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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
Brave Howie and the Terrible Giant, written by Clark Rich Burbidge and illustrated by Jared Salmond, begins with a wonderful dedication about how there could be no heroes without villains. The story starts with a big, strong, scary creature that is terrorizing the Kingdom of Snee. He destroys crops. He upsets the marketplace. The kingdom is miserable and in need of a hero. The king invites heroes, knights on horseback, with lances to defeat this beast. They all fail. The king gives up in despair. Then a 4-foot-tall young man named Howie arrives. The king doesn’t want to see little Howie get hurt. The giant doesn’t want to fight this tiny boy. So, Brave Howie and the destructive Giant talked.
Friendship as a solution to bullying is ideal. Brave Howie and the Terrible Giant would be a good story for a class or a child who has a bullying problem. Howie’s bravery and kindness enable him to get the giant to tell him what he really wants, and they become friends. Howie helps the giant learn to control his temper, so people want to be around him and invite him to parties. This rhyming story by Clark Rich Burbidge is a feel-good tale of strength through adversity – keeping true to our best selves. The main feature of this story is the lesson – bullies can be your friends. The story acknowledges that using violence against violence is tempting, but it’s not a solution. Even villains deserve respect.