Do your kids have a special stuffed animal or blanket? One they adventure with? One that keeps them safe when they feel scared or nervous? Both of our girls do (while they loved the stuffed animals pictured above, their very special “loveys” are napping blankets from Angel Dear— the giraffe and hippo!). So, when our youngest received the book Brave Enough for Two for her 3rd birthday, it touched a special place in my heart.
Brave Enough for Two, by Jonathan D. Voss is the first book in the Hoot and Olive series (looks like the 2nd book is set to publish next summer!). A sweet story of friendship, Brave Enough for Two tells the story of how a little girl and her special stuffed animal keep each other safe when they feel scared. But it goes so much farther beyond that, beyond how we typically view the relationship between child and stuffed animal or blanket… Because Olive and Hoot also push each other. They challenge each other. They support each other to try new things. They give each other the courage they need to explore outside of their comfort zones and continue when they’re uncomfortable.
You may know some of Voss’s work as an illustrator (he did the pictures in Winnie: The True Story Of The Bear Who Inspired Winnie-The-Pooh), but Brave Enough for Two is his first work as an author as well. And he nails both the words and the illustrations here! The story reads naturally, as if we are privy to a conversation between these two sweet friends. Through his sentence structures and word choices, Voss’s language takes us through the ups and downs that Hoot and Olive experience together (short, choppy sentences during a scary storm, and longer, flowing sentences when we get comfortable again). The watercolor and pen illustrations are soft and sweet, and give us interesting perspective on Hoot’s and Olive’s world.
Most touching are the repeated refrains, “We can never be lost, so long as I’m here and you’re there, and here and there aren’t very far apart,” and “Don’t worry, I will be brave enough for both of us.”
Publishers recommend Brave Enough for Two for ages 3-6.
If you liked this, you might also like:
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
Does your child have a special stuffed animal or blanket? Would he or she enjoy a book like this?