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Lean on Me

By: and

Bill Withers’s classic anthem to friendship lives on in this moving children’s picture book adaptation

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$16.95 $12.71

What people are saying…

“Singer/songwriter Withers’s encouraging lyrics form the text of this upbeat picture book . . . The late musician’s supportive song, released in 1972, is the backdrop to a story about a quartet of racially diverse young friends sharing various life experiences. The kids explore the outdoors, go camping, and share life events—some happy, some less so—occasionally with parents. The book makes clear that supportive friendship, or ‘leaning on,’ is mutual . . . As the book proceeds, the illustrations subtly depict the foursome becoming adolescents who still care about one another. The artwork is colorful and lively. The nature of song lyrics is there’s a repetitive element to them, so these important words and the overarching messages about support, outreach, and the permanency of friendships are easy to recall, absorb, and, hopefully, emulate. Readers eager to hear Withers’s uplifting song will be pleased by the inclusion of a QR code that allows them to listen to it on platforms such as Spotify or Tidal. A positive, inspirational message for children to lean on and into.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Lean on Me provides a nice illustration that we’re all in this world together. When things get rough, we don’t have to face it alone. It goes against the ‘rugged individualist’ mythology that’s been popular in American culture for so long. To me, that’s a good thing.”
Ink 19

Lean on Me is a touching and charming picture book that encourages children to value and cherish their friendships. With its timeless message and the magical combination of Bill Withers’s lyrics and Rachel Moss’s illustrations, this book is sure to captivate young hearts and inspire conversations about the importance of being there for one another.”
Phantom Paragrapher


“Lean on me
When you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on . . .”

Lean on Me is an endearing children’s picture book that beautifully demonstrates the power of friendship, based on Bill Withers’s classic song of the same name. “Lean on Me” appeared on Withers’s 1972 album Still Bill. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and ranked #208 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.

With Withers’s lyrics and illustrations by Rachel Moss, this picture book follows four close friends through the stages of their childhood, from elementary school until their high school graduation. Withers’s  classic and loving refrain serenades them as they lean arm-in-arm into adulthood.

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Published: 8/1/23
  • IBSN: 9781636141091
  • e-IBSN: 9781636141107


Bill Withers (1938–2020) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. He is known for such hit songs as “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Grandma’s Hands,” “Use Me,” “Lean on Me,” “Lovely Day,” “Just the Two of Us,” and more. He received numerous awards in his lifetime, including three Grammy Awards. Withers was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. His lyrics are in the forthcoming children’s book Lean on Me.

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RACHEL MOSS is an illustrator in love with the bright colors and vibrant energy of the Caribbean. She was born in Jamaica and studied animation in England at the University for the Creative Arts. Moss now lives in Jamaica where she spends her days illustrating children’s books such as Respect with song lyrics by Otis Redding, These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ with song lyrics by Lee Hazlewood, African with song lyrics by Peter Tosh, I Am a Promise by Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, Abigail’s Glorious Hair, and Milo & Myra Learn Manners with Mr. Mongoose. Her latest work is Lean on Me with song lyrics by Bill Withers.

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