A sad, disturbing but important book to read for adults as well as children.
Summary from the publisher:
A simple, imaginative story depicting the complex emotional reality of a girl whose father no longer lives at home.
The girl conjures up an imaginary companion — a lion — who will join her on the long walk home from school. He will help her to pick up her baby brother from daycare and shop at the store (which has cut off the family’s credit), and he’ll keep her company all along the way until she is safely home. He will always come back when she needs him, unlike her father whom she sees only in a photograph — a photograph in which he clearly resembles a lion.
Walk With Me was written by Jairo Buitrago and illustrated by Rafael Yockteng. It was published in 2017 by Groundwood Books.
Keep me company on the way home,
then I can have someone to talk to so I don’t fall asleep
on the long walk out of the city.
My Thoughts as a Writer:
A nice example of a simple text that provides a glimpse of a child who imagines as lion as her companion to help her feel safe. A lovely way to show a difficult life that may resonate with many young children.
My Thoughts as a Teacher:
This story shows the reality of life for some children and a way to cope through imagination. There is a disturbing scene that depicts a man lying on the ground and a woman screaming, which may require a preview by the teacher and some thinking about how to respond to student discussion. Students may need guidance to make a connection between the picture with her father at the end and the lion that keeps her safe. A important book for a teacher's collection.
Ages: 5 - 12
Grades: K – Grade 5
Themes: emotions, hardship, family
If you were to have an imaginary animal to help you through your daily life, which animal would you choose? Paint a picture of your animal.