Friday, November 28, 2014

30 Days of Diverse Picture Books - Ruby's School Walk by Kathryn White

It's Day 27 of our 30 Days of Diverse Picture Books. You know, sometimes I go along in my little bubble, forgetting how hateful the world can be. And then I'm brought up short by something like social media, where I was informed yesterday that I am "close minded", prejudiced and raising my son to have racial biases. All of which was said "in love". And that reminds me why it's necessary for us to have diverse books - because there are many, many points of view, and intolerance has no place in this world.

So, moving on. Tonight's book is Ruby's School Walk by Kathryn White, part of the series of Ruby books published by Barefoot Books. Sprout saw me preparing to write about Ruby's School Walk and wanted to make sure I mentioned that he likes the pictures best. They really are super adorable, so there wasn't much need for the reminder! Still, he's a fan of illustrator Miriam Latimer's style, as am I - whimsical yet realistic, a great accompaniment to White's story about all the crazy things Ruby sees on her walk to school.

For this is no ordinary school walk, ladies and gentlement. Oh no - Ruby's seeing crocodiles and witches and tigers (where there actually are innocuous, everyday things, of course. Right?). This makes the walk all that more adventurous, but we soon see that Ruby's repeated phrase, "I must be brave, I must be strong" has more to do with the reassurance she needs to get through the school day. Luckily her sweet mama's got Ruby's back, giving her a gentle boost that helps strengthen Ruby's flagging confidence.

Ruby's School Walk is equal parts fun and affirming, a great blend in a package that will make kids smile. And really, in a world that can be unkind, isn't that what we all can use?

Ruby's School Walk by Kathryn White, published by Barefoot Books

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