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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Brave Irene and 14 Other Books about Courage for Kids

Fear is a part of growing up for kids. From being afraid of the dark to being scared of dogs. Young children (and adults) may be afraid of meeting new friends or trying new things. Others fear speaking up for themselves or facing a difficult situation. Children's books are a great way for students to connect with various characters. These character lessons offer a great example of brave kids who overcome their fears and find the courage to face them. These books show that it's okay to be scared, and how to find courage from within. Read on to find a list of books about courage for kids!

Books About Courage for Kids

Fear is a part of growing up for kids. From being afraid of the dark to being scared of dogs. Young children (and adults) may be afraid of meeting new friends or trying new things. Others fear speaking up for themselves or facing a difficult situation. Children’s books are a great way for students to connect with various characters. These character lessons offer a great example of brave kids who overcome their fears and find the courage to face them. These books show that it’s okay to be scared, and how to find courage from within. Read on to find a list of books about courage for kids!

Fear is a part of growing up for kids. From being afraid of the dark to being scared of dogs. Young children (and adults) may be afraid of meeting new friends or trying new things. Others fear speaking up for themselves or facing a difficult situation. Children's books are a great way for students to connect with various characters. These character lessons offer a great example of brave kids who overcome their fears and find the courage to face them. These books show that it's okay to be scared, and how to find courage from within. Read on to find a list of books about courage for kids!

Brave Irene by William Steig

Brave Irene is the story of a determined young girl who sets out to deliver a beautiful ball gown to the palace during a fierce snowstorm. Facing obstacles and challenges, including the wicked wind, she proves that with willpower, anything is possible.

Although this is considered realistic fiction, we would never condone walking through a snowstorm… dutchess, princess, queen… NOPE! But this is a book that is worth exploring in depth.  We included it in our Engaging Readers Reading Comprehension book list.

Character Analysis

On the first day of reading this book, we look at Brave Irene at the beginning of the book and at the end of the story. At this point of the year, we start to see some great growth with our kindergarten transcription skills!

Fear is a part of growing up for kids. From being afraid of the dark to being scared of dogs. Young children (and adults) may be afraid of meeting new friends or trying new things. Others fear speaking up for themselves or facing a difficult situation. Children's books are a great way for students to connect with various characters. These character lessons offer a great example of brave kids who overcome their fears and find the courage to face them. These books show that it's okay to be scared, and how to find courage from within. Read on to find a list of books about courage for kids!

Brave Irene –  Sequencing the Story

Students work together to put the events of the story in order with these picture cards.

Fear is a part of growing up for kids. From being afraid of the dark to being scared of dogs. Young children (and adults) may be afraid of meeting new friends or trying new things. Others fear speaking up for themselves or facing a difficult situation. Children's books are a great way for students to connect with various characters. These character lessons offer a great example of brave kids who overcome their fears and find the courage to face them. These books show that it's okay to be scared, and how to find courage from within. Read on to find a list of books about courage for kids!

Then students turn to their partner to retell the story events in order using transition words.  This is great for oral language and a wonderful pre-writing experience.

Students then complete their own individual retelling craft.

Fear is a part of growing up for kids. From being afraid of the dark to being scared of dogs. Young children (and adults) may be afraid of meeting new friends or trying new things. Others fear speaking up for themselves or facing a difficult situation. Children's books are a great way for students to connect with various characters. These character lessons offer a great example of brave kids who overcome their fears and find the courage to face them. These books show that it's okay to be scared, and how to find courage from within. Read on to find a list of books about courage for kids!
Fear is a part of growing up for kids. From being afraid of the dark to being scared of dogs. Young children (and adults) may be afraid of meeting new friends or trying new things. Others fear speaking up for themselves or facing a difficult situation. Children's books are a great way for students to connect with various characters. These character lessons offer a great example of brave kids who overcome their fears and find the courage to face them. These books show that it's okay to be scared, and how to find courage from within. Read on to find a list of books about courage for kids!

Additional reading comprehension activities include looking at the problem and solution in the story, inferring, and the theme of the story.  Here are some photos of what that looks like in a classroom filled with 5 and 6 year olds.

Fear is a part of growing up for kids. From being afraid of the dark to being scared of dogs. Young children (and adults) may be afraid of meeting new friends or trying new things. Others fear speaking up for themselves or facing a difficult situation. Children's books are a great way for students to connect with various characters. These character lessons offer a great example of brave kids who overcome their fears and find the courage to face them. These books show that it's okay to be scared, and how to find courage from within. Read on to find a list of books about courage for kids!
Fear is a part of growing up for kids. From being afraid of the dark to being scared of dogs. Young children (and adults) may be afraid of meeting new friends or trying new things. Others fear speaking up for themselves or facing a difficult situation. Children's books are a great way for students to connect with various characters. These character lessons offer a great example of brave kids who overcome their fears and find the courage to face them. These books show that it's okay to be scared, and how to find courage from within. Read on to find a list of books about courage for kids!

Brave Irene Craft

We also love how these cute Brave Irene crafts came out.

