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BRAVE LIKE MOM by Monica Acker


by Monica Acker ; illustrated by Paran Kim

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-5064-8320-7
Publisher: Beaming Books

Courage takes on many forms.

A nameless protagonist with straight brown hair and light tan skin describes the many impressive things their mom does. The mother, who has short dark brown hair and tan skin, can lift the narrator up with “rocket-booster arms” so the child “can soar through the sky,” and she “opens the applesauce jar without making a funny face.” But the mother is also sick: “sicker than bubblegum medicine can fix. She tries different treatments now, hoping one day they will make her feel better.” As the story proceeds, the mother catches scary spiders in jars and wrangles a largemouth bass, but she also spends time in the hospital and “battles fatigue, aches, and pains before her feet hit the floor each day.” As a result, the protagonist sometimes feels scared and even cries. Thankfully, their supportive mom reminds them that “being strong doesn’t mean you can’t cry,” and “being brave doesn’t mean you’re never scared.” It’s an important lesson, one supported by colorful and engaging illustrations that capture the good moments and the not-so-good ones. In an author’s note, Acker mentions that the mother character was based on her sister-in-law, who died of cancer in 2020, but the story never specifies the illness, making for a tale that will bolster many children with sick parents and caregivers. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Tenderly encouraging, with a message of hope and resilience.

(Picture book. 4-7)