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Sheila Rae, the Brave Paperback – April 25, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The mouse heroine of Henkes's pitch-perfect comedy doesn't frighten easily?she even growls at stray dogs. But when she gets lost, it's her "scaredy cat" sister who helps her find the way home. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2 Fearless mouse Sheila Rae is not afraid of anything, and she flaunts her confidence by confronting real and imagined terrors daily (her imagined ones are particularly creative and funny). Finally Sheila Rae decides on a new challenge: she will go home from school a new way. When she gets hopelessly lost, her courage falters, but scaredy-cat little sister Louise has been surreptitiously following Sheila Rae, and proves her own bravery by leading her sister safely home. Louise mimics her sister's undaunted style all the way home (``She growled at stray dogs, and bared her teeth at stray cats''), thus providing a strong language pattern for new readers. Bouncy watercolors in spring-like colors with some pen-and-ink detailing highlight Sheila Rae's bravado in an engaging and amusing way, and Henkes provides Sheila Rae, Louise, and their school friends with highly expressive faces. Children will respond to both the humor of the story and the illustrations and to the challenge of facing fears head-on. Librarians can share this one with small groups or recommend it for patrons without fear, for children will love it. David Gale, ``School Library Journal''
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 440 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (April 25, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688147380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688147389
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
My child had been convinced that she was shy. I kept telling her she was brave and then we read about Sheila Rae. Now, whenever she's acting a little nervous, I can sing quietly to her, "I am brave. I am fearless." A nice weapon in the battle against shyness.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully crafted story about the emotional ups and downs of life, depicted through the eyes of a gutsy girl and her sweet younger sister. Kevin Henkes expertly builds a strong, supportive relationship between the two sisters. The story is clever, the topics are natural -- not forced, and the illustrations are wonderful. This book is available on Interactive CD ROM, too (published by Broderbund Living Books). The CD version also includes a map/treasure hunt game and a library of delightful songs that help convey the story of "Sheila Rae, The Brave." I highly recommend either version for young readers and preschoolers
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Format: Paperback
My 3-year-old daughter and I both love several of Kevin Henkes's books (like Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Chrysanthemum), so when I found this at the library, I snatched it up. I didn't even look inside, because I wanted to share the experience of reading it for the first time with my daughter, just like when we read Lilly's Big Day together and both laughed hysterically.

I should have looked inside.

There are so many things to object to in this book, where do I even start? First, there's the morbid stuff: "At dinner, Sheila Rae made believe that the cherries in her fruit cocktail were the eyes of dead bears, and she ate five of them," and, "she pretended that the trees were evil creatures She climbed up them and broke their fingers off." Then there are the bad examples: She yanks her sister's toy from the mouth of the "big black dog at the end of the block" and "growled at stray dogs," which are not so much brave as dangerous. She also rides her bike no-handed with her eyes closed while her friends clap. And just to make sure we dislike Sheila Rae, I suppose, Henkes has her tie a classmate to a fence after he steals her jumprope. When did "brave" become "mean-spirited"?

If you can get past all that, the plot of the book is cute enough, and the illustrations are lovely, although not nearly as intricate as in some of Henkes's other books. But for us, we have plenty of cute books with lovely illustrations without needing dead bear eyes or really stupid behavior toward dogs.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not what I thought it would be. After reading many reviews and other books by Kevin Henkes I had a completely different idea on what the book would be like. It is a nice plot but I find the book written in a very disturbing way. I thought the story will have a lesson in it but I was very disappointed. Instead I find Sheila Rae a little rude and with an attitude. I personally feel it isn't the kind of book I would read to a growing toddler. Maybe when they are older it would be an example of how not to behave. I have read other books by Kevin Henkes and liked those. Hence the disappointment.
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Format: Paperback
There is something deeply troubling with this book - it seems benign but when you consider it -- it is very violent and dark. Sheila Rae pretends that the cherries are the "eyes of dead bears" and she climbs trees who she imagines are evil creatures and breaks their fingers off. How gruesome is that? I won't even read this book to my children, because I know they'd be very disturbed by the mean, violent imagination that Sheila has towards animals and nature. My children are softies when it comes to animals and creatures, I suppose, but isn't that normal?

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes is one of my children's favorite books, very sweet and poetic...so I'm puzzled that this book is so disturbing.
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On the book it shows a recommended age of 4-8, but I didn't see that in the description. It is far to graphic, talks about pretending cherries are the eyes of dead bears, breaking "fingers" off a tree, tying up a boy at school, laughing at the principal and other reckless things that my two year old twins take literally and want to try -- like riding their bicycles no-handed with their eyes closed. No, thank you. Sending this back.
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By A Customer on September 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sheila Rae, the Brave, written by Kevin Henkes, is a nice story for young children. My five-year-old brother enjoys himself very much with its CD-ROM version, including interesting animation, melodious song and a *treasure hunt* game.
The story teaches us what the word *brave* really means. Sheila Rae thought that walking backwards with her eye closed, riding bicycle no-handed with her eyes closed, etc., were *brave*. Actually I prefer the word *foolish* to *brave*, because she might get hurt. On the contrary, Louise, his sister was called a *scaredy-cat*. However she was the one who save Sheila Rae from getting lost. She was the real *fearless* girl in the story.
After all, I think Sheila Rae, the Brave is very fascinating, which is a great book for kids at the ages of 4-8.
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I read Sheila Rae the Brave to my daughter when she was a little girl many times. It is one of my daughter's favorite childhood books. It teaches girls to be strong, and when they are vulnerable, to look to each other for support. Aside from that message, it is a cute story with wonderfully drawn characters. I just purchased this book for my niece's children. I love sharing favorites with the new generation!
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