Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Brave Enough for Two (A Hoot and Olive Story) by Jonathan D. Voss

Hoot was Olive's very best friend in all the whole wide world.

But, as you know, best friends don't always like the same things,

Take, for instance, ADVENTURE.

Olive liked adventure, as long as it came between the covers of a good book.

Hoot preferred to find his outside in the wide world.

So, one fine day, Hoot persuaded Olive to put down her book and take him outside to find something daring.

And their finds were exciting. Olive found an abandoned laundry basket (which on its own was not exciting) but the bunch of helium balloons tied to it suggested a great adventure to Hoot--a virtual hot air balloon ride!
"I'm not brave like you," said Olive."Don't worry," said Hoot. "I'm brave enough for both of us."

So they step into the basket, just as the breeze lifts them high off the ground. Olive is worried when she sees how far they are from the ground, while Hoot rejoices that he feels how a cloud must feel.  What an adventure to float across the sky!

But clouds do more than just float, and the real clouds darken and rain begins to fall. There's thunder and lightning and wind, and.... Olive is afraid that they will be blown far and get lost.
"We can never be lost so long as I'm here," said Hoot.

It's brave talk from Hoot, but Olive has had enough of high-flying adventure. She begins to untie the balloons, one by one, and they drop down, the basket settling in the fast-flowing river. Their basket is tossed and then blown to shore, torn by the current. Hoot is soaked and heavy with water. It's getting dark, and now Hoot is afraid. And now Olive sees that her friend needs for her to have courage.
"As long as you're here and I'm here, we can never be lost," said Olive.

And now Olive comes through with courage for two as she carries the sodden Hoot until they find their way home. All's well that ends with two adventuring friends safe and sound, in Jonathan D. Voss' Brave Enough for Two: A Hoot and Olive Story (Henry Holt and Company), a beautifully illustrated story of a great adventure ironically set safely within the covers of a picture book. Voss's illustrations, done with strong, flowing lines and deep but glowing colors, have the feel of movement, and his story of courage shared is heartwarming for young readers. "[A] supportive story of friendship and taking chances, illustrated in burnished-toned compositions that take on a cinematic expansiveness," says Publishers Weekly.

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