Review: Dare

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations


Book Title: Dare (available here)

Author: Lorna Gutierrez

Illustrator: Polly Noakes

Publisher: Tiny Owl

Publication Date: April 2019

Most Suitable for: KS1

Reviewed By: Rachael Collins , Primary Teacher


Like many Tiny Owl books, Dare includes inspirational messages and a diverse mix of characters, brought to life by Polly Noakes’ vibrant and uplifting illustrations.


Lorna Gutierrez‘s simple, yet meaningful, rhyming text on each page repeats the idea of daring children to do something different and brave. All of the ‘dare to…’ messages encourage children to think about how they can strive to be a good person, having a positive impact on themselves, others and the world around them. A slightly different use of font and placement of text on each page helps each new message stand out from the one before it.


The illustrations mix elements of the characters’ reality and their imaginations, merging them together to form the child’s view of the world. The illustrator has chosen a clever use of colour design, with some aspects of every page being line drawings that pull the emphasis towards the central, colourful illustrations.


Although each message encourages children to do something different, one common thread through these messages is appreciation and care of the local environment. In one illustration, a child tentatively handles a flower found growing through cracks in concrete, whilst the adults far above do not look down long enough to notice. In another, a child joins in with a demonstration against plastic use, carefully creating their own protest sign to share.


‘Dare’ urges young people to stand up for what matters, see the goodness around them and make a difference in the world.


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You can order Dare online or from your local bookshop or library.


Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Rachael for reviewing the book.

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