Max the Brave
written and illustrated by Ed Vere
Source: Orange County Public Library
Max does not like being dressed up with bows.
Max doesn't think of himself as a cute kitten even though he fits the bill. He's courageous and ready to take on the mice of the world. The problem is, he doesn't know what one looks like. Once he finds out, he'll be ready to do battle. Max finds a tin can and asks a fly if he is a mouse. No, replies the fly but he mentions that Mouse was there a moment ago. Max has similar encounters with a fish, a group of birds, and an elephant. Finally, Max meets Mouse. But being a clever creature, Mouse declare himself to be Monster and points to a place where Mouse might be scurrying. When Max meets "Mouse", he looks much larger than expected and he's asleep. When Mouse's mouth opens, his teeth look really big. Falling into "Mouse's" mouth creates a bit of a problem for heroic Max.
Max the Brave is a really good book to explore the meaning of bravery. I think primary age students would take this topic and run with it. The great thing about Max is that you can approach the subject in a humorous way as opposed to the traditional "let's read some books about some really brave people." This opens the door to thinking about bravery in different ways. Plus, you can't beat a black cat wearing a cape on the cover of the book.