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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Come With Me, written by Holly M. McGhee and illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre. G.P. Putnam's Sons, Random House. 2017. $23.99 ages 4 and up

"The girl and her papa
were brave and kind,
and that day
they won a tiny battle
over fear
for themselves
and for the people of
the world.
The news kept telling her
of anger and hatred."

Parents and teachers of all children are tasked these days with trying to appease the fears being expressed over what these children are seeing on daily news feeds. They hear about rage and increasing divisiveness at every turn. People hating people. People fighting verbally and physically to prove their way is the only way. Too many people in the world face war, cruel destruction and devastating weather. What can be done to ease the fears, stem the hatred, and seek a peaceful new way to deal with all of it?
One thing we are can be doing is building empathy and understanding in our homes and in our schools. Books like this one provide a pathway to conversation, and to feeling more powerful and capable in knowing that we can do 'something'.

The little one is concerned, and for good reason. She has serious questions for her parents about the state of her world. Each invites her along to show her there is much good in their world - that it need not be the painful and fearful place she sees projected on a television screen.

A walk to the subway, where concern is evident on most faces, has dad and daughter tipping their caps and offering a smile. It makes a small difference. A trip for mom and daughter to an international market to buy food for dinner offers a connection in their multicultural neighborhood. A chance to discuss with her parents the need for trying something on her own makes them nervous, but that fear is quashed to allow independence. Walking the dog with a neighbor child brings joy and understanding.

"One step
at a time,
they understood
what they could do
to make the world
a better place.

They could go on."

The message is clear, and heartfelt. The smallest positive action makes a difference ... to someone, somewhere. There are many wonderful moments in every day. We need to be aware of  them, and focus our attention there.

Here's an stirring post concerning the background for writing this lovely book.

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