Reviews for I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness

by Kerascoet

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In this wordless story, brown-skinned newcomer Vanessa is bullied by a white boy as she walks home alone from school. A girl classmate witnesses the abuse; the next morning she walks to school with Vanessa and they're joined by more supporters. Watercolor and ink illustrations excel at communicating emotions; a mix of vignettes and full-page illustrations expertly controls the pacing. Bullying-related resources are appended. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In this wordless book, new girl Vanessa, shy and withdrawn, becomes a bully's target after school and finally runs home in tears.Another little girl sees it happen and is concerned enough to tell all of her friends, who also become concerned and wander home, sad for Vanessa. The observant girl stays up late, worrying, and the next morning, has the idea to go to Vanessa's house and offer to walk her to school, which she does. They're joined by one more kid, then another, and another, until a smiling throng accompanies Vanessa to school, with the bully skulking away. (Adult readers may recall a similar real-life scenario that took place at Baylor University in 2016, when a black student was racially bullied and then 300 students walked her to class.) In this book, Vanessa is black, and the protagonist has light brown skin and straight black hair. The bully is white, and the rest of the students are different ethnicities and races. Kerascot's sweet, charming illustrations do the talking in this bookno words appear, and none are needed. Each page is lovingly and respectfully drawn using a lot of white space, spare application of bright watercolor, and thick ink linework kept simple but loaded with impact and emotion. Tips for children on helping a target of bullying and language for adults to use when talking about bullying with children follow the story.A wonderfully illustrated, hopeful book that can help caregivers tackle an emotionally fraught subject with even very young children. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.