Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Picture Book
Pages: 32
Themes: homelessness, poverty, empathy, compassion, family
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 13/Oct/2020
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A child tries to understand the life of a man he has seen sleeping under a bridge. The boy’s mother patiently answers his questions and explains how people’s life paths can be so different. The child observes the things he has in common with the man and wonders where his own path will lead.

The One With the Scraggly Beard is defined by a simple narrative in which a child’s curiosity and perceptiveness act as catalysts for understanding fear, suffering and resilience while exploring themes of homelessness, belonging and compassion. This unique book will speak to children and adults alike. A note from the author explains how the origin of this story is rooted in her own life.

Kirkus Reviews
“A complex topic painted with care and told with empathy.”
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“A wise and timely tale because young children see what is happening on our streets and wonder why. Withey’s spare text allows the little boy to fill in the spaces as he matures and develops understanding.”
Must Read Literature
“[A] sensitive story of family and love…Every elementary library should have this thought provoking book on their shelves. This difficult topic of homelessness is explained well in this narrative.”
Toronto Star
“A powerful book…Models what respect and human dignity looks like for all community members.”