My Writing and Reading Life Interview with Linda Meeker
The Children’s Book Review
Linda Meeker of @greyandmama stumbled upon social media popularity as she shared sweet videos of her son Grey learning to say “thank you.” Expressing gratitude was a value instilled in Linda as a child raised in a Vietnamese family, so she was delighted that the simple act of her toddler saying “thank you” received such a reaction on TikTok and Instagram. Linda, her husband, and Grey live in Seattle, Washington.
I write because …
It is a moment that is just mine.
I read because …
It reminds me that the world is big and vast and so much greater than just me.
My latest published book is …
It is my first children’s book about the exploration and curiosity of food, family, culture, gratitude, and food as a love language.
I wrote this book because …
I grew up feeling embarrassed about bringing my mom’s food to school lunch because ‘they looked weird and smelled weird’. But I didn’t understand then just how important these foods would be in shaping the person I’d become. This book is for that little girl who looked for representation, and it’s for all the kids like Grey, who now have that representation.
And I really do believe that having gratitude for your food and everything else around you is just such a great way to live—it invites so much perspective and joy into your life.
Best moment …
Since the book has launched would be all of the personal stories we’ve received. The response has been overwhelming. And it’s been the privilege of my entire life to hear that children (and their parents) feel seen—that their culture and food are recognized and celebrated.
My special place to write is …
In my backyard, curled up in my oversized patio chair. I love to sip on some iced coffee while listening to the birds chirp. It is pure bliss.
Necessary writing/creativity tool …
Natural lighting. I absolutely cannot write with overhead lighting – 5 minutes in and I have the worst headache! Oh and licorice. There’s just something about simultaneously chewing on licorice and writing…
The person who has been my greatest writing teacher or inspiration is …
Definitely my mother. She raised 5 kids, lived in a country where she doesn’t speak the language, and somehow managed to navigate life as a young widow. She never learned how to read or write, and as a child, I remember reading books to her, just so she could ‘hear the words.’ Everything I have done in life is for her and because of her.
Currently reading …
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner. I could barely get through the first chapter without crying.
Favorite bookshop …
Is this tiny little bookstore in Covent Garden, London. I studied abroad in college and it was one of my favorite places to go. I would wander around the book aisles for hours just daydreaming about my future life. Spoiler alert: my real life is even better than I could have imagined.
All-time favorite children’s book I didn’t write…
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.
This was one of the first books that Grey memorized because he loved it so much.
Favorite illustrator …
Is Mari Andrew.
Her work is so effortless and whimsical, and somehow her illustrations just feel… freeing.
A literary character I would like to vacation with …
Rachel Chu, of course! Can you imagine the vacations?!
When I am not reading or writing I am …
Having a picnic at the park, cooking, or trying out a new restaurant. Basically, the majority of my life revolves around food.
About the Book
Written by Linda Meeker
Illustrated by Sandra Eide
Ages 1-6 | 40 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson | ISBN-13: 978-1400231454
Publisher’s Synopsis: TikTok and viral video star Grey (@greyandmama) says “Thank you, Mama!” to healthy foods in this picture book that teaches gratitude, manners, and the joy of sharing meals with those we love.
We all want to raise happy eaters who enjoy trying new foods, mealtimes with family, and being thankful. That’s why so many parents love Linda Meeker’s charming videos of her son Grey saying “Thank you, Mama!” With colorful illustrations that capture a child’s daily snacks and mealtimes, Thank You, Mama will delight parents and kids alike as it follows a little boy exploring different foods—from vegetables to sushi—and trying to pick his favorite.
This playful picture book for 3- to 7-year-olds
- encourages children to try new foods and become happy, healthy eaters
- honors the bond between parent and child
- models respect, manners, and thankfulness
- builds vocabulary and prereading skills with colorful food illustrations paired with words for each item
This debut children’s book from TikTok and Instagram stars Grey and Mama (@greyandmama, 7M followers) is the perfect story for
- Parents and grandparents who want to instill good habits and gratitude from a young age
- Any family eager to celebrate the love of food and family that develops over shared meals
- Baby showers, birthdays, holiday gift-giving, or to a little one scared to try new foods
This cheerful story about an adorable, curious, and kind child will have your kids saying “thank you”—and maybe even giving those peas a chance!
Buy the Book
Discover more books like Thank You, Mama, written by Linda Meeker and illustrated by Sandra Eide, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with Gratitude, Healthy Eating Books for Kids, Manners, and Picture Book. Be sure to follow along with our Writing and Reading Life series.
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May 26, 2022 at 08:58PM Bianca Schulze