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Sheila Rae, the Brave Paperback – April 25, 1996
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.