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Please, Louise: 07/21/15
Please, Louise by Toni Morrison is a picture book about a parent teaching a child how to trust the world, even when it seems dangerous and scary. The story follows a girl as she walks to the library just as a rainstorm is brewing. The route there is full of unknown, scary things and shifty looking people.
But the story isn't about finding safety and solace in the library. Sure, that's part of it, and libraries should be welcoming places. But it's a bigger message — learning to trust people, and learning to see the best in people, rather than danger.
Now stop and think for a moment about who wrote the book, Toni Morrison, a nobel prize winning black poet. It was published in a year marked by a number of senseless murders of black youth by white police officers. Sure, the illustrator, Shandra Strickland opted to make the main character possibly Asian, but the message is still there: please, Louise, I hope you can live in a world where you can trust your neighbors because you should be able to.