The Walk: (A Stroll to the Poll)

Abrams. Sept. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419747724.
K-Gr 2–This stirring picture book will inspire kids (and the adults in their lives) to speak up, stand up, and say what’s on their minds. Granny tells her granddaughter that she is taking them on “The Walk,” but they have to pick up a few souls on the way. The picture book’s narrator is confused but joins her grandmother in gathering people from the neighborhood to make the long walk to the voting booth. In cars and on the streets, the trip is celebratory, determined, and triumphant, despite the long distance. This call to participatory democracy told through the eyes of a Black girl is a rallying cry to the next generation of voters and their grown-ups who may be discouraged because of recent elections. The sea of faces approaching the polls is diverse. The main characters are Black, and many of the other voters are BIPOC. The narrator connects with an Asian girl, and they walk hand in hand in front of their grandmothers, united in their purpose to make a change in their communities. Lewis’s textured watercolor illustrations magnify Bingham’s vitalizing words. The parade of people of all races, body types, and abilities recalls the marches that have taken place to secure the right to vote for every citizen, especially those who are non-white. Regardless of the result, The Walk is how voters can make positive change and be molded into the leaders of tomorrow.
VERDICT Gorgeous writing paired with luminous art and combined with an impactful message make this work an essential purchase.

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