FICTION

Walk with Me

tr. from Spanish by Elisa Amado. illus. by Rafael Yockteng. 32p. Groundwood. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554988570.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarGr 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.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.