Blog Tour: Brave Dave by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees
Find out why we love this magnificent new book as we join the blog tour celebrating its release...
I don't think there's a picture book fan on Earth who isn't familiar with Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees. Now, from the same talented team who brought us this classic, comes Brave Dave. And just like
Gerald the giraffe, Dave the bear is another inspiring character who dances to a different tune.
Dave is a grizzly bear with an inferiority complex. His brother Clarence is bigger, stronger and braver than him. Dave tries to be just like Clarence but it only makes him miserable. It's only when Dave decides to listen to his heart and find his own path that he discovers true happiness. And by defying gender stereotypes and expectations of how bears should behave, he proves there's more than one way to be brave too.
It's fantastic how Brave Dave encourages children to not only be themselves but embrace the things that make them unique. Even as adults, there's a tendency to compare ourselves to those around us and it can be particularly hard for children, especially if they have siblings that or classmates that excel at certain things. It's even worse if these are things the child feels pressure to perform well at based on their gender or traditions.
My favourite aspect of this story is that it reinforces how everyone has their own interests and talents, and that it's absolutely fine to like and/or be good at things that might not be popular or considered prestigious by others. And it'a also wonderful how this story also demonstrates that it doesn't matter if we don't look the same as others either.
This timely message landed straight away with my kids (who adore Dave and his cute animal pals); the eldest even pronounced that 'everyone is different' before we had gotten to the end the first time we read this.
Giles Andreae's rhyming is as masterful as ever. It's accompanied by artwork from Guy Parker-Rees is in his signature dynamic, detailed and uplifting style. The illustrations get bonus points for their psychedelic, 70s quality. There is even a scene at the very end which involves dancing and has echoes of disco. This all adds to the powerful feel-good vibes of the entire book.
Brave Dave is a gorgeous book that will help little readers discover their own destiny, pursue their dreams, learn to express themselves, and feel secure and confident while doing so. We can all learn from Dave and from his brother Clarence too. Clarence supports Dave's choices even if they might be unconventional and it's important that children learn to do this for others too. I'm going to leave you with some of Clarence's poignant words to Dave which actually had me feeling a little emotional when I first heard them:
"And to speak with such honestly, straight from your heart, Well that, let me tell you.. that's brave.
To know that you're different, but be who you are,
Have the courage to say it out loud,
To go out and find what can make your heart sing,
Oh nothing could ake me more proud."
Thanks so much to the lovely people in Hachette for inviting us on this tour. Don't forget to visit all the stops to learn more about this fabulous book.
Brave Dave was published by Hachette on 4th August and is available everywhere books are sold. We received a gift of this book on exchange for a review - all opinions expressed are our own.
About the Author
Giles Andreae is the author of many top-selling, award-winning picture books. These include Elephant Me, Rumble in the Jungle, Commotion in the Ocean and I Love My Mummy. However, it is for the international bestseller Giraffes Can't Dance that he is best known. Giles is also the creator of Purple Ronnie, Britain's favourite stickman, and of the artist/philosopher, Edward Monkton. These two ranges of greetings cards, books and merchandise have made Giles the country's top-selling living poet. Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children's clothes designer, and their four children by the river in Oxfordshire.
About the Illustrator
Guy Parker-Rees' exuberant and energetic illustrations have made him a household name and one of today's bestselling children's illustrators. Notable successes include picture book classic Giraffes Can't Dance, a worldwide bestseller; Spookyrumpus, winner of the Sheffield, Dundee and Portsmouth book awards, and most recently, Elephant Me. Guy lives in Brighton with his wife and three sons.