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Bravery Soup (Albert Whitman Prairie Books) Paperback – January 1, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cocca-Leffler (Thanksgiving at the Tappletons) ladles out equal portions of the sweet and the bland in this well-traveled story line of a scaredy-raccoon. Carlin, whose mask-like eyes play up his emotions, is afraid "of bumps in the night, of trying new things, of being alone. He was afraid of his own shadow!" Zack the fox tells his pal that he needs "a bit of bravery" and takes Carlin to the edge of the woods, where Big Bear stirs a large pot of Bravery Soup. The cook sends Carlin on a perilous journey to fetch a crucial ingredient, kept in a box in a cave in Skulk Mountain. The bear reassures the quivering 'coon that "You are braver than you think," and the statement echoes in the hero's mind as he ventures alone into the Forbidden Forest, crosses a raging river and enters the dark cave. The plot loses steam when it reverts to flashback ("Carlin had not been swept away," the author reassures readers when the hero's friends find his raft), taking the oomph out of the pacing. The dense text ends with a cliched message ("It is not what is inside the box that makes bravery. It is what is inside of you!"), but the acrylics, applied with thick brushstrokes, convey the suspense as well as the warm friendship between the animal friends. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

reSchool-Grade 2--A timid raccoon is afraid of almost everything, including his own shadow. A friend introduces him to Big Bear, "the bravest animal in all the land," who agrees to help cowardly Carlin overcome his fears. The bear is making "Bravery Soup" and needs one more ingredient, so he sends the timid creature into the Forbidden Forest to get it. The mission involves crossing a raging river, climbing to a mountaintop cave, and facing a hairy monster. Through a bit of luck and a "trick of the eye," the little raccoon successfully retrieves the parcel. When Big Bear reveals that the box is empty, Carlin discovers that he is full of courage and proud of it. Readers then understand that Bravery Soup does not make one brave, it is served only to those who have proven themselves. The colorful illustrations are rendered in acrylic and resemble finger painting. Changes in the text size add to the visual effect and aid in reading the story aloud. Children will enjoy seeing how self-sufficient and confident Carlin becomes because of his expedition.
Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Albert Whitman Prairie Books
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company; Reprint edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807508713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807508718
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 10.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,063,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Website: www.maryanncoccaleffler.com
My PLAY: www.princesskimthemusical.com
my Blog: www.maryanncoccaleffler.blogspot.com

I've been writing and illustrating children's books for more than 25 years and have published over 50 books. I graduated from Massachusetts College of Art in 1980 with a BFA in illustration. My Italian childhood has inspired several books. The first book I wrote and illustrated was "Wednesday is Spaghetti Day". My books "Bus Route to Boston" and "Clams All Year" are family stories which I hold dear to my heart. 2013 titles include A VACATION FOR POOCH and the much awaited, LET IT RAIN & LET IT SHINE, which will complete the "seasons" series joining the popular LET IT FALL & LET IT SNOW. Recent books, "Princess K.I.M and the Lie that Grew" and "Princess Kim and Too Much Truth", which together inspired my new Play, 'Princess K.I.M The Musical'. Please keep checking my website and blog to learn more about my books, school visits and upcoming projects. I live and work in NH where I am working on new books, as well as preparing for several upcoming productions of 'Princess K.I.M. The Musical'.
(I look forward to hearing from you.)
Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Everyone needs a little encouragement from time to time, and that's exactly what young hearts will find in this tale of Carlin, a timid racoon, who is skittish about everything - trying new things, sounds in the night, and even his own shadow.
Fortunately, Carlin has a good friend, Zack, who takes the cowering creature to Big Bear, "the bravest animal in all the land." Big Bear tells Carlin that the soup he is preparing, Bravery Soup, will banish all fears. Problem is, one extremely important ingredient is missing and Carlin must go after it.
Poor shuddering Carlin, he "must go alone through the Forbidden Forest to Skulk Mountain," and then into a cave in which a box is hidden. With knees shaking and lips trembling Carlin sets out.
The little fellow learns many important lessons along the way, and so will all who read this reassuring tale.
- Gail Cooke
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book, my husband, 3 yr. old daughter & I all love it. It's just around the right length & amount of text for her age, not too little words/story like a baby book, but not too long like, say, the original Winnie the Pooh, or Green Eggs and Ham. Cute story, with an actual story line and arc of the main character. Good characters, nice illustrations, and at the end a nice moral, "It's not what's inside the box that makes you brave, it's what's inside of you." - without sounding preachy or goody-goody. We originally borrowed it from our local library and bought our own copy because we liked it so much. A winner - I recommend it!
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By Kelly Scheufler on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used this when the author came to visit our school. Then our students wrote about a time when they were brave. It turned out to be a cute activity.
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By Katie on January 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My little guy (age 2.5) loves this book! It was also his older sister's favorite (age 14.) Love the mantra at the end. I. AM. BRAVE! :)
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