Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion

Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion

Jane Barclay
Illustrator:  Renne Benoit 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Tundra Books, 2009   ISBN: 978-0887769511

A little boy is keeping his grandfather company while the old man gets ready for a special event. Poppa is going to attend a memorial service for veterans, and his grandson want to know about Poppa’s war experience.

By asking lots of questions, the little boy finds out that Poppa lied about his age because he “didn’t want to be left behind.” Poppa felt “as proud as a peacock” when he put on his uniform, and he marched away to war leaving his parents and his “sweetheart” behind.

Like so many young people, Poppa wasn’t scared of the “guns, fire and smoke,” but he does admit that he used to pretend to be “as brave as a lion” when he was confronted with frightening situations. The little boy knows his Poppa was very brave during the war. He saved three men’s lives and was awarded a medal for his courage. He also knows that Poppa is haunted by a bad dream, a dream that wakes him up at night.

In this beautifully written book, we see how one little boy learns that a soldier’s service should never be taken for granted. We need to remember the fallen, and honor those who served their country. We must never forget that they had to be as brave as lions, even when they were far from home and frightened.