Ten Picture Books That Spark Courage & 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

Ten Picture Books That Spark Courage & 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author and illustrator Gaia Cornwall with her list of ten picture books that spark courage. She took the jump from illustrator to author with her first picture book, Jabari Jumps, a charming story about a boy who wants to dive for the first time, but finds it a little scary.

We are giving away 3 copies of Jabari Jumps! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter. How about you? What picture books that spark courage do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is ready to jump off the diving board for the first time!… Right after he does some stretches. And thinks about what kind of jump to do. Actually, everyone else can go first… With the help of his supportive dad, Jabari figures out how to deal with his fear and tackle a new challenge. [ages 2 and up]

10 Picture Books That Spark Courage!

1. Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez

Lucia is fearless and awesome, but when classmates tell her that girls “can’t be superheroes” she loses some of her pluck. With the help of her grandmother, she explores her family’s Luchadora heritage and claims her place. Great messages of being strong, sticking up for yourself, with an anti-bullying story. Fast paced and super fun!  [picture book, ages 3 and up]

2. The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires

Lou is brave and fast and mighty! She’s never climbed a tree before, but she doesn’t want to anyways. Kids will relate to Lou as she struggles with finding the courage to try something new. [ages 2 and up]

3. Small by Gina Perry

A little girl realizes that maybe being small is just a state of mind. Perry’s beautiful illustrations sets us in a city full of all kinds of people and sites. Little readers will find the story relatable and empowering! Look for Small in August! [picture book, ages 3 and up]

4. I am (not) Scared! by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant

A silly, fast paced read aloud about friends braving the amusement park together. (These two remind me of Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie– but for a younger crowd.) A great text to encourage younger children to explore and identify their feelings. [picture book, ages 3 and up]

5. Little Red Rolls Away by Linda Whalen, pictures by Jennifer E. Morris

Change can be hard and scary. But with the help of his friends, Little Red gets through it! The perfect read for when your family is moving, or for a child dealing with circumstances out of their control. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

6.  Brave by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Monsters under the bed? Going to the hospital? A diverse group of kids explores what it means to be brave in various relatable scary situations. This read provides a great jumping off point to discuss developing courage while dealing with feelings of fear. Look out for Brave coming this October! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

7. Mrs McBee Leaves Room 3 by Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan, illustrated by Grace Zong

Mrs. McBee is leaving her school and as her class grapples with the emotions on their last day, she helps them face their fears and process their sadness. This sweet story goes beyond the surface and really explores complicated concepts in a gentle, understanding way. A great book to help deepen a young reader’s emotional literacy. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

8. Renato and the Lion by Barbara DiLorenzo

Beautiful watercolors perfectly illustrate this World War II refugee story told from a child’s point of view. Educators and parents will find this sensitive, timely book a wonderful jumping off point to discuss current events. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

9. Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad by Emma Otheguy, pictures by Beatriz Vidal

Older readers will enjoy this bilingual biography of José Martí who fought for Cuban independence. This beautifully illustrated text explores themes of standing up for your own beliefs,– even if it means making your family and friends angry, and finding strength and inspiration in nature. Coming in July! [picture book, ages 7 and up]

10. The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The wrenching true story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, the youngest known marcher  to be arrested at a civil rights march in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963. For an older reader, Levinson and Brantley-Newton shine light on perhaps a little known part of our United States history. Audrey’s story explores what it means to stand up for what you believe in the face of danger. She is the epitome of courage. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Jabari Jumps 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

We are giving way 3 copies of Jabari Jumps to three winners! Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. We can only mail to U.S. addresses due to the high cost of shipping.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gaia Cornwall

Gaia Cornwall is an illustrator who loves making patterns for surface design, illustrating for children, & writing picture books. To learn more about her, please check out her website, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

 To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Ten Picture Books That Spark Courage & 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay for postage and handling for my giveaways.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Lisa Maucione

    These are great books to read aloud in a classroom. Lucia the Luchasdora looks interesting!

  2. I just read Jabari Jumps yesterday at the library. It is gorgeous! I loved the newsprint buildings in the background. I would love a copy to share with students in the media center this Fall during #classroombookaday. Thanks for writing!

  3. John Smith

    “What are your kids’ favorite books that make them feel brave?” Well, “Huckleberry Finn” goes on quite an adventure!

  4. Kathy

    We love The Kissing Hand – great for first day of camp, first day of school bravery, etc.

  5. These look great! We have the youngest marcher on our list for this fall when we study the civil rights movement.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Blogging Through the Alphabet: Z is for ZestMy Profile

  6. The Youngest Marcher is an amazing book–loved it! I also enjoyed Jabari Jumps (and read somewhere that Jabari means “the brave one” in Swahili 🙂 Looking forward to reading the others.

  7. Courage is a much needed virtue in these times – glad to have this list of books to nurture its development in the littlest readers!

  8. Kristen Picone

    I love using The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman and Courage by Bernard Waber to discuss bravery/courage with my 5th graders at the beginning of the year. Looking forward to adding Jabari Jumps to my collection. Thank you!

  9. I saw Jabari Jumps at the LA SCBWI Conference. I bought a copy but I lost it in all the chaos. I would love one to add to my inspiration shelf. 😊

  10. Heather Jensen

    I think it is vital to teach our kids about courage! My favorite books to read for this are: The Youngest Marcher, The Librarian of Basra, and Bully.

  11. Jen

    We love Franklin books and I am not brave was great, too.

  12. LeAnn Carpenter

    Love the way brave is shown in each book!

  13. Maybe “The Kiss Box”? This one looks great!
    maryanne recently posted…Teach Kids to Design and Sew Stuffed Toys Based on DrawingsMy Profile

  14. Loved reading Jabari Jumps – what a kid-relatable lesson in overcoming fear. I reviewed Martí’s Song for Freedom today, and will be reviewing Renato soon. All of these are great choices!
    Patricia Nozell recently posted…PPBF – Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertadMy Profile

  15. I’m jumping to win this book 😊

  16. Congratulations Kathlyn, Deanna and Shelly! Your copies of JABARI JUMPS are being sent out.
    Mia, thanks so much for hosting this, and thank you to everyone who participated!

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