June Book Salute: Brave Rooney

5 Jun

We are an iPad/iPhone lovin’ family. Of course I prefer my kids to play outside, create projects or read, but I have to say that at the end of the day (especially a day that involves a waiting room, a restaurant or a long car ride) these gadgets bring more peace than problems to my family.

image credit: Gerry Renert/Author

I love my iPad as an e-reader for myself, but until recently, I hadn’t found anything worth sharing with my kids in the way of children’s literature.  They weren’t very interested in hearing a story on the iPad when they could be frosting a cake or solving a puzzle. Well, that all changed with “Brave Rooney,” an interactive storybook by three-time EMMY nominated Kid’s TV writer Gerry Renert.

Beyond the great interactive features and animations offered in this storybook app, there is a great story – one that captures the challenge of “fitting in” and lends itself well to helping foster positive self-esteem.  This story tells the tale of Rooney, a young boy having a tough time as the new kid and only non-superhero at his new superhero school.  After weeks of trying to keep up with his superhero classmates, Rooney has his chance to shine with confidence and courage of a different kind.

Offering positive, non-stereotypical messages and images of bravery and heroes, this book provides wonderful examples and role models for young children. With imaginative and nonviolent superhero happenings, characters also demonstrate kindness, acceptance and the importance of celebrating differences.  In response to concerns over the narrow and detrimental portrayal of boys and masculinity in  pop culture,  Brave Rooney appears on the scene like a true superhero!

I had the opportunity to correspond with the author, Gerry Renert, and he had this to share:

At a time when the top grossing movie (for both kids and adults) is Marvel’s AVENGERS, it’s difficult to go up against something with that kind of popularity, fostered by the huge marketing dollars of a studio like Disney, but that is part of what I’m attempting to do.

As a child, I admittedly read every Superman comic I could, and watched the TV series daily.  But MY Superman was framed only as a fun character willing to go up against a silly, evil man.  He was not part of a cult or an aggressive role model to admire and aspire to, supported by every imaginable piece of kid’s merchandise.   When superhero characters of that time needed to defend themselves, they never resorted to the type of excessive, high-pitched violence seen in today’s movies.

That is the spirit I wrote BRAVE ROONEY in.  If it is well received, I plan to do more ROONEY storybook apps that continue to show kids the fallibility of superheroes and that every kid has a super skill within themselves that just needs discovering.

When so much of what I read and want to write about has to do with what’s wrong with today’s media, I’m so grateful to have “Brave Rooney” as an example of something right!  Definitely check out Mr. Renert fine work and spread the word. I know my kids and I would LOVE to hear more tales of Brave Rooney!

To interact with all the great animations within the storybook app, head to iTunes. You can also have “Brave Rooney” read to you at magicblox.com.

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2 Responses to “June Book Salute: Brave Rooney”

  1. morecompassion June 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    I just saw this article and wondered if you might be commenting on it.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/devon-corneal/gender-differences_b_1586866.html?ref=parents

    Parts of it totally made me sad.

    • Hillary Manaster June 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

      Wow! I definitely will! Thanks for passing this along.

      Sent from my iPad

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