Can I Sit with You?

Chronicle. Mar. 2021. 44p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781452164649.
PreS-Gr 2–A young child and a stray dog find comfort and companionship in one another in this moving tale of unconditional love. Throughout the highs, lows, and in-betweens, the pair enjoy life together. Their connection helps ease the loneliness of tough school days and elevates the joy of experiencing new adventures. The transformative power of the dog’s steadfast friendship builds the foundation for the child to open up to others and stand stronger. While the child grows both in age and independence, the dog’s loyalty never falters. The purity of the dog’s devotion is rewarded with the now older child’s return and their mutual affection. Like a reassuring lullaby, the poetic text is graceful and earnest: “And even if you wander, ramble or roam, I know looking high and low can show you what you left at home.” The expressive illustrations succeed in reinforcing the heartfelt tone of the story through softly blended watercolors and pastels. The child has pale skin and black hair, and inhabits a diverse world with background characters depicted in a range of skin tones and hair colors.
VERDICT A touching ode to the formative experience of learning to love and being loved in return.

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