Whimsical Book Teaches Children to Overcome Fear

| by Alexandra Plancarte |

Fear is a universal emotion everyone has.

We all have fears as adults and as children. It’s not up to us to overcome those fears, says Shalene Roberts, local author of the children’s book Bruce the Brave. This is the first book for Roberts, the former editor of Signature Kitchens & Baths and Innovative Home magazines.

Bruce is a 4-year-old boy whose imagination runs wild. He isn’t afraid of anything. He loves riding throughout the Wild West, extinguishing raging fires to rescue trapped cats and fighting pirates at sea with his noble dog, Marshall. Nothing, small or large, scares Bruce, until one night a loud thunder wakes him, and he discovers a booming fear of storms. Bruce’s parents point him to God, who will help him overcome his fears.

“He [God] said that he will protect us, and he will give us courage,” Roberts said. “We don’t have to be brave on our own; it’s okay to feel fearful, and when we do feel fearful, there’s a higher power who can help us overcome that fear.”

The inspiration behind the book and the main character was Roberts’ son, Trey. Roberts never intended to publish Bruce the Brave; it started off as a birthday gift for Trey. Then, time went on, and her blog, Faith & Composition, received more attention.

“Four years later, I finally published it,” Roberts said.

Written for all ages and adults, the book has a universal message combined with beautiful, whimsical watercolor illustrations, created by Taylor McDaniel, a Southwestern Christian College graduate.

Balancing four children at home and work responsibilities is not easy, but Roberts makes time for both, often finding time to write after putting the kids to bed. For Roberts, writing has always been in her blood, and it’s one of the ways she can best express herself.

“It’s good for my kids to see me using my gifts,” Roberts said. “I think I’m glorifying God when I’m using the gifts He has given me.”

Children need to be reminded that God loves them and they are a child of God, says Roberts. 

“The Bible says that He will make them brave,” Roberts said. “So when they are scared, they don’t have to muster up the courage on their own. They can look up and say a prayer, and God will give them that courage.”

Roberts’ Faith & Composition blog is about motherhood. One of her most popular posts, “When Mothering Is Hard and No One Sees,” garnered half a million views from readers across 40 different countries.

“It’s hard when no one sees it. You’re home with the kids, or you’re getting up early,” Roberts said. “No one sees the hard stuff, and no one appreciates it… but it’s not unseen. God sees it all.”

In March, Bruce the Brave reached No. 1 in Christian children’s books on Amazon. Roberts hopes to publish a book about motherhood in the near future.

For more information, visit faithandcomposition.wordpress.com.

Bruce the Brave is available for purchase on Amazon.