What is Bravery? It may be defined as not being afraid or being fearless. Teachers, parents, and home adults are always trying to encourage children to try something new or challenging even though they’re scared. This constant practice of being brave is for them to learn to tolerate feeling scared and not let fear hold them back. When they portray such brave acts, it may look remarkable, splendid, and powerful externally but internally they feel uncertain, disheartened, and sometimes frightened. Feelings of anxiety and fear will always creep in as they perform such tasks. Trudy Ludwig's latest book addresses the issue of anxiety and fear in young children. The words, the illustrations and especially the digital-coloured pictures will nudge adults and young readers to validate the "What if..., " "I can't...," and "I'm scared..." feelings without making their fears feel worse.
Camila’s fear for most things has resulted her to hide from life. When her class went on a class field trip to the aquarium, Camila dreaded it. She avoided most of the exhibits that had scary creatures and looked for a place to hide. The moment she met Kai, another classmate who was hiding, her fear started to diminish. They both collaboratively decided to summon their courage to look at the other creatures. When it was report time, she presented the octopus (who is like her, great at hiding but also playful and shy). I love how Camila’s big heart and her concern for Kai has helped her to conquer some of her jitters and angst over new situations. It clearly shows that courage is something that happens inside us to make us push through fear, self-doubt, and anxiety so that we can do the things that is frightening. Sometimes, we just need these small moments to appear in our life so that we can show how brave we can be. Teachers and parents, great to check the back matter which includes questions for discussion, including how to deal with fears or support someone who is fearful.