Can I Sit with You?

by Sarah Jacoby (Author)

Can I Sit with You?
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

The story of a girl and a dog who discover how life transforms and expands with someone by your side. With lyrical text and stunning illustrations, this empathy read illustrates the power of friendship in the face of change.

Can I Sit with You? takes readers along one loyal dog's journey with the girl he's meant to be with, no matter how far she roams. This timeless picture book illustrates the importance of companionship and loyalty, and how engaging with others makes the world embrace you in return.

Full of playful, incredibly emotive illustrations.

Celebrates the importance of connection and unconditional love.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review

Pastel and watercolor illustrations brim with color and emotion, mirroring the protagonists’ light and occasional somber feelings with every page turn. Young readers will want to sit with this pair. They’re made for each other. (Picture book. 4-7).

Copyright 2021 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

A diminutive brown hound offers loyal companionship to a human no matter what the circumstances, a vow it voices in lyrical free verse through the refrain "Can I sit with you?" In opening pages, the alert dog, alone on the street, seems taken with a girl sporting straight black hair. "May I ask you a question?" it appears to inquire, and then launches into a lengthy, many-paged appreciation. Whether the girl is "brimming like a ringing bell" (she faces an intimidating throng of children), "lonely like an empty plate" (she walks with a lunch tray into a round, empty, gray space), crying and alone, or ready for a hug, the dog is game for an embrace. Finally, the two begin a life together and share a cozy armchair, the girl's face aglow with love. Watercolor and pastel artwork by Jacoby (Rabbit and the Motorbike) offers shifting, shimmering fields of color. Even the dog understands the emotional impact of the hues: "when you need a deep blue dark--/ Can I sit with you?" it says, planted by her side on a Prussian blue winter night. The dog doesn't worry when the girl meets friends or explores alone--"I'll understand the stray in you. It's in my nature, too"--offering a saintly, patient presence in this portrait of pure-hearted canine love. Ages 5-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2—A young child and a stray dog find comfort and companionship in one another in this moving tale of unconditional love. Throughout the highs, lows, and in-betweens, the pair enjoy life together. Their connection helps ease the loneliness of tough school days and elevates the joy of experiencing new adventures. The transformative power of the dog's steadfast friendship builds the foundation for the child to open up to others and stand stronger. While the child grows both in age and independence, the dog's loyalty never falters. The purity of the dog's devotion is rewarded with the now older child's return and their mutual affection. Like a reassuring lullaby, the poetic text is graceful and earnest: "And even if you wander, ramble or roam, I know looking high and low can show you what you left at home." The expressive illustrations succeed in reinforcing the heartfelt tone of the story through softly blended watercolors and pastels. The child has pale skin and black hair, and inhabits a diverse world with background characters depicted in a range of skin tones and hair colors. VERDICT A touching ode to the formative experience of learning to love and being loved in return.—Sophie Kenney, Aurora P.L., IL

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Charming watercolor illustrations, created with NuPastel and mixed media, deftly reveal their growing friendship and dependency. The gently rhyming text and engaging pictures will appeal to youngsters who have or want a dog of their own." -Booklist
Sarah Jacoby
Sarah Jacoby is the author of the beloved Forever or a Day and the illustrator of the acclaimed Rabbit and the Motorbike and The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown. She's won awards from The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, and Communication Arts, among others. She lives in Philadelphia, PA, with her family and the dog this book is dedicated to, Walt.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
March 20, 2021

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