Brave Irene and 14 Other Books about Courage for Kids 1
Brave Irene Craft
Brave Irene Craft
Brave Irene Craft

You can find all the Brave Irene lessons in our Engaging Readers Reading Comprehension units:

 

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

This is one of my favorite books! Jabari is a young boy who tries to overcome his fear of jumping off the diving board. Despite being confident in his abilities, the height of the board and the tall ladder make him nervous. Observing the other kids effortlessly climbing and jumping, Jabari reminds himself of his successful swimming lessons and being a skilled jumper. This is a great book for discussing confidence and the illustrations are perfect for writing instruction!Jabari tries to overcome his fear of jumping off the diving board. Despite being confident in his abilities, the height of the board and the tall ladder make him nervous. Observing the other kids effortlessly climbing and jumping, Jabari reminds himself of his successful swimming lessons and being a skilled jumper. This is a great book for discussing confidence and the illustrations are perfect for writing instruction!

Sheila Rae, the Brave by Kevin Henkes

This classic picture book about bravery is perfect for young readers. Sheila Rae is the big sister.  She’s brave when it comes to thunder, dogs, and cracks, but she realizes she has her own fears when she gets lost. That’s when her little sister, Louise, steps up and shows her bravery by saving the day. This book is great for teaching kids about facing their fears and being brave.

You can see how we used this in the classroom by clicking:

The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill

This book tackles bullying head-on! It’s perfect for kids 4-8 to start thinking and asking questions about the issue. The Recess Queen is a blast to read, thanks to its sweet rhythm, and the illustrations are awesome. And the best part? It teaches kids important life skills like self-esteem, courage, integrity, and more. Definitely a must-have for home and school!

This is a good book to start the new school year off. You can see how we used this in the classroom by clicking:

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

This book is illustrated by Jon Klassen, so you know it is going to be perfection!

Being afraid of the dark is pretty common for little guys (and adults… raising my hand), so this is a wonderful book to read to children of all ages.  You can check out the book below.  It is a little scary at first, but it is worth so good!

The Doghouse by Jan Thomas

This cute book is hilarious!  It is not really deep or wide, but it will make your class giggle, so I highly recommend it.

Mouse, Pig, Cow, and Duck are having a blast playing together until their ball rolls into the doghouse. They need someone brave enough to retrieve it, and Mouse steps up and bravely volunteers the others to do it

It is by the same author as The Easter Bunny’s Assistant.  You can read about that book by clicking:

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy

This book inspires kids to stay true to themselves, even when facing tough challenges. Despite the pressures that may make kindness appear uncool, it’s important to show kids that being their authentic selves is always in style.

This is a the  story of a young girl who has the courage to be unique.

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

This sweet book is about a leaf that is not quite ready to leave the oak tree in the fall. 

This message sends the message that sometimes it is okay to wait until you are ready.  It also provides a  powerful lesson about “letting go” and exploring what comes next.

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

This is a laugh-out-loud book!  Here is what the publisher has to say.

Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his nut tree. It’s way too dangerous out there. He could encounter tarantulas, green Martians or killer bees. But in his tree, every day is the same and if danger comes along, he’s well-prepared. Scaredy Squirrel’s emergency kit includes antibacterial soap, Band-Aids and a parachute.

You can see how we used this book in the classroom by reading:

After the Fall by Dan Santat

This is the story of how Humpty Dumpty had the courage to get back up on the wall. First, he must overcome his fear of heights. This is a fantastically illustrated book and the story could not be sweeter.

This wonderful story was written as a love letter to Dan Santat’s wife.  I love the beautiful story behind the story.  Yes, I cry when I read it!

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle and Rafael Lopez

Rafael Lopez is my favorite illustrator without hesitation.  This beautiful book does not disappoint. 

This book is inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

The Day You Begin by Jaqueline Woodson

Rafael Lopez provided the beautiful illustrations in this book as well.  This is a great book to read at any time of the year, but especially at the start of a school year.  I love this line from the book:

There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.

Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tomie dePaola

It is really hard to believe this book was written in 1979!

Tomie is not like the other boys.  They call him names because he likes to sing and dance.  He is an artist and a reader.   Tomie dePaola’s book is about having the courage not to succumb to peer pressure and to stay true to what makes you unique.  I love this book!

As Brave as Can Be by Jo Witek

This book is filled with bold illustrations.

Here is what the publisher says about this book:

An older sister explains to her younger sister all the things she used to be afraid of, along with some tricks to help deal with that fear, whether it’s a special blanket for bedtime or singing during a storm. Now, big sister assures little sister, the fears that once felt as big as a mountain feel as minuscule as a speck of dust.

Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische

This book shows kids that bravery isn’t about being fearless. It’s about that special something inside us that helps us push past our fears, self-doubt, and anxiety and tackle things that are hard or scary. Being brave doesn’t have to mean being fearless all the time. Sometimes, just a few brave seconds and a deep breath are all it takes.

I hope you found a few children’s stories to add to your list of picture books.  Do you have a favorite children’s book I should add to my list?

Fear is a part of growing up for kids. From being afraid of the dark to being scared of dogs. Young children (and adults) may be afraid of meeting new friends or trying new things. Others fear speaking up for themselves or facing a difficult situation. Children's books are a great way for students to connect with various characters. These character lessons offer a great example of brave kids who overcome their fears and find the courage to face them. These books show that it's okay to be scared, and how to find courage from within. Read on to find a list of books about courage for kids!

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Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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