Dear Mr. President

Owlkids. Sept. 2019. 40p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771473910.
Gr 2-4–After hearing about the president’s plans to build a wall to keep “undesirable” people out, young Sam decides that he needs a wall, too, and begins writing letters to the president about his grievances. Sam shares his room with his older brother, “who exactly fits your description of an undesirable person,” and believes that a wall will solve his problems. When Sam’s brother begins to consider his feelings, the tide turns and the siblings start communicating and treating each other with respect. Sam discovers that a big brother can be helpful after all and writes to the president that he will be dropping “the whole wall idea.” Told entirely through impressionable young Sam’s letters, the story conveys a strong message—that the president is abusing his position of power. The line and watercolor illustrations leave no doubt as to Sam’s country and president, and the final, wordless image of one brother boosting the other over a wall to reach a kite speaks volumes.
VERDICT A good lesson in using communication and compromise to solve problems and not being afraid to admit mistakes. Also, this is a fine example of letter writing—no rambling, misspelled tweets here!

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