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You Hold Me Up

by Monique Gray Smith

Other authors: Danielle Daniel (Illustrator)

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321880,018 (3.81)None
An evocative picture book intended to foster reconciliation among children and encourage them to show each other love and support.
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Note: I received a finished hardcover copy of this book from the publisher at the 2022 ALA Annual conference. ( )
  fernandie | Sep 15, 2022 |
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. ( )
  fernandie | Sep 15, 2022 |
What does it mean to hold someone up? This book affirms the importance and power of acts of kindness and connection.
  BLTSbraille | Oct 25, 2021 |
"Asimple recitation of the ways that people can be supportive of one another.

“This book was written in the spirit of reconciliation and is dedicated to the children, families and staff of Aboriginal Head Start programs.” That is the dedication; at the end, there is a longer note about notorious Indian Residential schools, where, for over 150 years, indigenous children in Canada were humiliated and abused. In between, all the words and art offer a warm and positive message. Simple and pointed phrases are printed boldly on white or pastel backgrounds on half of each double-page spread, with stylized, bright, watercolor illustrations on each opposing page. Each brown- or tan-skinned face has cheeks with outlined, bright pink circles; other features are sweetly expressive lines of ink, sometimes including little hearts for mouths. Birds, flowers, and gaily patterned wallpapers add to a feeling of contentment and communal power. The image of an adult and two children, eyes closed, singing outside by moonlight and beating on drums, is especially strong, as is an illustration of two hugging children of different skin colors and hair types. The titular phrase “You hold me up,” followed by simple words such as “when you listen to me,” is used several times until the final pages, where it is replaced by “I hold you up” and “We hold each other up.” A final, multigenerational picnic is lovely.

Calming, positive, and serenely affirmative. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)" www.kirkusreviews.com
  CDJLibrary | Sep 30, 2021 |
diverse picture book (love among families and friends; preschoolers ages 2 and up)
* Prominently features diverse characters: according to the author's note, this book was inspired by and written partly for Canada's First Nations populations impacted by the Indian Residential boarding schools (in which kids as young as 5 were taken away from their families and dumped in these school with very little in the way of support, dating from the 1880s all the way to 1996). Most if not all of the people depicted in the illustrations could belong to one of those groups, with dark, straight-hair and medium-dark skintone; a few of the kids look like they could be black.
* A sweet book for preschool storytime (maybe toddlers too, if they are used to sitting for longer, quiet stories). Beautiful illustrations and short, sweet text make this great for caretakers to share with their little ones too (either as a one-on-one readaloud or as quiet, pre-walker storytime fare). ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Monique Gray Smithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Daniel, DanielleIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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An evocative picture book intended to foster reconciliation among children and encourage them to show each other love and support.

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