Dare is one of those children’s stories, that even as an adult makes me smile every time I pick it up. Younger children will love the simple, fun and inspiring poem by Lorna Gutierrez, and noticing all the things the children from diverse backgrounds do. Older readers and adults will also pick up on the many positive messages about: being yourself, reaching out to others, standing up for what you believe in and daring to be you.
The illustrator Polly Noakes brings the story to life with her unique illustration style. I am already a big fan of the illustrator, but am more familiar with here drawing animals rather than people. Polly draws a wonderful group of diverse children that appear in the story doing all sorts of things, some of which challenge gender stereotypes. Such as a girl aspiring to be an astronaut and, a boy dressing up in a skirt. The girl aspiring to be an astronaut especially resonated with my daughter, as when she was younger she got very frustrated when all she saw in books about space (including some non-fiction books) were ones with boys or men.
The core messages of this story will appeal to children and adults of all ages. It is a fun story to read aloud which also has important messages about: taking part, reaching out and, being yourself. It also invite’s the reader to appreciate quiet times, and encourages children to be comfortable with their own company. Both of which are really important for fostering well-being, in a world often full of business and noise.
A fun, playful, heart-warming and empowering story that, I would highly recommend for every school and home library.
Here is the second half of the poem:
“Dare to be your own best friend
Dare to enjoy a silent night
Dare to be a shining light,
Dare to be who you truly are
A light in the dark
Be you a star”
Thank you to the publishers Tiny Owl for a review copy of this book. On their website they have a free International Womens’ Day poster to download.
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