Lyrical and moving


A good story lasts a lifetime, especially one that awakens compassion and courage. Take Me With You leaves a mark.

–Adriane Lonzarich, teacher and storyteller


by Alan Venable with monochrome paintings by Laurie Marshall

Ages 6 to 10

Hardback with jacket
10 chapters,  10 full-page illustrations, 110 pages

ISBN 978-0-9777082-7-7


Sister and Brother Forgotten, Left-Behind, and Every-Day-Missed are a few of the names used to describe the adorable siblings at the center of this story of love, loss, and longing. Taught that, “once together, never apart,” Sister and Brother embark on a quest that begins when Granny becomes too old to care for them.

Granny gives them her old black shawl and sends them to Eldest Uncle’s cabin. Sing the following song whenever you are afraid, she advises: Earth turn / Breeze blow / Brave seeds / Wind sow / Take me / With you / With you when you go.

The children sing (sheet music is provided so readers can sing along) throughout each journey, from Eldest Uncle and his mean wife, to Second Uncle and Aunt, and then finally to Uncle Broken-Heart where they learn their parents’ identities. Brother and Sister are self-sufficient, resourceful, and kind, so they can live under any condition, but they long to be reunited with their parents. They spend the last half of the novella trying to locate them, despite numerous obstacles that stand in their way.

Illustrations of Brother and Sister’–bundled together at birth, toiling for their relatives, maneuvering wooden puppets carved in the images of their parents–reinforce the close-knit relationship reflected in the narrative.

The treasure of the story is its connection to fairytales and folklore; for example, the mystical peddler who pops up whenever Brother and Sister are scared, lost, confused, or lonely, or the magical reappearance of spring and talking trees. Take Me with You When You Go will make a great bedtime story for the older child.

ForeWord Magazine 

In this fairytale, a brother and sister go in search of their mother and father. The author keeps a fairytale cadence throughout the book.Smoothly written, the story moves at a strong pace without becoming bogged down in side issues. There is a kindness about the book, realistic conflicts, and incidents of humor…. Interesting, expressive illustrations enhance the text. In all, a winner for young readers, or for group audiences.Well done. Recommended.

–Juneau Public Library Review Committee, Nancy Ferrell

Lyric and charming.  A delight to read.  I was deeply engaged by the themes and images resonating throughout this book–our longings for love, connection, and identity…..a tonic for children questioning who they are and where they fit in the world.
Joan Stockbridge, storyteller, author of Tales from Africa, Tales from Japan, and Tales from Mexico

A master storyteller. The plot is fast-paced with lots of humor, the language a song. My students were pleased by this and by the clarity of the tale.

Ruth Mulera Vance, teacher, grades 2-4

I loved the story and voice.  I can still see the two children on their journeys, and hear the sad innocence and hope in their search. The drawings are wonderful too…evocative.
–Keren Abra, elementary teacher

I was moved by the story, which I will pass on to my own grandsons. It replicates the traditional rhythm of folktales, the environmental concerns of today resonating with other stories from other times. It echoes deep in the unconscious and brings tears to the eyes.”

Mary Catherine Bateson, author of Composing a Life and Willing to Learn: Passages of Personal Discovery

The lyrics of a simple song expand throughout the book.  The tune in given in the book.  You can also hear it here or download a simple piano arrangement by Gilbert DeBenedetti.


Teachers, Children’s theater directors: Download a free young actors’ script of Take Me With You. Choose a readers’ theatre, middle elementary school classroom, or more elaborate children’s theatre version.

Scenes from the play.