Brave Dave

Orchard. Sept. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99 ISBN 9781338850109.
K-Gr 2–From the duo that produced Giraffes Can’t Dance comes the rhyming story of Dave, a bear who needs to be true to himself. While his brother is brave and strong and all the things that a bear is allegedly supposed to be, Dave doesn’t fit in that model. He longs to be true to his love of color, self-expression, and clothes. Reminiscent of Mo Willems’s Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, the young hero of the story decides to boldly display who he is and what he loves, finding himself accepted by his community. Soon all the animals are enjoying fashions by Dave! More importantly, Dave and his brother feel good about themselves and about each other.
VERDICT Brilliantly hued illustrations capture a forest tale of self-acceptance and bravery. This title would be useful for launching a discussion about going beyond mere acceptance and tolerance to true celebration and appreciation of the diversity in our world.

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