Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Review - Walk with Me

Walk with Me
by Jairo Buitrago
illustrated by Rafael Yockteng
Date: 2017
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

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

The girl conjures up an imaginary companion, a lion, who will come with her on the long walk home from school. He will help her to pick up her baby brother from daycare and shop at the store (which has cut off the family’s credit), and he’ll keep her company all along the way until she is safe at home. He will always come back when she needs him, unlike the father whom she sees only in a photograph — a photograph in which he clearly resembles a lion.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

That was deeper than I was expecting. I didn't read the synopsis, which pretty much gives everything away. I'm glad I went into it without knowing too much; the emotional impact was greater.

The pictures depicting the results of the girl's imagination, are quite sweet. They also convey a sense of place (the story looks like it takes place somewhere in South America; I doubt you'd see a small child picking up her baby brother from daycare in most parts of North America). It's a nice little peek into the lives of other people, lives that might be very different from our own. But the emotions conveyed--especially in the last part of the book--are universal. Though it's not explicitly explained, we can draw our own conclusions, any of which are fairly emotional.

The depth of this little picture book surprised me. In a good way!

Quotable moment:

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

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.83 out of 5

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