Read a Book With Me by Lawrence Schimel

Read a Book With Me by Lawrence Schimel
Publisher: Beaming Books
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Will you read a book with me?

Antonio wants someone to read with him, but nobody seems to have any time–not his mom, not their neighbor, and not any of his friends on the street. It’s only when he looks in an unexpected place that he discovers the perfect reading partner, and a chance to make a new friend.

A celebration of the power of stories and communities, Read a Book with Me will remind audiences young and old that there’s nothing to bring people together like the power of a good book.

Why must grownups be so busy and distracted?

Antonio’s character development was wonderful. He was a lonely kid when I first met him, and I empathized with his struggle to find a grown-up who had the time and energy to read to him. What made me like him even more was how persistent he was in figuring out a solution to his problem. Yes, he was sad every time someone said no to him, but he never stopped trying to find someone who could help him. That was such a good message to send to young readers who might also wish the grownups in their lives could slow down and read to them sometimes!

I do wish this picture book had spent more time exploring Antonio’s relationship with his new friend. The storyline spent so much time building up to this moment that I was surprised by how soon it ended after they met. There was so much more the author could have done with these characters. If they had been given more time to develop, I would have happily gone with a much higher rating.

Some of my favorite scenes were the ones that quietly explored how disabled people are sometimes ignored and mistreated by society. They made their point to the audience without ever sermonizing on the topic, but they were also perfectly clear about how silly it is to discount someone because they are disabled. I was pleased with how this message was seamlessly folded into the storyline. It certainly left plenty of room for discussion for readers who want to talk about it in greater detail, and I appreciated that.

Read a Book with Me was a heartwarming tale.

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