The amazing Mathew Tobin, senior lecturer in education at Oxford Brookes, shared some kind words about Dare on Twitter!
I loved this from the cover right through. The words raced me along but the pictures asked me to stay awhile. Dare can give us hope, rouse us into being a greater part of a whole. Here then is a book whose values should be embraced and shared with every child.
Being someone who also wears hearing aids (when he doesn’t lose them) it was a nice touch to see our protagonist wearing some too.
He also wrote a fab review on Goodreads! Read it below!
With the strong repeating phrase ‘dare to’, Gutierrez and Noakes encourage their readers to find within themselves the courage to be who they want to be and to challenge ideas which hold always held them back.
Recently, there has been a hopeful rise in young activists alongside an increase in children’s publications that actively seek to break down entrenched beliefs which either harm our planet or limit our sense of self; Dare is an outstanding, short little picture book that carries a placard against such limiting and damaging ideologies.
Presented in a square format, the book is big enough to share but is, in fact, one that encourages a solo read: this is a book whose message is waiting just for you. From the tutu-wearing boy on the title page to placard-bearing girl near the end, the pages billow with life. Sometimes the illustrations ask us to tilt the double-page spreads vertically so that we’re diving deep underwater and at others it’s a horizontal reading as we sail across a sea or march against the pollution of our oceans. Throughout, Noakes’ watercolours are observational and sketch-like and this helps heighten the vibrancy and movement of the pictures.
Although the words and rhythm may seem simplistic its message is deep and inspiring and with any good poem, it invites you to return. I particularly liked the play with the typography throughout – sometimes words were quiet and small and at other times, bold and bright encouraging real read aloud moments.
Dare is about giving children the license to hope and aspire but it is also a picture book that encourages them to stand up for their beliefs and challenge ideas which hold no sway in our times.
- Read an interview with illustrator Polly Noaks: It feels natural to draw children from different ethnic backgrounds
- Read a blog about author’s visit to London
- Read a review by Melissa Jordan: Dare will make children and adults smile!
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