Published by Lantana Publishing, 2019.
You’re Strong With Me is another stunning picture book collaboration between author Chitra Soundar and illustrator Poonam Mistry. I’ve previously read and loved one of their earlier books, You’re Snug With Me, which is set in the Arctic. Click here to read my review.
This time we are transported to the African grasslands. Mama giraffe is tending to her baby. It is the dry season and the land is scorched. Baby giraffe is naive and inexperienced. Mama giraffe guides her and teaches her about survival.
The book is packed with fascinating detail and I found myself learning things alongside the baby giraffe. Mama giraffe explains the symbiotic relationship between giraffes and the oxpecker bird: the bird sits on the giraffe and eats the itchy insects which crawl on the giraffe’s fur. When the smoke from the grass fires troubles baby giraffe, her mother teaches her how it’s possible for giraffes to close their nostrils. She advises her how to drink from the creek – she must widen her front legs in order to reach the water – and warns her about the hidden dangers posed by silent, stealthy predators.
The book is filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the savannah. I loved the poetic language of the text and the warmth of the story telling.
You’re Strong With Me is illustrated in Poonam Mistry’s distinctive style: gorgeous geometric patterns, this time predominantly in the earthy rich reds and browns of the landscape but also interspersed with the cool turquoise of the creek.
This is a beautiful, reassuring story. While baby giraffe is young and inexperienced, her mother reminds her – in the book’s gentle refrain – that she can take comfort knowing “you’re strong with me.”
Suitable for children aged 3+
Thank you to Lantana Publishing for sending me this book to review.
You’re Strong With Me is available for purchase in North American bookshops from 1 October and in UK bookshops from 3 October. Or you can buy it now from Lantana’s website: www.lantanapublishing.com . For every book purchased on the website, Lantana donates a book to children’s hospitals via Read for Good UK.