You Hold Me Up
Encourage children to show love and support for each other and to consider each other's well-being in their everyday actions.
Consultant, international speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers and educators about reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with others. With vibrant illustrations from celebrated artist Danielle Daniel, this is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest citizens.
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About the Author
Monique Gray Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author and public speaker. Her books cover a broad spectrum of ages, topics and emotions. Woven into all of Monique's writing and her speaking engagements is the teaching that Love is Medicine. Her books include Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation, My Heart Fills With Happiness, You Hold Me Up, Lucy and Lola, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, Tilly and the Crazy Eights, When We Are Kind and I Hope. She has also created the young adult adaptation of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Monique is Cree and Scottish. She lives with her family on the Traditional Territories of the Lək̓ʷəŋən and WSÁNEĆ Peoples.
Danielle Daniel is an award-winning author and illustrator of books for children and adults. She holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia and lives on Manitoulin Island with her family.
"Smith's text is heartwarming! And the illustrations, by Danielle Daniel, reflect Native people in the present day. Like My Heart Fills with Happiness, this new book by Smith is one that parents, grandparents, pre-school and elementary teachers, and librarians, will want to have on their shelves."--Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature
"People of all ages can find something of value within the pages of Monique Gray Smith and Danielle Daniel's book…Smith has Cree and Lakota ancestry, while Daniel is Métis. With this book, they become quiet and understated—yet powerful—voices in an age of reconciliation. You Hold Me Up is simple, yet beautiful, subtle but thought-provoking. It contains critical messages about love, unity, and support. Through carefully chosen words and strong, colourful are, the book presents an important reminder to readers to sustain and support one another. Highly Recommended."--CM Magazine
"Perfect for a shared storytime as well as a lap-sit reading session, the actions of each person emphasize community, togetherness, and mutual respect. While sharing is a universal concept, Daniel's illustrations bring specificity to the narrative…Just as in Smith's board book My Heart Fills with Happiness, readers will joyfully make connections between their own communities and the indigenous one depicted here."--IndiePicks Magazine
"Smith's text is simple, but powerful, about the small and essential ways we all support each other…Daniel's illustrations have a playful approach, but are also nicely stylized and textured, with a collage effect and fine details, warm and familiar images of people together…Smith is writing about survival and resilience, about the strength and power that comes from the love we give each other."--Pickle Me This blog
"You Hold Me Up is a simply written book with a powerful message: we need each other…The story is simple enough that the youngest reader can read and understand; the vocabulary is not difficult or challenging for most readers. The book is an excellent way to start dialogue with children about ways we can show respect for one another and talk about how we treat each other. This book could certainly be used in lessons on reconciliation, manners, friendships, and relationships in general. It is an excellent book to use for reading aloud and prompting students to list examples of kindness and sharing. It would be a wonderful addition to any children's library."--Resource Links
"In simple words and simple illustrations these profoundly important messages are given to children. The sparsity of the words conveys the messages even more strongly."--Youth Services Book Review
"You Hold Me Up is a gentle but effective way to introduce the topic of Reconciliation to students of all ages."--ETFO Voice
"You Hold Me Up is a welcome addition to the ongoing conversations around healing and rebuilding relationships…Gentle, relevant and never heavy-handed, this book serves both as a quiet lullaby and a starting point for discussions on empathy, community and wellness."--Canadian Children's Book News
"A seemingly simple picture book that conveys a valuable message for all ages…The distinctive and soft illustrations by Daniel enhance the positive message by Smith about the power of companionship, compassion, respect and togetherness…This quiet book has a deep beauty and a universal message. "--Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award Jury
"Ideal for early readers by themselves, for lap-sitting, or as a read-aloud."--Canadian Literature
"Warm illustrations help to expand the brief text."--The Horn Book Online