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Fiction Picture Book
Pages: 32
Themes: reconciliation, understanding, kindness, Indigenous, respect
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 11/May/2021
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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.

Orca Book Publishers is proud to offer this picture book as a dual-language (English and Anishinaabemowin) edition.

Canadian Literature
"Ideal for early readers by themselves, for lap-sitting, or as a read-aloud."
Canadian Children's Book News
"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."
ETFO Voice
"You Hold Me Up is a gentle but effective way to introduce the topic of Reconciliation to students of all ages."
49th Shelf
“A lovely meditation on compassion and respect...A strong sense of community runs through the poetic text and is warmly depicted in Daniel’s stunning watercolour paintings.”
The Horn Book Online
“Warm illustrations help to expand the brief text.”
Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award Jury
"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. "
Youth Services Book Reviews
"A strong and powerful message that even the youngest reader can understand...Very timely message indeed."
Canadian Teacher Magazine
“This colourful picture book highlights the important connections that young children make with their friends and family members.”
School Library Journal
“An uplifting look at the impact of small moments throughout the day.”


Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award  | 2018 | Short-listed
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens  | 2019 | Commended
Global Read Aloud   | 2018 | Commended
CCBC Best Books  | 2018 | Commended
Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award  | 2018 | Short-listed
Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year starred selection  | 2018 | Commended
AICL's Best Books  | 2017 | Commended
Quill & Quire's kidlit and YA Books of the Year  | 2017 | Commended
Resource Links The Year's Best   | 2017 | Commended
CCBC Best Books   | 2018 | Commended