The Picture Book Buzz

I Will Be Fierce - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I've heard time and again that a picture book is a 50-50 partnership of the text and the illustrations. Often times the illustrator goes beyond the text or brings additional elements to the story. As I evaluate books, some as potential mentors, some for reviews, I am struck by the number I've recently found where the text, often very lyrical and beautiful, provides a framework, while the plot of the story exists in the illustrations. This week's #PPBF book is another such book.

This book will resonate with anyone who's shy, facing a new or scary experience (new school, public speaking, . . .), daring to chart their own path, and those who can find a bit of sunshine in every experience. It is a powerful and gorgeous call to action for practicing kindness to ourselves and others.

I Will Be Fierce!

Author: Bea Birdsong

Illustrator: Nidhi Chanani

Publisher: Macmillan (2019)

Ages: 3-6

Fiction

Themes:

Courage, confidence, kindness, and being true to yourself.

Synopsis (from the Publisher):

Today, I will be fierce!

It's a brand new day, and a young girl decides to take on the world like a brave explorer heading off on an epic fairy tale quest. From home to school and back again, our hero conquers the Mountain of Knowledge (the library), forges new bridges (friendships), and leads the victorious charge home on her steed (the school bus).

Opening Lines:

TODAY I WILL BE FIERCE!

I will answer the call to adventure.

I will put on my armor.

I will fill my treasure chest.

Why I Liked this book:

The text could easily be a story set in medieval times, a pirate story, or even a story in outer space. In addition to an adventure, armor, and a treasure chest, there are monsters, dragons, a many-headed serpent, as well as a mountain of knowledge.

Bea Birdsong's text is a lovely poetic ode to discovering ones bravery to conquer obstacles, stand up for your beliefs, blaze your own path, make friends, and be fierce. Kirkus even calls it a "multicultural girl-power manifesto."

It is Nidhi Chanani's beautiful, lively illustrations that make this a story of a young girl overcoming her fears as she heads to school,

Text © Bea Birdsong, 2019. Image © Nidhi Chanani, 2019.

navigates throughout the day,

Text © Bea Birdsong, 2019. Image © Nidhi Chanani, 2019.

and returns home the triumphant hero. I love the nod by Bea and Nidhi to the magic and wonder of libraries and especially the "Guardian of Wisdom," with the green stripe in her hair!

Text © Bea Birdsong, 2019. Image © Nidhi Chanani, 2019.

This book, with its rainbow clad main character, will be a great addition to libraries and classrooms. In addition to it's obvious girl-power message, there are wonderful images that will open many discussions on being true to yourself, ways to conquer your fears, and social justice.

Resources

- write or draw about a time that you needed to be brave or fierce;

- what would be your armor (something that helps you be brave)?

- where you ever a new kid in school or on a team? Did someone stand up for you? Have you stood up for someone else? or

- make yourself a bravery badge (see https://www.education.com/activity/article/bravery-badge/).

If you missed Bea Birdsong's interview on Monday, find it (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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