I Walk With Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness

by Kerascoet (Author)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Parents Magazine's "Best Book that Champions Kindness" of 2018!

This simple yet powerful picture book--from a New York Times bestselling husband-and-wife team--tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. By choosing only pictures to tell their story, the creators underscore the idea that someone can be an ally without having to say a word. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.

A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year

"This beautifully illustrated story shows young readers how to become caring and supportive upstanders. Love it!" --Trudy Ludwig, bestselling author of The Invisible Boy

Select format:
Hardcover
$17.99

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
"A wonderfully illustrated, hopeful book that can help caregivers tackle an emotionally fraught subject with even very young children. (Picture book. 4-8)"

School Library Journal

Starred Review

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, Kerascoet'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, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

In this powerful wordless tale by the French duo Kerascoet (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, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"A wonderfully illustrated, hopeful book that can help caregivers tackle an emotionally fraught subject with even very young children. "—Kirkus Reviews starred review

"A simple, beautiful story with an empowering lesson and call to action." —School Library Journal, starred review

"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." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Kerascoet
Kerascoët, a husband-and-wife team, are the illustrators of the picture book I Walk with Vanessa which received three starred reviews and was named The Best Picture Book of 2018 that Champions Kindness by Parents Magazine. They are also the illustrators of Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai which was highly acclaimed and a New York Times bestseller.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781524769550
Lexile Measure
-
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Schwartz & Wade Books
Publication date
April 24, 2018
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV039230 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Bullying
JUV039120 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Prejudice & Racism
Library of Congress categories
Stories without words
Friendship
Schools
Bullying
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Friendship
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Prejudice
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Bullying
Kindness
New York Public Library
Best Book of the Year 2018

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