Each month, the Chancellor selects a children’s book that she feels is inspirational and informative for the students, parents, and staff members who make up the City’s public schools. For past book selections, review the “Book of the Month” category right here on The Morning Bell.

The Thank You Book
By Mo Willems
Hyperion Books for Children, 2016

In The Thank You Book, Piggie decides she is one lucky pig and sets out to thank everyone who is important to her. “Everyone?” asks best friend, Gerald the Elephant. “No way! You will forget someone.” Undeterred, Piggie embarks on a “thank-o-rama.” She thanks Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and Pigeon for never giving up. She also thanks Mouse, Birdies, Rhino, Hippo’s Big Sister, Barky Dog, Pelican, and others for being great friends. Still, Gerald is concerned that Piggie has forgotten someone, and she actually almost does. In a sweet twist at the end, we are reminded that we wouldn’t be who we are without the wonderful people who grace our lives.


This book is the final installment in Mo Willems’ popular Elephant and Piggie series. Whether you are longtime Elephant and Piggie fans or are reading this as a standalone book, this simple story will touch your heart.

This book was selected as June’s Book of the Month because the end of the school year is the perfect time to thank the people who have made a difference in our lives. “Thank you” is something we don’t say often enough. We assume that our colleagues, friends, and family members know how much we appreciate them, and too often, don’t think to tell them. But as this book illustrates, “thank yous” create energy and engage people. Thanking someone actually triggers “feel good” hormones in the brains of both the person doing the thanking and the person receiving it.

With that said, take a page out of Elephant and Piggie’s book and start a “thank-o-rama” in your child’s school. Thank your child’s teachers, counselors, aides (if any), administrators, lunch staff members, and volunteers who worked with your child over the past school year. Likewise, make the two words, “thank you” a regular part of your family’s vocabulary, and encourage your child to thank his or her teacher.

And thank YOU for your readership and ongoing support of our schools. As Elephant says, speaking on behalf of himself and Piggie, “We could not be ‘us’ without you.”

Posted by Carmen Fariña

Former Chancellor of NYC Schools, lifelong educator, native Brooklynite, and proud abuela.