Walk with Me

by Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng

“Keep me company on the way home,” a girl says to a big, thickly maned... read more

“Keep me company on the way home,” a girl says to a big, thickly maned lion. The lion does as she makes the long journey by foot to the outskirts of the large city where she lives. She imagines herself riding on the lion’s back. She picks up a younger sibling at child care and stops at the store “that won’t give us credit anymore” for food, inviting the lion to eat the meal she prepares. She tells the lion he can wait until “Mama gets home from the factory,” or return to the hills. “But then come back when I call.” Against a somber backdrop— crowded city, spare, rundown apartment—the child finds strength and solace in imagination. There are moments of humor in the images—people around her stunned by the lion’s presence—while a final image of great poignancy shows a bedside photograph of her father, absent from her real life, with a thick mane of hair. Thoughtful and moving, this work invites both discussion about what is happening in the story and reflection on imagination and resiliency. This dynamic author/illustrator duo are from Mexico City and Bogotá and signs in the illustrations (on buses, buildings, etc.) are in Spanish. (Ages 7-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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