Mathilde Stein & Mies van Hout - Brave Ben
A charming and engaging picture book, to hearten the frightened child, showing children metaphorically that they can be braver than they think.
On his journey through the woods to meet the Magical Tree, fearful Ben gets less scared with every step he takes - without even noticing. He is able to boldly confront a dragon, a giant spider and a gnarled witch, because the Magical Tree has already told him that these weird creatures are in fact harmless. Clear sparkling text illustrated in hazy, dreamy watercolours.
"While the fun and quirky text will keep readers and listeners engaged, the illustrations truly bring the story to life. Irresistibly detailed cartoon characters in black outlines pop out of the fuzzy, rich-toned background paintings, creating pages that readers will want to pore over. ... Ben's story is a delightful one."
-School Library Journal
"[V]isually striking. ... [T]he double-page paintings will read well from a distance, with elements that garner both goosebumps and giggles (a dragon wears a Band-Aid; a witch sports pink houseslippers). Try this in the context of classroom discussions of emotions."
"Muted watercolors full of quirky details. ... Wry... with a nice lesson."
-Chicago Kirkus Reviews
"Easy words and concepts blend well here."
-Midwest Book Review, The--Children's Bookwatch