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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at


See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at


Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Captain Courage and the Fear Squishing Shoes by Stacey A. Marshall, with artwork by Michelle Morse

A super hero, with a secret identity, who wears magical flashing shoes -- what’s not to like?  Captain Courage and the Fear Squishing Shoes, by Stacey A. Marshall, is a book that immediately captures your interest and empathy for shy Katie.  She is starting third grade in a new school because her father took a new job and moved the family to a new state.  Naturally she is unhappy about the move.

Katie feels lonely and out of place.  She misses her old friends and wonders if she’ll make new ones.  Her teacher, classmates, and the principal are all welcoming to her.  However, poor Katie seems paralyzed by fear until something amazing happens during “show and tell” time to change everything.  With a little friendly advice, presented in an artful way, Katie stands tall and overcomes her fear and shyness.

Kids will enjoy Michelle Morse’s colorful and expressive illustrations.  Katie’s emotions are clear on her face.  Each picture has so many true-to-school-life details that kids will be right at home, eager for each new page.  The touch of humor provided by a class mascot “showing off” will grab children’s attention as they answer:  What’s he doing here? 

This is a fun but “sly” educational storybook which shows kids they needn’t feel alone or fearful in new situations.  Teachers, parents and kids will enjoy this book as they effortlessly learn specific steps to deal with and overcome fear and shyness.  As they follow these simple steps, they will build up their self-confidence and courage to handle life challenges.  I recommend it for home and school lessons and pure enjoyment.  Thanks to Stacey A. Marshall and Michelle Morse for this engaging and helpful story.



  1. Thanks for the review Penelope. I too read this enlightening book of Stacey's. I think all kids can identify at one time or another with Katie's concerns. Wishing you great success, Stacey. Another review will be posted on my blog next week. Happy writing all!

  2. HI Susan, thanks for your comments. Looking forward to your review next week. I think this book will help a lot of shy kids.

  3. Very good, Stacey, a book with a great title and a great storyline that will certainly be of immense help to children parents and educators. It deserves success.

    1. Hi Liam, thanks for your supportive comments. I agree and believe Stacey's book will be successful and helpful, too.

  4. How nice to have another Super Hero that kids can look up to. Looks like fun as well as helpful.

    1. Hi Barbara, thanks for stopping by. I love stories with heroes and magic -- especially those that help kids who may need help. Thanks for your comments.