Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Bernard Waber
Picture Book
For ages 5 and up
Houghton Mifflin, 2002   ISBN: 978-0618238552

Some of you may think that courage is all about doing fabulously brave things and being a hero. It can be “awesome” and dramatic of course, but courage comes in many shapes and colors. It is not always flashy and obvious. Sometimes it is of the “everyday” variety and this kind of courage can be just as remarkable as the kind that involves commendations, applause, and medals.

For example there is the courage that a little boy musters up when he makes himself jump off a high diving board into a swimming pool. Courage is overcoming your own fear to check out the house at night when the air is full of creepy noises. Courage is also finding a way to break “bad habits” and sending a Valentine card to a person you like with your real name on the bottom.

The author of this excellent picture book presents his readers with lots of wonderful examples of “everyday” courage. He shows us dogs, girls, boys, grown-ups of all ages, and people of all kinds going through life, and they are all being courageous in one way or another.

Simple illustrations and a minimal text make this a unique book with a powerful message. Young people of all ages will greatly benefit from being reminded that they, just like everyone else, have a great deal of courage and that they should feel good about what they have done and what they will do in the days and years to come.