I find that the most successful children’s books appeal to adults who read them aloud to youngsters. You and Me, Me and You by Miguel Tanco is a picture book written with adults in mind—not necessarily for subtle adult humor, but more as a message for adults with a pleasurable story for children included.
You and Me, Me and You features the story of a man and his son, told from the son’s perspective. Each page presents a situation where—even though the father is clearly a loving dad—the son is teaching the father a life lesson. Whether it’s on public transit—“I show you how to talk to strangers…”—or watching the progress of ants—“…and how to slow down”— or a bat and ball turned accident—“I teach you to play… and to forgive.”—these little vignettes are a beautiful reminder of how our actions as adults influence and form young minds. Some of the messages made me cringe, but that’s only a sign that we should be taking the message to heart.
I absolutely love the art and illustration in juvenile picture books. The technique, the hidden breadcrumbs, the imagery—the most beautifully illustrated books do not even need words.The illustrations in You and Me, Me and You are spare, but effective. It’s the words—and the message—that are the best part of this little gem.
You and Me, Me and You by Miguel Tanco (Chronicle Books | 9781452144863 | April 11, 2017)