Saturday, March 11, 2023

*Review* Vinnie the Brave by Jeff Tucker

Genre: Children's 4-7
Published: April 11, 2023
Pages: 31

Vinnie is fearless. He’s so fearless, everyone calls him Vinnie the Brave.

He’s not afraid to climb way up high, capture creepy crawlies with his bare hands, or stare down ghostly looking things. 
But this courageous kid does have one giant fear that he desperately wants to hide. It’s a terror so big, it sends a cold shiver down his spine, leaves him speechless, and makes him question just how brave he really is.

Vinnie’s great fear – speaking up in class.

When he doesn’t understand the material or the teacher goes too fast, Vinnie refuses to raise his hand. He doesn’t want the other kids to laugh at him, judge him, or say he’s clueless. He sits in silence and pretends it all makes sense. But now he’s falling behind. His grades are slipping, and something has to change.

Vinnie and his teacher come up with a secret signal he can use whenever he needs help or wants the teacher to slow down. The discreet signal involves tugging on his ears. It works perfectly until the day he tugs and tugs and tugs, but his teacher never notices. Now what?

Will Vinnie keep yanking his ears? Will he raise his hand and finally speak up? Or will he sit in silence and fall further behind?

With vibrant illustrations and a main character everyone will root for, award-winning author and school counselor Jeff Tucker explores the fears kids have about speaking up in class and being judged by their peers. A special page written specifically for parents and teachers offers practical tips on helping kids recognize the differences between helpful and harmful fears and how to manage social anxiety.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This is a story about a young boy who seems to not be afraid of anything, except for speaking up in class when he doesn't understand something the teacher is talking about. He doesn't want other kids to make fun of him or think that he's dumb, so he doesn't say anything. But then his grades start to suffer so the teacher pulls him aside during recess to ask what's going on. They come up with a signal for when he doesn't understand so she can still make sure he's learning, but one day she misses the signal and he has no choice but to speak up. I thought it was a good way to show kids that being brave isn't just not being afraid, but doing something even when you are afraid. 

The illustrations were really bright and crisp. They looked like they may have been created digitally, but they did a great job of showing the events of the story as they happened. Overall I give this book 4.06 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

JEFF TUCKER is a licensed professional counselor with experience providing mental health services to students of all ages. Jeff earned his Master’s in counseling from Louisiana Tech University and is pursuing his Doctorate in counselor education and supervision at Adams State University. Jeff is passionate about education, promoting mental health in children, and social justice issues. In 2020 he authored his first children’s book; My Name’s Sammy, and I’m no Snitch! Jeff has always been an avid reader and writer and believes in the power of books to help children thrive. Jeff lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with his spouse and their spoiled dog.

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