Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Review - Chester the Brave

Chester the Brave: The Kissing Hand Series

By: Audrey Penn
Illustrated by: Barbara L. Gibson
Publisher: Tanglewood Books
Publication Date: September 2012
ISBN: 978-1-933718-79-8
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: September 2012

Chester Raccoon has been around before to help children feel better and teach them valuable lessons about growing up. Chester is one of those characters, actually, that are as entertaining and valuable as Curious George or the big, red Marmaduke used to be for this (once) young mind.

In this newest Chester tale, we have a lesson about bravery, courage, and having the strength to stand up and do something even when your heart may be very afraid to do it - which is a lesson that not only children need to learn but, at times, parents as well.

Chester has a lesson that he needs to speak about in front of his class and, boy, is that scary. Think about it. Remember when all eyes were on you; your fingers began to shake and you palms began to sweat, your face got so red you felt like you were in an oven, and your knees felt like they were going to give out underneath you. You spoke as fast as you could - a little too fast - in order to say what you had to say and then sit down as fast as possible. There was nothing scarier than that!

Well, Chester’s Mom tells him a tale about a small robin who had to fly from his nest. Everybody else was taking their turn but the little robin was petrified. I mean…jumping out of a tree and simply gliding on the breeze? That’s some scary stuff. So what did the little robin do? He listened to a tale told by his father who said flying had nothing to do with bravery - you just had to be ‘not bothered’ by flying…just like the little robin wasn’t bothered by eating worms or singing. (Of course, Chester thinks worms are gross so a big ‘ick’ came from that one.) But the robin, even though he was afraid, gave it his all - and that’s what Chester has to do.

“Think - Tell - Do” is a powerful lesson for kids and for Chester. If you think you can’t, tell yourself you can and then do it! Of course, Chester has an extra little good luck charm that no one but he and his mom know about. He has a loving kiss held in the palm of his hand that’s all about comfort, and with that charm and that lesson, Chester has the chance to get through what needs to be done.

Yet again, from the creators of Chester, comes a truly lovely story that will help children in all aspects of their lives. And the illustrations of Chester and his friends are unforgettable!

Quill Says: A lovely book and a great character that children will bond with!

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