DARE is a poetic manifesto for children, encouraging them to live loud and clear, to stand up for what they believe in, and to be unafraid of making their own mark on the world. Captured in couplets that belie the punch this book packs, Lorna Gutierrez’s writing sparkles and speaks direct to the heart, without a single word wasted. Setting aside stereotypes and the pressures of a world which loves conformity to its ideas, DARE urges children to be unafraid to compete, to take time to stop and enjoy their world, to stand up for others, to dare to connect with new friends, to make their voice heard about issues regarding the planet’s welfare, and to simply have fun.
The poetry is perfectly complemented by Polly Noakes’ vividly realised illustration, with colours that are as striking as the big sentiments that the book expresses, and just as beautiful. It is hard to encourage children to be bold in conviction without their becoming brash in expression, but DARE manages to champion the rights of children to live, and speak and believe, in just the right tone. A marvellous book, which is highly recommended.