. A copy of a copy is very often not a good thing. But anyway, I selected pictures that I thought would illustrate the prayer we learned in Kindergarten at Mingo School (before our schools became so God-less).
The title “We Give Thanks” is in keeping with the Dick and Jane series, for instance, “We Work and Play”, “We Look and See”, “We Come and Go”, etc.
To give it the feel of a board book, I made my own chipboard pages from a Coca-Cola carton. I probably should’ve rounded the edges slightly.
The background layout for the illustrations were enlarged and photocopied prose pages from the Dick and Jane books. The edges were distressed with blue ink; brown might’ve been better.
For the prayer itself, I photocopied a page of old penmanship-style scrapbook paper. Now I realize that I could’ve bought a whole tablet of that paper at Dollar General for about $1.00. Anyway,to get the look of children’s printing, I used a pencil in my left hand (I am right-handed). As you can see from the “Thank you God for everything” page, I accidentally wrote “Lord”. I need to fix that.
To finish, I punched 3 holes on each page and used blue gingham ribbon to bind it. On the back I used a “Handmade by” stamp and signed my name.
Now I think I’ll make one to keep for myself.