4 out of 4 stars
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Kaleb the Brave is a children’s story written by Adam McCoy and illustrated by Stephanie Drake. It is based on the experiences of the author’s son, who developed a fear of the dark. The story illustrates the ways in which parents can be supportive of their children, both encouraging them to use their imagination in positive ways and encouraging them to face their fears without shaming them for having the fear.
Kaleb is an imaginative boy who dreams up scenarios of fighting a group of aliens called Revicks. In his imagined scenarios, Kaleb has superpowers, such as the ability to conjure a tornado or even move mountains, and he defends the Earth against the Revicks. However, when he wakes up and must face the still-dark hallway, he imagines monsters lurking in the shadows.
One day, Kaleb dreams of a magical tree that gives him the courage to face his fears. He learns to use the power of his imagination to control his anxiety.
The book is appropriate for middle-grade readers to read on their own, or adults can read the story to younger children. I think that most children will feel that the colorful monsters are fun rather than scary, but there were a few of them that younger children might find a tiny bit frightening.
Overall, Kaleb the Brave is a well-written story that expresses a compassionate approach to childhood fears. I really enjoyed reading it and feel confident in recommending it to parents. I loved the illustrations and found nothing to dislike about the story itself.
My only criticism is the fact that the author switched abruptly from telling the tale from Kaleb’s point of view to telling the story in the third person, and then back again. This happened at the end of chapter four and then again in chapter 5.
I believe that the story was professionally edited. There were no spelling or grammatical errors and the story flowed well and made sense. The switch from the first person to the third person may have been intentional, but it disrupted the flow of the story rather than enhancing to it. It was not a significant enough problem where I would consider removing a star from the rating, but I would recommend that the author might consider reworking this issue for future editions of the book.
I give Kaleb the Brave four out of four stars. It is a wonderful story that I think children of all ages can enjoy, and parents can appreciate it as well.
Kaleb The Brave
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