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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Watch Me

Watch Me

A Story of Immigration and Inspiration

Doyin Richards; illustrated by Joe Cepeda

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A picture book about immigration, Watch Me is based on the author's father's own story.

Joe came to America from Africa when he was young. He worked hard in school, made friends, and embraced his new home. Like so many immigrants before and after him, Joe succeeded when many thought he would fail.

In telling the story of how his father came to America, Doyin Richards tells the story of many immigrants, and opens the experience up to readers of all backgrounds. Here is a moving and empowering story of how many different people, from different places, make us great. Acclaimed artist Joe Cepeda brings the story to life with beautiful paintings, full of heart.

Praise for Watch Me

"In an inviting, conversational tone, Richards introduces Joe, who is from Sierra Leone and wants to study in America. Family and friends warn Joe that he will be derided for his dark skin and West African accent. But Joe isn’t fazed, and Richards employs the refrain “watch me” as Joe considers returning home in the face of white Americans’ contempt—but decides to tough it out, and succeeds. ...Richards directs readers to recognize similarities they may share with Joe (who “had goals and dreams, like you”), and, regardless of readers’ citizenship, to open their eyes to immigrants (“They come by plane. Perhaps like you./ They come by boat. Maybe you did, too./ Watch them. See them”). The narrative’s affect deepens when the unnamed narrator reveals his relationship to Joe. Cepeda’s scumbled sunlit paintings, created with oil over acrylic on board, emphasize warmth and openness. A personal story with universal impact." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"In this “American dream” story, a heartfelt tribute to his father, Richards directly calls upon readers to recognize the similarities they may have with young Joe, a boy from Sierra Leone who had big dreams and the will to fulfill them despite many obstacles....Richards urges readers to look around and notice how people treat one another and to pay attention to the nuances, which are captured in Cepeda’s evocative illustrations of facial expressions and clever composition. Bold, fresh, and contem… More…

"In an inviting, conversational tone, Richards introduces Joe, who is from Sierra Leone and wants to study in America. Family and friends warn Joe that he will be derided for his dark skin and West African accent. But Joe isn’t fazed, and Richards employs the refrain “watch me” as Joe considers returning home in the face of white Americans’ contempt—but decides to tough it out, and succeeds. ...Richards directs readers to recognize similarities they may share with Joe (who “had goals and dreams, like you”), and, regardless of readers’ citizenship, to open their eyes to immigrants (“They come by plane. Perhaps like you./ They come by boat. Maybe you did, too./ Watch them. See them”). The narrative’s affect deepens when the unnamed narrator reveals his relationship to Joe. Cepeda’s scumbled sunlit paintings, created with oil over acrylic on board, emphasize warmth and openness. A personal story with universal impact." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"In this “American dream” story, a heartfelt tribute to his father, Richards directly calls upon readers to recognize the similarities they may have with young Joe, a boy from Sierra Leone who had big dreams and the will to fulfill them despite many obstacles....Richards urges readers to look around and notice how people treat one another and to pay attention to the nuances, which are captured in Cepeda’s evocative illustrations of facial expressions and clever composition. Bold, fresh, and contemporary, the images carry the emotional weight of the deceptively simple narrative. Together, the words and art attain a perfect balance, resulting in a story that honors Dr. Joe and declares unequivocally that there is room for everyone’s dreams—“there is enough for everyone.”Booklist

Praise for I Wonder:

"Dads (and kids) of all types should find Richards’s message deeply reassuring and relatable." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[A] powerful book for children celebrating differences. ...In Richards’s words: “take a look at yourself. Your friends may not look like you, and that’s a good thing. Because when it comes to love, keep showing that there really is no difference.” A ... perfect read-aloud for young students."--School Library Journal

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Reviews from Goodreads

Doyin Richards; illustrated by Joe Cepeda

Doyin Richards is one of the most respected voices on modern fatherhood today. He's also founder of Daddy Doin' Work, author of the picture book I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin' Work, What's the Difference, and Daddy Doin' Work: Empowering Mothers to Evolve Fatherhood. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their two daughters.

Joe Cepeda was born and raised in East Los Angeles. Joe’s journey through college began with studying engineering at Cornell and finished with a BFA in Illustration from Long Beach State. Months from leaving school, Joe went to New York and secured a book contract after his first meeting with a publisher. He’s now the award-winning illustrator of more than thirty books for children, including Nappy Hair, Swing Sisters, and Peeny Butter Fudge.

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