Picture Book: You Call That Brave?
Author: Lorenz Pauli
Illustrator: Kathrin Scharer
Summary: With nothing to do, a mouse, a frog, a snail, and a sparrow decide to have a courage competition. The title question is what is heard when each animal announces their daring feat. First they are judgmental, but then they begin to understand. Because of their differences, what is easily done by one is brave for another. As each animal is brave and successful, the others are affirming. The sparrow’s choice is more subtle. Her bravery is in facing peer pressure, the expectation that she too should engage in a courageous task. She simply refuses to do anything. It takes a moment, but the other animals catch on and affirm her even in her non-compliance.
Hanna’s Comments: My summary doesn’t do this book justice. It is clever, the illustrations are marvelous (You will definitely laugh!), and kids will love it, adults too! There are many things to talk about here: refraining from impulsive judgement, trying loving empathy instead, being creative in your thinking, not succumbing to peer pressure, and especially being affirming when others are brave.
Original American Publisher & Date of Publication: North-south Books, 2014
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up
# of Pages: 32
Available in Spanish? Not at present, Originally in German titled Mutig, Mutig
Formats other than Book: None at present
PBT Category: Fresh off the Press
PBT Topics this Book connects with: abilities, affirmation, authenticity, bravery/courage, challenges, competition, conformity, creativity/imagination/ingenuity, differences, difficulties, diversity, encouragement, fear, friends/friendship, judgement/judges/judging, participation, peer pressure, risking, variety
Scripture Connections: Be strong and courageous; do not be terrified (Joshua 1:9); judge not, and you will not be judged (Luke 6:37); do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment (John 7:24)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children or youth when talking about refraining from judging others and instead being empathic while affirming others’ efforts.