“Be Brave!” by Charlie Alder, Author of Daredevil Duck
As I sit here, looking at a blank computer screen, trying to think of the right words for my first ever guest blog post I realise I need to take some advice from Daredevil Duck. What would he tell me…?
Have a go!
You never know till you try!
Ok, I’ll try, here we go…
Daredevil Duck is my first author-illustrated picture book. The story actually started as a simple sketch of Daredevil Duck. Looking at the timid little bird smiling out of the page, I thought it would be funny to have a superhero that was also a bit of a scaredy-duck. As I began writing I realised this little character felt very familiar to me, he was just like my 5-year-old son! I started to think about the hopes and fears of a five year old, starting school, making friends, or playing a new sport. I thought it would be lovely to include this in the narrative.
The main premise of my story, and the most important idea that I wanted children (and adults!) to take away with them was twofold. I wanted to show them that being fearful is ok, it’s a positive emotion in some respects, but sometimes it can stop you in your tracks. The fear of failure can prevent you from embracing your hopes and dreams. Daredevil Duck wants to be brave, but time and again he gets scared. Secondly, I wanted to show the reader that the hardest step to take is often the first one. If you really want to achieve something, it’s up to you, start with the first step and you may surprise yourself.
It was also important to illustrate that the road to bravery is a bumpy one for Daredevil Duck. There are characters in the story that support and cheer him on, and there are those who mock and belittle him, much like life. However, it was vital for me to demonstrate that there is a positive resolution to this, and in the end his critics become his biggest fans!
Another key point that I wanted to convey towards the end of the book was that just because Daredevil Duck had performed one brave deed, it didn’t make him a huge invincible superhero. He was still the same Daredevil Duck, and still scared of the same obstacles in his life. Now however, he tried the things that had scared him before, sometimes with friends for support, sometimes on his own. He still looks concerned about various tasks, but at the back of your mind you know he’s going to try his Daredevil Duck best!
Summary: Meet Daredevil Duck.
He is afraid of everything. But that doesn’t stop him from DREAMING of being brave.
Then one day he is given the biggest challenge of all . . .
Can Daredevil Duck prove that he is the bravest duck in the whole wide world?
This delightful picture book is filled with bright, playful illustrations and cleverly placed interactive flaps and gatefolds. Daredevil Duck is a lovable hero who, despite having a long list of fears, isn’t afraid to dream big. Alder brings this character to life with her expressions, humorous narration, and one big adventurous story. At its heart, Daredevil Duck shows that enjoying the moment and believing in oneself can open up a whole new and exciting world.
About Charlie Alder: Charlie Alder has illustrated many books for children, including Toot! and Express Yourself! Daredevil Duck is her first authored and illustrated picture book. She lives in Devon, England, with her husband and son, whose exploits on a squeaky red tricycle inspired the creation of her feathered hero. When not drawing ducks, Charlie can be found in her studio drinking coffee, arranging her crayons, and inventing more accidental superheroes. You can visit her at charliealder.com and on Twitter @chuckie346.
Stop by another stop on Daredevil Duck‘s blog tour!
5/4 Wife Hat, Mom Hat
5/5 Geo Librarian
5/6 In The Pages
5/7 Stacking Books
5/9 Bea’s Book Nook
5/11 Coffee for the Brain
5/12 The Picture Book Review
5/13 Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms
5/14 Mom Read It
5/15 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books
5/16 Cheryl Rainfield
5/17 Unleashing Readers
Thank you to Charlie Alder for stopping by! We adore what Daredevil Duck stands for!
**Thank you for Cassie at Running Press for hosting the blog tour and giveaway!**