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Books That Build Courage

These memorable picture books inspire self-confidence and reinforce a can-do spirit through humor and honesty.
Cover image for The Wildest Brother
The Wildest Brother
by Cornelia Funke Illustrated by Kerstin Meyer
Brave as a lion, strong as an elephant, Ben is a fearless young boy. When it comes to protecting his big sister, Anna, nothing can stand in his way! Gallantly he spends his day battling moldy green ghosts, slime-belching monsters, and all sorts of ferocious beasts.
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Cover image for Stuart's Cape
Stuart's Cape
by Sara Pennypacker Illustrated by Martin Matje

Stuart's got problems. It's raining. He's bored. And worst of all, he's new in town, so he's got a lot to worry about. But what does a kid like Stuart need in order to have an adventure...and to stop worrying? A cape, of course!

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Cover image for The Story of Ruby Bridges
The Story of Ruby Bridges
by Robert Coles Illustrated by George Ford

This beautiful picture book, illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award-illustrator George Ford, and written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Coles, tells the true story of six-year-old Ruby Bridges. In 1960, Ruby, a young African-American girl, entered a whites-only school in New Orleans.

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Cover image for Sheila Rae, the Brave
Sheila Rae, the Brave
by Kevin Henkes Illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Big sister Sheila Rae is not afraid of anything — not thunder, not lightning, not even the big black dog at the end of the block. She growls at stray dogs, and bares her teeth at stray cats. She's not even afraid of the most frightening things she can imagine, and she has quite an imagination!

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Cover image for The Recess Queen
The Recess Queen
by Alexis O'Neill Illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith

In this sassy playground romp the irrepressible new kid dethrones the reigning recess bully by doing the unthinkable — she invites her to be her friend!

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Cover image for The Princess Knight
The Princess Knight
by Cornelia Funke Illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

Violet is a young princess who wishes she could show the world that she is just as brave and strong as her brothers. But her strict father insists that she get married, and her brothers only mock her when she wants to be included in their fun.

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Cover image for Pierre in Love
Pierre in Love
by Sara Pennypacker Illustrated by Petra Mathers

Poor Pierre wishes he could tell Catherine how he feels about her, but Catherine is a graceful ballet teacher, and Pierre is merely a poor fisherman. By making a few silly mistakes and a few more brave decisions, Pierre soon learns that being a fisherman may not make him so hard to love after all.

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Cover image for The Little Engine That Could
The Little Engine That Could
by Watty Piper Illustrated by George Hauman , Doris Hauman

When the other engines refuse, the Little Blue Engine tries to pull a stranded train full of toys and good food over the mountain. This classic story about the Little Blue Engine who says "I think I can, I think I can" continues to be a popular favorite.

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Cover image for Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk
by Matt Faulkner

The timeless story of Jack's visit to the giant's kingdom, beautifully illustrated and gracefully retold.

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Cover image for I'm Gonna Like Me
I'm Gonna Like Me
by Jamie Lee Curtis Illustrated by Laura Cornell
From actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis, this feel-great picture book will encourage your child to love his own best qualities. The bouncy text alternates between boys' and girls' points-of-view as they explore their physical attributes and personalities in charming rhymes.
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Cover image for Beware of the Storybook Wolves
Beware of the Storybook Wolves
by Lauren Child
Herbie loves being read his nightly wolf storybooks — provided his mother removes them from his room before turning off the lights. When mom forgets to take out the books and wolves appear in his room, Herbie must summon his favorite fairy tale characters to help.
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