I saw this book in the Peabody Library and was immediately drawn to it. The illustrations in this book, created by Christopher Denise, are intricate, colorful, and heartwarming. They go along beautifully with the text, advancing the story by demonstrating so much emotion through facial expressions and colors.
Published in 2013, Me with You by Kristy Dempsey centers on the theme of friendship, specifically between a grandfather and his granddaughter. Each page depicts a different event, demonstrating the different roles that the daughter and her father have within their friendship. No matter what the event may be, positive or negative, the pair is always working together and looking out for each other. From cheering each other on during a baseball game, to keeping each other company when they’re feeling sick, this grandpa is always by his granddaughter’s side; even when she has trouble sharing her toys or simply feels discouraged. Without a central plot or complex character development, this simple book is perfect for very young students, specifically ones who are learning to regulate their emotions.
In addition, the book does a great job of demonstrating the importance of being an individual, in that it is great to have interests and hobbies that are different than those of the people around you. Both characters make time to participate in separate activities, due to some of their dissimilar hobbies. While the young bear is off with friends at a summer camp, her grandfather enjoys caring for his garden.
For students who might be unable to relate to having a strong relationship with grandparents, this story can easily be narrated as a father and daughter instead.
I absolutely adored this book, and believe that it will be extremely relatable for grandparents, parents, and children alike.