A Little Bit Brave by Nicola Kinnear

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Published by Alison Green Books, an imprint of Scholastic, 2019.

This is the story of two bunnies, Logan and Luna. They’re friends. Logan likes to stay at home. He’s scared of venturing outside. Luna, on the other hand, is an intrepid explorer and daring adventurer. One day they have a falling out. Luna is trying to persuade Logan to join her on an adventure but he refuses to leave the burrow. She storms off. Logan is left feeling unsettled; he and Luna have never argued before. He wants to make it up with her but there’s a problem: Luna is outside!

Logan summons up all his courage, packs a rucksack and braves the outside world. He can’t find Luna but he does meet some woodland animals who know her. They tell him the sorts of places she goes to and he realises that he’ll have to follow in her footsteps to find her. Logan comes to realise that he’s a little bit braver than he first thought.

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I absolutely love the book’s autumnal colour palette: rich reds and oranges, deep browns and greens. The illustrations are stunning. I want to frame them and hang them on my wall. The mustard-coloured woodland endpapers are a complete treat too. Author/illustrator Nicola loves drawing the natural world and is greatly inspired by the countryside. This is really apparent in her beautifully detailed pages, the double-page spreads in particular. The flora and fauna are lovingly depicted and shown at their most magnificent: herds of deer racing through the forest, an eagle soaring above the treetops, otters diving in their underwater world. The characterisation is brilliant, especially Logan’s facial expressions. My absolute favourite character, however, is the wolf: the lines, the shape, his huge bushy tail – just tremendous!

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I liked the themes of friendship and difference. The contrast between the two bunnies is nicely drawn. I also enjoyed how the book challenges traditional gender stereotypes; it’s the female who’s the adventurer and the boy who likes to stay at home knitting and baking. I was impressed too by the book’s reassuring message that’s it’s good to try new things and that we’re capable of more than we think.

With its gold foiled cover, glorious illustrations and its encouragement to step outside your comfort zone, A Little Bit Brave is a terrific new picture book.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 2+

Thank you to Scholastic for sending me this book to review. I reviewed this book as part of the A Little Bit Brave blog tour where author/illustrator Nicola talked to me about how she used colour to help her tell Logan’s story. Read her guest post here.

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