Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
The further adventures of Horace continue as the young leopard receives an invitation to a monster-movie birthday party. Horace is scared, but doesn't want anyone to know. How he acts out his emotions and later stands up to them is a subject that parents and teachers of small children will recognize. Keller's simple story and bright pictures should help youngsters to face similar dilemmas.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Horace has been invited to a monster-movie party and he is afraid to go. Rather than tell his parents, he acts out all kinds of strange behaviors at home and school. Finally, at the party, he discovers there are peers more frightened than he is. His sympathy for friends gets him over his own fears. This is the second book about Horace, a small leopard who lives with his tiger parents. There is much to talk about in this book: communicating fears, how a hidden fear can grow, and the way helping a friend brings comfort to you.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2A common theme with a refreshing new presentation. The young leopard first introduced in Horace (Greenwillow, 1991) is invited to a monster-movie party and, although he says he won't be scared, he really isn't sure. When the lights go out during the party and Horace realizes his friend Fred is even more frightened than he, the young leopard discovers that he really is brave. Vivid watercolor and black-pen illustrations offer humor and warmth. A layout that features full-page pictures; smaller, bordered illustrations; and spreads in which the characters are placed against white space makes for very active visuals. Horace is an engaging character who lives with adopted tiger parents, has a zebra teacher, and goes to school with a variety of animal classmates. This spirited story makes a good read-aloud and children with some reading experience will enjoy perusing it themselves. It's a boon for timid youngsters.Jody McCoy, Lakehill Preparatory School, Dallas, TX
Horn Book Magazine
In his debut picture book (Horace, rev. 5/91), Horace, a spotted leopard adopted by tiger parents, sets out to find a place where he "fits in" only to realize that he already fits in with those who love him. Now, Horace once again confronts a childhood obstacle. When he receives an invitation to George's monster-movie party, he wears his dinosaur costume to school the next day, dresses like an "invader from outer space" the day after that, and bares his fake fangs, declaring "vampires don't kiss," at bedtime. These pretenses of courage are very funny (he even spikes his hair with Vaseline the day of the party), but it is what he does at the party that demonstrates the depth and solidity of his character. When George's older brother Marvin dares Horace's friend Fred to stick his hand into a box full of "monster brains and livers," Horace becomes so indignant (Fred is near tears) that he puffs up and says he'll do it. In standing up for Fred, Horace demonstrates an act of true courage and achieves a dignity that neatly contrasts with his earlier attempts at appearing scary and intimidating. Keller's knack for exposing the roots of childhood issues without patronizing Horace or his young readers gives Brave Horace a lighthearted yet resolute touch. Her simple watercolor illustrations good-naturedly exaggerate Horace's fears while effectively chomping them down to size.
Keller (Merry Christmas, Geraldine, 1997, etc.) brings the young leopard, Horace, back to the page, this time as the invitee to a monster-movie party. He's both flattered and terrified, but doesn't want anyone to know of his fear, attempting to dispel it by dressing as a fierce dinosaur, then as an alien (an inspired scene: Horace with a colander on his face, a pair of lightning-bolt- shaped wires spiriting upwards), but mostly by behaving like a little monster to his family. Only when his friend Fred displays even more anxiety can Horace, with a trooper's mettle, come to the rescue and calm his own roiled waters in the process. Quick and declarative, the narrative makes Horace's responses feel natural. He's not originalþthe rascal who summons the courage to do the right thingþbut he is charming. (Picture book. 4-9)