Brave Enough, by Rob Justus, (Feb. 2022, Page Street Kids), $17.99, ISBN: 9781645673491
Little Brother sees monsters everywhere, and would rather stay inside and read about them – hey, forewarned is forearmed! – but Big Sister thinks monsters are just “a bunch of phoney-baloney fantasy make-believe”! She’s determined to teach Little Brother how to be brave enough… until that moment when they discover an honest-to-goodness MONSTER! Luckily for Big Sister, Little Brother has done his reading and knows how to handle monsters (that are just as scared of humans). With some stomping and stamping, and some clapping and snapping, everything is going to be just fine. Lively and bright illustrations pair with upbeat, everyday conversational text to make this a fun readaloud. Illustrations bring the lighter side of the story to light as Big Sister tries to get a rise out of her brother, putting him in a bright yellow cape (to match her flashy yellow boots!) and infuse him with confidence; the book titles also clue readers in to the Monster’s own fear of humans, with titles like “Humans and Loud Noises”, “What’s with Pants?”, and “Bumps in the Day”; mirroring Little Brother’s monster-related reading. The characters have exaggerated facial expressions so there’s no question as to how to read this story: with as much fun as you can muster! The moral of the story: understanding crosses barriers: even between monsters and humans (but maybe not vampires). Pair this one with Ed and Rebecca Emberley’s If You’re a Monster and You Know It for musical fun.
Visit author Rob Justus’s webpage for more of his illustration work.