A girl meets a lion after school and convinces him to walk with her, on the long road out of the city. Onlookers gasp in fear. She picks up her baby brother from the baby sitter, and the lion roars at the shopkeeper in “the store that won’t give us credit anymore.” She makes dinner, standing on a step stool, and they eat when her mother returns from the factory where she works. The lion–is he real or imaginary? Is he someone that makes the girl’s days bearable? The spare text shows us the story and leaves us with questions and wonder.
Walk With Me by Jairo Buitrago and illustrated by Rafael Yockteng is a thoughtful picture book that fosters discussion about difficult circumstances and parental absence. The ending is hopeful and the relationship with the lion is lovely.