Walk with Me
Written by Jairo Buitrago
Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng
Translated by Elisa Amado
Publication Date March 01, 2017
A simple, imaginative story depicting the complex emotional reality of a girl whose father no longer lives at home.
The girl conjures up an imaginary companion — a lion — who will join her on the long walk home from school. He will help her to pick up her baby brother from daycare and shop at the store (which has cut off the family’s credit), and he’ll keep her company all along the way until she is safely home. He will always come back when she needs him, unlike her father whom she sees only in a photograph — a photograph in which he clearly resembles a lion.
Jairo Buitrago is a children’s book author who has collaborated with Rafael Yockteng on several picture books, including Jimmy the Greatest! (six starred reviews) and Two White Rabbits, available in Spanish as Dos conejos blancos (three starred reviews). They won the “A la Orilla del Viento” contest (Fondo de Cultura Económica de México) for the Spanish edition of Walk with Me, which was also named to IBBY’s Honor List. Their books have appeared on “Los mejores libros del año” (Venezuela’s Banco del Libro), Kirkus Best Books, the Horn Book Fanfare and in the White Ravens Catalogue. Jairo lives in Mexico.
Rafael Yockteng has illustrated many highly acclaimed children’s books, including Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup by Jorge Argueta (USBBY Outstanding International Books), and Jimmy the Greatest! (which received six starred reviews) and Two White Rabbits (which received three starred reviews) by Jairo Buitrago. Together, Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng have won the “A la Orilla del Viento” contest (Fondo de Cultura Económica de México), and their books have been included in IBBY’s Honor List, “Los mejores libros del año” (Venezuela’s Banco del Libro), Kirkus Best Books, the Horn Book Fanfare and the White Ravens Catalogue. Rafael lives in Colombia.
Elisa Amado is a Guatemalan-born author and translator. She has written Barrilete: A Kite for the Day of the Dead / Un barrilete para el Día de los muertos, Cousins (Primas) and Tricycle (El triciclo), which is on the Américas Award Commended List and is a USBBY Outstanding International Book. She is also the author of Why Are You Doing That?. She lives in Toronto.
"Emotionally resonant in the loveliest of ways." Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
"With guided discussion, youngsters can see beyond the deceptive simplicity of this poignant story. A strong choice for all collections." School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
"The duo behind Two White Rabbits returns with another compassionate portrait of a child negotiating difficult circumstances with grace." Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
"The richly colored, expressionistic multimedia illustrations add a great deal of depth to the minimal text." Booklist
""Walk With Me" is refreshingly original, consistently entertaining, and very highly recommended." Midwest Book Review
"Buitrago and Yockteng present a beautiful and complex story of courage and hope where there seems to be none." Horn Book