TOMORROW I'LL BE BRAVE by Jessica Hische


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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Young animals aspire to admirable traits.

Two protagonists—a white bunny and a gray cat—catalog their goals in first-person rhyming verse that could equally be coming from either of them. “Tomorrow I’ll be ADVENTUROUS / I’ll play and I’ll explore // I’ll make or learn or try something / I’ve never done before!” Illustrating that verse’s first half, the bunny stands confidently in a sailboat on a red sea, while the cat—in the boat’s crow’s nest—peers through a spyglass at a treasure chest on a pink island. For the verse’s second half—“make or learn or try” something new—vignettes showcase diving, painting, going to the dentist, and eating sushi with chopsticks. Unfortunately, casting sushi and/or chopsticks as “something…never done before” excludes and exoticizes readers for whom chopsticks and/or sushi are old hat. Hische’s matte illustrations are friendly, with flat, retro-styled shapes. However, each aspirational adjective marches massively across the double-page spreads, overwhelming the other text, and several of them (“strong,” “curious,” “confident,” “brave”) are set in such fancy and enormous display type that new readers (and even some adults) will need to pause and squint before deciphering the word. The first-person voice, ostensibly a child’s, sounds like an adult’s wishful thinking: “Please teach me something new”; “I’ll try my best”; “Tomorrow I’ll be SMART / I’ll think before I act”; “I’ll…think about / how much you’ve helped me grow!”

More projection than inspiration, with nothing to make up for it and fussy lettering to boot. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5247-8701-1
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Penguin Workshop
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2018


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