Come with Me

A little girl, unnamed, is frightened by relentless news stories of "anger and hatred--People against people." She asks first her father (whose skin is white), then her mother (whose skin is brown), what she can do "to make the world a better place." Both parents wisely avoid lectures or pie-in-the-sky schemes, instead inviting their daughter to "come with me" on regular, everyday outings where they encounter a diverse collection of people "because one person doesn't represent a family or a race or the people of a land." The girl's papa tips his baseball hat to the people he meets, so the little girl does, too. The mama takes her to a busy multicultural market for their groceries. And at the end of the day, when the girl asks to walk the dog by herself, "[h]er parents looked at each other, and they looked at their child. They let her go, and sent a message to the world. They would not live in fear."

For adults who worry about how to keep the ugliness of daily news from seeping into the younger generation's spirits, yet also hope to instill them with a sense of responsibility to their world, there is no better place to start than Come with Me. Holly M. McGhee (Matilda, Bright & Tender) writes a parable about a family pushing back against powerlessness with bravery and friendship. Pascal Lemaître's (Do Not Open This Book!) ink and watercolor artwork is spare and affecting, capturing the sincere, kind expressions of the people in the girl's neighborhood. A balm for sore souls. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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