Sheila Rae, the Brave

Book review by
Sally Snyder, Common Sense Media
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Kids will enjoy humorous story and clever ending.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

The characters are lost and far from home.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this funny story shows sisterly bonding and how even the seemingly meek can be brave.

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What's the story?

Not afraid of spiders! Not afraid of stray dogs or cats! Sheila Rae is the bravest person she knows, but one day she bites off more than she can chew, and her fainthearted younger sister, Louise, saves the day. The whimsical art effectively captures Sheila Rae's bravado and Louise's hesitation.

 

Is it any good?

The watercolor-and-ink illustrations skillfully convey every emotion and story action in this heartwarming tale. Sheila Rae's bravado and Louise's trepidation are clearly seen on their faces and in their body movements. The illustrations include some information not expressed in the text: Children will enjoy seeing Louise hiding from Sheila Rae in each of the illustrations of the walk home.

Kevin Henkes addresses the issue of bravery -- or lack of it. Readers may feel akin to Louise but wish they were more like Sheila Rae. Louise's blossoming bravery will reassure children that while caution is valuable, even the meek may have their moments of valor. The sibling relationship is strong, and it is clear Sheila Rae can take care of Louise as needed, but readers discover that Louise is capable of caring for Sheila Rae in turn.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bravery. Do you think Sheila Rae is especially brave? Kids: Do you think you're brave? Think of a time when you were brave.

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