I Am Courage: A Book of Resilience

Abrams. (I Am Books). Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781419746468.
K-Gr 2–The unnamed child protagonist, of uncoded gender, encounters multiple challenges that give them opportunities to be courageous. From going uphill into a scary forest to crossing a bridge, the protagonist quiets their mind to face and overcome each and every obstacle. They learn that being afraid doesn’t mean that they can’t persevere, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Likewise, they are able to help when others need them, whether that means being a listening ear or sharing their story. No matter what comes their way, they and their friends will be triumphant. This book is a well-timed reminder for the picture book audience of what it means to be courageous: that it starts with being afraid, then pushing through that fear to accomplish a goal. Verde presents the lesson in a collection of affirmations; the blending of traditional and digital art media comes together as a beautifully crafted backdrop to the story. The font also adds to the whimsy of the artwork and enhances this important story.
VERDICT With a focus on mindfulness and the inclusion of additional yoga poses and breathing techniques, this cogent presentation of an abstract concept is an essential addition to most collections.–

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