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Desmond Gets Free
Author Matt Meyer, Illustrator Khim Fan
ISBN: 9781558968660
Book (Hardcover)
Skinner House Books, Skinner House Books
8 x 8
40 pages
Full color illustrations throughout
September 1, 2021


A parable for children about allyship, solidarity, and liberation, inspired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “If an elephant has its foot on the tail of mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” With a thoughtful story and lush watercolor illustrations inspired by Tutu’s parable, Desmond Gets Free explores timely and nuanced concepts of justice and liberation in a kid-friendly way. When Desmond the mouse’s tail is trapped under a sleeping elephant, he asks for help from every kind of animal passing by, but no one wants to disturb the sleeping giant. How will Desmond get free?

Matt Meyer has a degree in hand drumming from Berklee College of Music and has studied in Cuba, Ghana, and Central America. He’s worked on campaigns to preserve old-growth forests, support farmworkers’ rights, and stop the construction of fossil fuel pipelines, and he is always looking for ways to dismantle systems of oppression and support communities grounded in justice. Now he travels the country making music and speaking about the intersections of music, community, and social justice.
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Skinner House Books/World