Picture Books – Me With You

A little girl celebrates her relationship with her grandfather. Sound unbearably twee and sentimental? Almost all picture books in this genre are almost unreadable in their saccharine rendition of grandparenthood. Often they are not written for children at all, but rather for the parents and grandparents who will be purchasing them.

Luckily Me With You manages to avoid most of the pitfalls of outright insipidness. There are one or two syrupy moments, but for the most part the book manages to be sweet without being maudlin or sugary. As is often the case with grandparent books, there is a slightly old-fashioned feel to the illustrations. The bears seem to live in an idyllic rural setting, the grandfather wears suspenders and a button up shirt, a truck in the background looks like it came from the 1950’s. But there are modern touches too: the girl has a box of crayons and a coloring book that look contemporary, and the dollhouse in her room has a plastic feel to it.

The little bear and her grandfather are “a pair beyond compare”. The rhyming text says all the ways the little girl is herself, with the grandfather a constant companion by her side. It ends with the sentiment that although the little girl will grow up and find new ways of “being me”, through it all “my favorite me will always be/when I am me with you.”

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