cover image When You Are Brave

When You Are Brave

Pat Zietlow Miller, illus. by Eliza Wheeler. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-39252-5

Big changes are underway for Miller and Wheeler’s protagonist: her family is moving far from friends and familiar surroundings. As the girl sits uneasily in a car’s dark backseat, a photo album reminds her of other days, and suddenly the whole world feels “Too big. Too loud. Too hard. Too much.” Opening scenes capture a feeling of alienation, rendered in moody blues and greens. But the girl musters her inner strength (“You can make your courage,” exhorts the narrator). The landscape transforms from one of smoky, industrial towers into idyllic forests and hills, and finally to a wonderful seacoast home. Miller’s message about mindfulness and self-empowerment is laid down a little thick, but Wheeler’s drawings are emotionally rich and deeply reassuring. Ages 4–8. [em](Mar.) [/em]