Courage takes different forms – physical or emotional, extraordinary or simple. One might think a child’s act of courage to be much different than an adult’s, but that’s not necessarily the case. I recently purchased this picture book for my daughter, in commemoration of her first day of school. It was not her first day of school as a student, but as a kindergarten teacher. Just as a child needs a certain amount of bravery to step away from her parents and enter the big, wide world of school, a new teacher needs courage to face a classroom of twenty-four sets of eyes, gazing up at her with anticipation, fear, awe, or maybe mischief.
Courage by Bernard Waber is a book that she can read to her class, yet also draw strength from herself. It features some extraordinary acts of courage – from firefighters and police officers, mountain climbers and trapeze artists. Yet it features mostly everyday acts of courage from ordinary people, and even one from a dog. After all, doesn’t it take a certain amount of daring to be the one whose job it is to check out the mysterious night noises?
Riding a bike with no training wheels, jumping off that high dive, or being the first to make up after an argument are just a few examples of acts of courage that are pictured here. This book celebrates the fact that each of us, while we may not be superheroes, can still be brave.