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Marlo Thomas & Friends
Free to be You and Me by Marlo Thomas and Friends First published in 1974, "Free To Be You and Me" is still one of the best books for challenging stereotypes and one that honors and accepts the uniqueness of everyone. This book, a collection of poems, stories, illustrations and songs, is a celebration of diversity, hope, love and community. It encourages us ...TO BE.

Excerpt from the Forward by Marlo Thomas

Dear You,

Well, hello! How marvelous to see you (again).

If you are a grown-up who first read this book 34 years ago -- and are now opening to this page, possibly with your own child snuggled on your lap -- welcome back! You look fabulous.

And if you are a child cracking open Free to Be . . . You and Me for the very first time, I'll tell you what I told those original readers: I want you to make a wreck of this book. Bend back the corners on the pages you like best. Write your name on the inside cover or any other place you like. Maybe even put a few stickers on the back. A year from now I want to know that you've touched this book -- lived it, loved it, cared for it, and shared it -- the way I hope it touches you.

Free to Be . . . You and Me first began with my niece, Dionne, when she was only five years old. Dionne had asked me to read her a bedtime story, and going though her book shelf I was shocked to discover that most of her storybooks were written to do just that: put her -- and her mind -- to sleep!

What also surprised me about Dionne's storybooks was that all of the characters in them were so . . . perfect. They talked alike and acted alike, and practically all of the girls married a prince and the boys slayed a dragon and, of course, lived happily ever after.

But what I was most shocked to see was that all of the books talked about what girls and boys should be, instead of what they could be. That's never a good thing. "Should" is a small and bossy word. "Could" is as big and beautiful as the sky.

So my friends and I got together to create a different kind of book -- "a party of a book," we called it -- for all of the Dionnes in the world, and all the Donnys, too. We wanted a book that would show every child how special they are. And we wanted to let them know that each of their Happily Ever Afters could and would be different.

And exciting.

And their own.

As you'll soon discover (or rediscover), each of the stories and songs and poems in this book is a little adventure -- and the adventure is yours. You can stop and start them whenever you want, or replay them a million times. Sort of like the DVD in your house -- only it doesn't plug in. And the best thing is, even when you're not holding the book, you can still play it in your head.

You'll also notice that, even though the characters in this book have names that are different from yours, they're really all about you. That's right -- each story, each sentence, each word in Free to Be . . . You and Me was written to remind you that you're the hero of your own life adventure, and that you can write your story any way that you dream it can be....

ORDER HARDCOVER (2008 Edition)

Free To Be You and Me DVD DVD Now Available
Thanks & Giving

Track Listings:
1. All Kinds of People
Sheryl Crow
2. The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage
David Hyde Pierce
3. I Want It!
Uncle Kracker & Marlo Thomas
4. Teeny Meany
James Earl Jones & Marlo Thomas
5. An Attitude of Gratitude
Jimmy Buffett
6. A Different Aladdin
Billy Crystal
7. A Smile Connects Us
Kermit the Frog
8. The Thing About Generosity
Marlo Thomas
9. Unsung Heroes
Wayne Brady
10. Josie's First Allowance Day
Rosie Perez
11. The Little Stuff
Marlo Thomas
12. The Nothingest Girl in the World
Sarah Jessica Parker
13. (I'll Give) Anything But Up!
Hilary Duff
14. Point of View
Robin Williams
15. You Know My Brother (He's So Heavy)
The Bacon Brothers
16. Cheesybreadville.
Antonio Banderas
17. Snow, Aldo
Jennifer Aniston
18. Sing Me the Story of Your Day
Faith Hill
19. A Tale of Two Friends
Bert, Ernie & Marlo Thomas
20. Thank Someone
Amy Grant & John Hiatt

by Marlo Thomas and Friends

Did you ever
dream of talking to a mermaid?

Can you imagine
facing off with a bully who
barely reaches your knees?

What would you do
with a box of golden coins?

Have you ever
said thank you to...a button?

And how would you respond if you met a magic genie who asked you for a handout instead of granting you a wish?

Free to Be...You and Me creator Marlo Thomas has once again produced a joyful volume for children and the grown-ups in their lives. Reaching into the heads and hearts of our most acclaimed writers, artists, and performers, Thanks & Giving celebrates the best things in life -
family, friendship, giving, thankfulness, and love (and just for fun, a few of their opposites -
stinginess, bullying, ingratitude, and the occasional urge to stamp your feet and throw a fit).

From Tiger Woods and Maurice Sendak to Hilary Duff and Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo, this colorful collection of stories, poems, and songs will take readers on a lighthearted and thoughtful (but never overserious) adventure. Whether you're gazing at the brilliant child's-eye paintings of illustrator Eric Carle, or laughing out loud at the off-the-wall humor of Mel Brooks, you'll enjoy every step of the magical journey that the creators of Thanks & Giving have planned for you:

•Delight in Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith's fractured fable starring a mouse, a bird, and a sausage who learn all about sharing -
the hard way.

•Hold on tight as Rosie Perez recounts the tale of a little girl confronted with a heart-stopping decision.

•Rock along with Kevin and Michael Bacon's funky valentine to sibling rivalry and brotherly love.

•And laugh with Ray Romano as he reveals how his life was changed by a giant burrito.

Designed for both cover-to-cover reading and selective excerpting (when you can't refuse that last impassioned call for "One more story!" just before lights-out), this sparkling anthology also includes marvelous contributions from Avi, Shel Silverstein, Tom Chapin, Arthur creator Marc Brown, Matt Groening, Deepak Chopra, Donald Trump, Frankie Muniz, Walter Dean Myers, Paul Newman, Sumner Redstone, Jerry Pinkney, Whoopi Goldberg, Sonia Manzano, the Sesame Street Muppets, Julianne Moore, Ed Koren, Wendy Wasserstein, and Paul O. Zelinsky.
--Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing November 2004