cover image Sheila Rae, the Brave

Sheila Rae, the Brave

Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07155-4

A mouse both boastful and fearless, Sheila Rae decides to go home from school by taking a new route. She walks backwards with her eyes closed, growls at dogs and cats, climbs trees, turns new corners and crosses different streetsand ends up in the middle of unfamiliar territory. Lost and sad, she thinks of home, her parents and her timid sister Louise. As soon as she cries for help, who should appear but Louise, who swings down from a tree branch and saves Sheila Rae from harm. She had followed her older sister, and she knows the way back. Everything that happens here is completely credible, hence appealing to kids' intuitionsmost get carried away sometimes and learn their limitations the hard way. Henkes's illustrations show rainbow-colored forests, mellow graffiti-scrawled fences and one very confident character, Sheila Rae. But little Louise steals the show. Ages 5-8. (August)