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  • Writer's pictureShameer Bismilla

Pa, Me, and our Sidewalk Pantry


I absolutely love picture books that touch on the concepts of kindness, generosity, and food insecurity, and "Pa, Me, and Our Sidewalk Pantry" by Toni Buzzeo and Zara Gonzalez Hoang is a heartwarming story that deserves to be shared with everyone, especially our young readers.


In this story, Pa and Jelly Bean team up to create a sidewalk library, but Jelly Bean's dreams of helping the community don't stop there. When his mom loses her job, he feels an urge to do more. He understands that people not only crave books but also need food to survive. So, Pa and Jelly Bean embark on a mission to build a pantry on the sidewalk. Despite facing various challenges, Jelly Bean selflessly donates food from his kitchen cabinets, even giving away his beloved chocolate cookies.


One day, they notice that the pantry has some space, and to their delight, they find a friendly note left behind. This simple act of kindness motivates them to bring the community together and turn their heartwarming project into a collective effort.


What I appreciate most about this book is how it clearly illustrates how kids can make a difference in their community, especially for those who may struggle to have enough food. "Pa, Me, and Our Sidewalk Pantry" delivers an important message about empathy, generosity, and the power of collective action, making it a perfect read for young readers.

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