Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Review - You Hold Me Up

You Hold Me Up
by Monique Gray Smith
illustrated by Danielle Daniel
Date: 2017
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 18
Format: e-book
Source: library

This vibrant picture book, beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Danielle Daniel, encourages children to show love and support for each other and to consider each other's well-being in their everyday actions.

Consultant, international speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers and educators about reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with their friends, classmates and families. This is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest citizens.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I feel bad about not being able to give this book a higher rating. The intention with which it was written was good. The text and message are fine, laudable even. So what's the problem?

I really didn't like the pictures. The very first one looked to me like the woman was side-eyeing the reader, and that was kind of the feeling I had myself as I went through the rest of it. The illustrations are very basic, and look almost like they were done by a child. Everybody's skin is blotchy, to the point where I wondered if they had some sort of medical condition. I think I would have found the illustrations unnerving when I was a child.

It may just be a matter of personal preference, but with the narrative being as thin as it is, I can't really justify giving this picture book any higher of a rating... since I didn't like the pictures at all.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 1/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2.17 out of 5

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