Courage by Bernard Waber

I’ve been a Bernard Waber fan since I was a child. I have distinct memories of reading Ira Sleeps Over, and Lyle the Crocodile still makes me laugh. Somehow, I missed his Courage until just a few years ago, and I’m here to tell you that it’s a delightful addition to our July Family Focus Traits booklist, “Books Featuring Courageous Role Models.” Read on to see what makes Waber’s Courage one worth reading!

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Courage is an ode to courage of all kinds. Everyday courage, awesome courage, adult courage, child courage, and even canine courage fill this poignant, yet light-hearted book to inspire readers of all kinds to dig deep and recognize the courage they already have… And maybe find ways to develop new courage!

Waber opens Courage with the statement that “there are many kinds of courage.” We see an ice skater flying through the air, followed by acrobats soaring and swinging. But then, we see a young boy conquering his nerves on the diving board and a girl riding her bike for the first time without training wheels. Waber includes the big sister protecting her little brother, the dog investigating weird nighttime noises, and the firefighters battling a large blaze, and so much more. As is written on the inside flap of the cover, “courage is courage — whatever kind.” Thank you, Bernard Waber, for this wonderful reminder of the courage that we all have inside!

While our 4.5-year-old enjoys flipping through this on her own and perusing the illustrations, Courage makes less of an oft-requested read-aloud book and is instead more of a book selected specifically to spark conversations about courage. Readers can undoubtedly use Courage to reflect upon times they’ve shown courage, areas that are natural for them to be courageous, and scenarios in which they’d have to dig extremely deep to find the tiniest bit of courage.

If you liked this, be sure to check out the rest of the books on our courage booklist. You might especially enjoy Brave by Stacy McAnulty, Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische, and When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller.

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