Ben Brooks (text) and Nigel Baines (illustrator), Not All Heroes Wear Capes, Hachette Australia, March 2021, 160 pp., RRP $19.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781526362896
This title by the author of Dare to Be Different books, challenges the traditional thinking behind the word ‘hero’. Some of the biggest changes in the world have happened though small acts of kindness, or creative processes that have impacted many lives positively.
The book explores topics ranging from making the world a safer place to small and bigger acts of charity. Each chapter presents the story of a real life ‘hero’ who has taken action through their own passion and desire to change something for the better. There is veteran Captain Tom Moore who walked around his garden daily on his walker during the UK Covid-19 lockdown and aimed to raise 1000 pounds. The final amount he raised for UK hospitals landed on 30 million pounds. There is also the story of the 1870 New Zealand Maori tour guide, Te Paea Hinerangi, who sheltered locals in her house after a volcano erupted saving the lives of sixty people. In particular, the story of nine-year old German boy Felix Finkbeiner, founder of Plant for the Planet, would inspire any child to act on environmental issues.
Along with the author’s philosophical discussion on how we can all make the world a better place, this book makes an engaging read for 8–10-year-olds searching for the hero in themselves.
Reviewed by Stef Gemmill