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I Walk With Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness
Contributor(s): Kerascoet
ISBN: 152476955X     ISBN-13: 9781524769550
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
    OUR PRICE: $16.20  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: April 2018
Annotation: A wordless story inspired by real events follows the actions of a little girl who inspires her community to stand up to bullying when a classmate is treated badly and she chooses to stand by her side, an act of kindness that leads to greater acceptance, understanding and the discovery of strength in numbers. By the illustrators of Malala's Magic Pencil.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Stories without words.
Bullying; Fiction.
Schools; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Bullying
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Prejudice & Racism
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Friendship
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 2017010331
Academic/Grade Level: Kindergarten, Ages 5-6
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 11.25" H x 9.50" W x 0.50" (1.02 lbs)
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #1)
In this wordless, emotion-infused story, brown-skinned newcomer Vanessa is bullied by a blond-haired white boy as she walks home alone from school. The book may be wordless, but the illustrations clearly transmit that the words the boy uses are ugly ones: his mouth twists unnaturally out of shape, and the space around the two children turns an angry red. The only witness to the abuse is one of Vanessa's classmates; this girl tells her friends about it and then, pensive and distressed, muses on the situation late into the night. The next morning at breakfast, she gets an idea: she goes to Vanessa's house so that they can walk to school together. As they walk, hand in hand, they are joined by more and more children until an entire double-page spread is filled with enthusiastic Vanessa supporters. The bully is shown in a corner of the page, red-faced and frowning, facing the wrong direction, isolated and out of step. The watercolor and ink illustrations excel at communicating the characters' emotions; a mix of vignettes and full-page illustrations expertly controls the pacing. Back matter includes one note for children on how to help someone who is being bullied and a second one for adults with helpful vocabulary to use when talking about bullying with young people. Purposeful as can be, but affecting and effective. martha v. parravano Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 December #2)

In this powerful wordless tale by the French duo Kerascoët (Paul and Antoinette), a child reaches out to a fellow pupil who has been bullied. Vanessa isn't the only child of color in her school, but she is new; the teacher introduces her, and she sits by herself. On the way home, she's accosted by a boy with yellow hair, cries, and runs back to her house. Another girl sees what has happened, and, in an important series of vignettes, the artists make it clear how much the incident upsets her—one nighttime spread shows both girls awake and despondent in their bedrooms. In the morning, the girl invites Vanessa to walk to school with her, and they are soon joined by other children. It's not a story about bullying per se—although Vanessa's pain is evident, her emotions are not its focus. Instead, it looks at stepping up and being an ally. The wordless pages and small, toylike figures make this a good choice for young children who can work out for themselves what has happened, what Vanessa's new friend does, and why it works. Ages 4–8. Agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (Feb.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 December)

PreS-Gr 3—A picture book without words, but with images that speak volumes. This story, inspired by true events, follows Vanessa along her journey as the new kid in school. Like most new students, she feels nervous and even unwelcome at first, and she is treated unkindly on her walk home. Another child notices the bullying and decides to befriend Vanessa the very next day. What happens next is unexpected and quite beautiful as the whole school comes together to stand by Vanessa and show how a small act of kindness can unite an entire community. Created by a husband-and-wife team of illustrators who are known for their work on the critically acclaimed graphic novel Beautiful Darkness and most recently the picture book Malala's Magic Pencil, Kerascoët's latest book is powerful in its simplicity. The illustrations explore the various feelings of hurt, powerlessness, and anger that arise when being bullied or witnessing bullying, and the many positive feelings that accompany acts of acceptance and inclusion. A special afterword with advice for children and adults on how to help those who may be bullied or hurt is appended. The message is powerful: one small act can make a difference and change the world. VERDICT A simple, beautiful story with an empowering lesson and call to action. Recommended for every library.—Elizabeth Blake, Brooklyn Public Library

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.