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THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE by Shutta Crum

THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE

By Shutta Crum (Author) , Tim Bowers (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 2005
ISBN: 0-375-82637-8
Publisher: Knopf

A little skunk tromps through the deep, dark woods thinking brave thoughts to steel himself against (imagined) dangers. First he encounters one masked robber (a raccoon), then two howling ghosts (owls) and on up to the number six—when his family arrives. They take him to a party where he tells his tale seven times to all his woodland friends, the erstwhile spooky folk. After a dance with eight fireflies and nine big hugs, he sacks out under ten watchful stars. It might take practice to get through Crum’s alliterative, rhymed text while reading aloud, but audiences—be they storytime or bedtime—will enjoy tiny skunk’s bold story. Some might be slightly confused since the woodland friends never look menacing. Even in shadow the porcupines are too cute to be thought of as witches, and the flying squirrels are none too piratical. Bowen’s pudgy, bead-eyed critters could be considered at odds with the text, but this makes the whole package more useful for explaining away irrational fears. (Picture book. 3-7)