STARRED REVIEW
April 24, 2018

A march of solidarity

By Kerascoët
Review by

Sometimes the best way to address kindness is through actions, not words. I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness (ages 4 to 8) is a wordless picture book that does just that. A young black girl has just moved to town and started school. As she walks home after school, feeling lonely, a white boy bullies her, his mouth snarling, the emotionally explosive confrontation surrounded by an angry sea of red. A classmate with brown skin and straight hair watches the exchange and is left shaken and saddened as she watches the newcomer run home in tears.

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Sometimes the best way to address kindness is through actions, not words. I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness (ages 4 to 8) is a wordless picture book that does just that. A young black girl has just moved to town and started school. As she walks home after school, feeling lonely, a white boy bullies her, his mouth snarling, the emotionally explosive confrontation surrounded by an angry sea of red. A classmate with brown skin and straight hair watches the exchange and is left shaken and saddened as she watches the newcomer run home in tears.

The next morning, this thoughtful classmate is waiting for the bullied girl at her front door, taking her hand and escorting her to school. Soon there’s an entourage as others join the growing procession, until the newcomer, lonely no more, is surrounded by a sea of new friends.

This simple, touching story comes to life in the hands of Kerascoët, the pen name for the French husband-and-wife illustration team of Marie Pommepuy and Sébastien Cosset. Their simply drawn characters are filled with energy and expression, powerfully showing the angst of being bullied and the joy of solidarity and friendship.

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I Walk with Vanessa

I Walk with Vanessa

By Kerascoët
Schwartz & Wade
ISBN 9781524769550

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