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Walk with Me
Cover of Walk with Me
Walk with Me

A simple, imaginative story depicting the complex emotional reality of a girl whose father no longer lives at home.

A simple, imaginative story depicting the complex emotional reality of a girl whose father no longer lives at home.

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    1 - 2

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About the Author-
  • Jairo Buitrago is a children's book author who has collaborated with Rafael Yockteng on several picture books, including Jimmy the Greatest! (six starred reviews) and Two White Rabbits, available in Spanish as Dos conejos blancos (three starred reviews). They won the "A la Orilla del Viento" contest (Fondo de Cultura Económica de México) for the Spanish edition of Walk with Me, which was also named to IBBY's Honor List. Their books have appeared on "Los mejores libros del año" (Venezuela's Banco del Libro), Kirkus Best Books, the Horn Book Fanfare and in the White Ravens Catalogue. Jairo lives in Mexico.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 6, 2017
    The duo behind Two White Rabbits returns with another compassionate portrait of a child negotiating difficult circumstances with grace. The narrator, an unnamed girl with shaggy dark hair, is joined by an imposing lion as she makes her way through a rundown, smoggy city after school. Wherever they go, passersby look on with shock (some faint in fright). “Let’s go together into the neighborhood,” she says, “and into the store that won’t give us credit anymore.” (Here, the lion unleashes a mighty roar, and the shopkeeper quickly pushes two bags full of groceries to the girl.) Yockteng’s smudgy pencil drawings fill in many details left unsaid by Buitrago’s understated text; together they reveal a girl who quietly and capably handles the adult tasks set before her (picking up her baby brother, cooking dinner while her mother works). The closing revelation that the lion represents her absent father leaves readers with haunting and poignant questions; whether he has actually returned, briefly, or if the lion reflects her imagined wish for his companionship is left as open-ended as the unexplained reasons for his absence. Ages 4–7.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from January 1, 2017
    A lion accompanies a child on a walk home during a day in the city in this wistful tale of parental absence.The story begins with a simple gesture: a nameless, light-skinned child in a school uniform holds out a flower to a lion. "Keep me company on the way home," says the child. The lion then follows the child, terrifying adults--and delighting other kids--at school and on the city's streets all the way home. The pair dashes by crowded buses and cars, stops to pick up the child-narrator's younger sibling, and even shops at "the store that won't give us credit anymore." (Fortunately, the ferocious feline can help with the last difficulty.) At home, things start to settle down as the trio prepares a meal and waits for Mama to return from the factory. The day soon ends, and the lion departs, though the child-narrator hopes it returns when called. Similar to Buitrago and Yockteng's previous collaborations, the story ends on a poignant and unexpected note. The first-person narration tugs readers along with ease, deftly eliciting compassion from the performance of seemingly mundane tasks. Yockteng's muted illustrations depict the city as full of cracked buildings, drab colors, and expression captured in movement. Minor details in the pictures, including environmental print in Spanish, take readers in different directions all at once, adding to the low-key narration. Emotionally resonant in the loveliest of ways. (Picture book. 4-7)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2017

    Gr 1-4-A girl invites an imaginary lion, a metaphor for her missing father, to accompany her on her long walk home. Along the way, she must pick up her baby brother from child care and purchase groceries, and when they arrive home, she prepares dinner before her mother returns from the factory. The illustrations are all full-bleed spreads. Sketched in pencil, scanned, and then redrawn and colored digitally, they depict a run-down neighborhood, with buildings in disrepair and clothing drying on a rooftop near rabbit-ear antennas. The necessity for the young girl to assume so many adult tasks and the spare apartment with cracked walls, a broken cabinet, and one bed shared by mother and children are evidence of the poverty they experience in the absence of the girl's father. While the text contains no Spanish words, there are Spanish signs on buildings and advertisements, and though the time and place are not specified, there is much that can be inferred. In a family portrait, the father's bushy hair closely resembles the mane of the lion the girl invents to help her brave the difficult and scary aspects of her life. What might have happened to her father? Details in the illustrations hint at the many cases of "los desaparecidos" in Latin American history. How can readers cope with their own life challenges? VERDICT With guided discussion, youngsters can see beyond the deceptive simplicity of this poignant story. A strong choice for all collections.-Marianne Saccardi, Children's Literature Consultant, Cambridge, MA

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Groundwood Books Ltd
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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