Sweet People Are Everywhere, an illustrated picture book featuring a poem by internationally renowned writer and activist Alice Walker, is a powerful celebration of humanity. The poem addresses a young boy getting his first passport, taking the boy––and the reader––on a journey through a series of countries around the globe where “sweet people” can be found.
Sweet People Are Everywhere, an illustrated picture book for children ages 4–8 (and readers of all ages) by internationally renowned writer and activist Alice Walker, focuses on a common thread of the “sweet people” who can be found all over the world. The poem addresses a young boy getting his first passport, taking the boy––and the reader––on a journey through a series of countries around the globe. The poem is a powerful celebration of humanity and globalism, embodying a generosity of spirit that is inspiring, timely, and timeless.
After journeying through dozens of countries and pointing out the sweet people in each place, Walker writes these beautiful, hopeful, and haunting words:
We are lost if we can no longer experience how sweet human beings can be.
Promise me never to forget this.
The book’s full-color illustrations by Quim Torres include a world map highlighting the many countries referenced, and the book includes an interview with Alice Walker.
The evocative free verse poem was first published in Walker’s 2018 poetry collection Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart, winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Library Journal praised the book for its “poems of love and hope” and, in a starred review, Booklist commended Walker’s “prodding wisdom of an elder suggesting that we can cope by taking comfort in beauty, friendship, and human kindness; by always expressing gratitude; and by turning inward to hold ourselves accountable for what we contribute.”
Sweet People Are Everywhere is Walker’s sixth book for children, and it explores and builds on some of the same themes as her 2007 title Why War Is Never a Good Idea; her first children’s book was Langston Hughes: American Poet (1974).
Alice Walker is a distinguished author and activist who has written dozens of books, including novels, poems, essays, short stories, and children’s books. She was the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award in 1983. Walker’s other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessing the Secret of Joy. More than fifteen million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into more than two dozen languages. As an activist, Walker focuses on issues of inequality, poverty, and social injustice.
Quim Torres is an award-winning illustrator and author based in Spain. He has illustrated several children’s books, including the recent titles Alera i Perot, How Grandpa Disappeared, Quel mari pour Jolie souris?, Contes et légendes d'Espagne, and Tant de gust senyor Calders, and he is the author of the middle grade novel Constel·lacions, forthcoming from Babulinka Books in 2021. He has studied art as healing and Gestalt psychology, and he teaches workshops in which drawing becomes a means of self-discovery.