Sheila Rae, the Brave

Common Sense Media says

Kids will enjoy humorous story and clever ending.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness

The characters are lost and far from home.

Not applicable

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?


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.

Watercolor-and-ink illustrations convey every emotion and story action. 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.

Families can talk 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.

Book details

Author:Kevin Henkes
Illustrator:Kevin Henkes
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:William Morrow
Publication date:January 1, 1987
Number of pages:28
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of Sheila Rae, the Brave was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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