Bryson the Brave Bison: Finding the Courage to Face the Storm – Nate Davenport, Luke Freshwater, and Richard Cowdrey

Bryson the Brave Bison: Finding the Courage to Face the Storm by Nate Davenport, Luke Freshwater, Richard Cowdrey
Published by Zonderkidz on June 27, 2023
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
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In this world of challenges, we all need a hero … and here comes Bryson the Brave Bison! In the face of a big storm, Bryson shows his crew and the entire herd, that you can get through anything with a little bravery and self-confidence.

Follow one brave bison as he leads his herd to face a challenge and overcome it in this original rhyming story. Combined with dynamic artwork from New York Times bestselling artist Richard Cowdrey, this legend comes alive!

Bryson the Brave Bison:

is written in lyrical rhyme perfect for read-alouds
features unique vintage style artwork from NYT bestselling artist Richard Cowdrey
highlights positive character traits such as bravery, courage, and trust
is an ideal gift for any time of year

From debut authors Nate Davenport and Luke Freshwater, Bryson the Brave Bison teaches children positive character traits such as bravery, honesty, and perseverance and shows them that with courage they can face the storms in life. Nate and Luke are good friends, intentional fathers, and business leaders who frequently speak about bravery and courage with their children and in business. Bryson the Brave Bison was inspired by Luke’s service as a firefighter in Idaho and as an Army bomb squad leader in the war in Afghanistan.

In this picture book, authors Nate Davenport and Luke Freshwater use an example from nature to teach children about choosing courage and overcoming fear. Bison run through storms together instead of scattering, and this gets them out of the storm much sooner and lessens the weather’s impact on them. In this fictional tale, Bryson the Bison encourages his friends to run through the storm with him when they all want to panic, and this fable-like story has nice messages about leadership and dealing with fear.

The rhyming text sometimes feels forced, but my biggest critique is about the illustrations. On some page spreads, Richard Cowdrey depicts bison in realistic and believable ways, but in other illustrations, the bison look overly anthropomorphic, with human props and different human hairstyles. This was too quirky for my tastes, and even though I can tell that the authors and illustrator wanted to keep the book lighthearted and not too serious, this would have been much stronger if it had been more consistent. Also, people should know that even though this book is from a Christian publisher, there is no overtly Christian message. Christian parents can easily relate this to the beliefs and values they’re teaching, but this does not include a message about God or a Bible verse.

Bryson the Brave Bison: Finding the Courage to Face the Storm is a nice message book about facing your fears. This will particularly appeal to kids who like bison, since there’s a sad lack of books about this excellent animal, and this can be a helpful teaching book for kids who are scared of thunderstorms. However, I wish that there had been an author’s note at the end to explain bison behavior and share a quick safety disclaimer about never provoking or closely approaching bison in the wild. This book could have been even better with some tweaks and additions, but it will appeal to many families as it is.