BRAVE AS CAN BE by Jo Witek

BRAVE AS CAN BE

A Book of Courage
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Throughout the large, sturdy, die-cut pages, a little girl talks about her fears and how she copes with them.

Following In My Heart (2015), Witek and Roussey have again produced text and art that deal with children’s emotions without sentiment, condescension, or oversimplification—and with humor. The pen-drawn girl gazes at a greenish mound that spills over the gutter to where she stands on the verso as she confesses, “When I was little, I was afraid of everything! Little creaks and squeaks and booming thunderclaps. Teeny creepy-crawlies and monstrous, pointy fangs. I had a pile of fears as big as a mountain.” The next double-page spread, sporting a comical, blue-furred, monster-ish being, describes the icy feeling that often accompanies fear; its yawning mouth is a circular cutout that leads to the next spread. On it, the girl mentions fear of the dark, this time also explaining what helps her: “a bright night-light and my superpowered pajamas, which are 100 percent danger-proof.” On each successive double-page spread, the girl describes one fear and then explains her coping mechanism, always aided by enormously amusing art, plus the bonus of punched-out holes. There’s even a child-friendly version of the imagine-your-audience-nude advice sometimes given to timorous adults, as the girl imagines her angry teacher as an owl: “Imagining her feathers makes me feel brave.” The book also affirms the fact that sometimes it’s fun to scare and be scared, as at Halloween.

Thoroughly entertaining and probably useful. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4197-1923-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2015




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