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

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.

Kerascoët, a husband-and-wife team, are the illustrators of the highly acclaimed graphic novel Beautiful Darkness by Fabie Vehlmann, which was chosen by Publishers Weekly as a 2014 Best Book of the Year, and the New York Times bestselling Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein. Kirkus called Kerascoët's artwork "perfectly delightful" in a starred review of their book Paul and Antoinette. They are also the illustrators of Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, to be published in fall 2017. Visit them at kerascoet.fr.

In this wordless story, a dark-skinned girl (Vanessa) arrives in class and is shown a seat. She spends most of her day alone, but after school, a blond boy approaches, yelling and provoking tears. Another girl observes this interaction and becomes upset. The next morning, she stops at Vanessa's house to accompany her to school. As they walk along, other children join them, and everyone arrives at school as a cohesive group, minus the now isolated bully. French duo Marie Pommepuy and Sébastien Cosset (Paul and Antoinette, 2016), aka Kerascoët, here share a story that demonstrates how simple acts of kindness can turn a bullying situation around. The ink-and-watercolor artwork uses full color for the children (focusing on their expressive faces), and often mutes (or omits) the backgrounds. Comics conventions are used to good effect, and the final spreads feature the large, ethnically diverse cast of children. Appended with notes about bullying, this will be a welcome addition to the choose-kindness shelf. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

In this wordless book, new girl Vanessa, shy and withdrawn, becomes a bully's target after school and finally runs home in tears.Another little girl sees it happen and is concerned enough to tell all of her friends,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. Kerascoët's sweet, charming illustrations do the talking in this book—no 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 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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