I Am Courage
Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds
The sixth in the I Am series looks at the topic of inner strength and resilience, things we’ve all needed to draw on in the past eighteen months or so.
This book is presented by a child narrator on a bike ride. The ride (like life) is full of challenges, but despite being faced by such obstacles as a dark path, a bridge across a deep gorge, even meeting with a frightening dog,
the child believes in their own strength and resilience, drawing on it to keep going. This sometimes entails asking for support from other people and sometimes it means giving support to others. Resilience is shown first on the child’s T-shirt, then as a bonfire and then on flags that the narrator gives to others, each time taking the form of an iconic flame symbol that helps them to find their own inner strength.
That friends are key in the whole process of keeping the flame alive no matter what, is shown in the final two spreads where we see the narrator and friends creating a large sail and sailing off on a raft with the symbol hoisted aloft.
Peter H. Reynolds uses different colour backgrounds, each one vibrant, in keeping with the range of feelings the characters show on their faces during the course of the journey.
After Susan Verde’s first person narrative, she offers an author’s note wherein she suggests some yoga poses and breathing techniques that should help youngsters in affirming the brave, confident and courageous humans that they are.