Every kid faces challenges every day. And the brave persevere.
McAnulty’s text reads like an inspirational poem about superheroes, while Lew-Vriethoff’s illustrations show a variety of kids doing the right thing in familiar situations. “A brave kid has super-strength” accompanies an illustration of a little redheaded girl with brown skin playing chess with deep focus against an elderly man, surrounded by a diverse gallery of intent faces. A little white boy in pajamas looks bravely under the bed, the text: “a courageous heart.” A black boy sits on the shoulders of a taller, white friend to rescue a cat from a tree, while an olive-skinned teen visits a friend in the hospital: “And fights the toughest battles.” The chess-playing little girl, now with a stuffed bear in her backpack, leads a line of ducklings and a friend across a path of stones on a stream: “A brave kid leads the team.” A cafeteria full of students is the setting when an apparent bully is confronted: “And stands for justice.” “Brave kids can save the world” accompanies a picture of several children picking up trash and discarded bottles in a park. Readers who’ve been spotting the recurring cast members will wonder why the wheelchair athlete is seen only once.
A gentle reminder of everyday challenges and opportunities, told with economy, clarity, and earnestness if not great style. (Picture book. 3-6)