Berwyn Resident Pens Children’s Book about Bravery and Confidence

What you give is what you get. Berwyn resident and author Arielle Turover Cohen’s true bliss is building a more confident and brave population of children. Her first children’s book, I Am Brave and Unafraid, was recently published this past April; it’s packaged in an easy-to-read format with vibrant illustrations designed to excite children and engage them in reading.

According to The Confident Child by Terri Apter, “raising confident, motivated and caring children is a parent’s greatest challenge.” Low self-confidence is a prevalent issue among young children, made worse by bullying, self-deprecating thoughts and fears, and more. For years, authors have been making an effort to increase confidence in kids through impactful stories rife with affirmations, tips and tricks. Diane Loomans’ 1991 children’s book The Lovables in the Kingdom of Self-Esteem tackles feeling of self-doubt and fear through characters with special gifts to contribute, such as worth and love. Wendy L. Moss’ Being Me: A Kid’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem also strives to instill more confidence in children. Moss does this through focusing on inner self-esteem and building social confidence. I Am Brave and Unafraid is another magnificent contribution in the effort to build more confident kids.

Although Cohen began her professional career as an educator and real estate agent, she has been an avid writer since age nine. She journaled, wrote poems and crafted cards, but didn’t pursue a path as an author until recently, when an everyday experience sparked an amazing idea. One night, when her kids were experiencing bad dreams, Cohen encouraged them to take personal action to change their nightmares. Her story became an instant hit. The more she told the story, the more of a transformation she saw. It was then that she knew she was onto something big.

The story ultimately inspired the plot of I Am Brave and Unafraid. Though the writing came easy to Cohen, she learned a lot about the publishing process. To ensure that her message was clear, she used beta-readers and conducted readings in local classrooms. As she grew and expanded her audience, she found illustrator Ignacio G. and published the book with Mascot Books.

I Am Brave and Unafraid centers on a young boy who falls asleep and enters the magical world of dreamland with his teddy bear, Marshmallow. However, his exciting adventure soon turns into a nightmare filled with lions, tigers and bears. Harnessing the power of thought, the boy builds up both his confidence and bravery to overcome his scary dream. The book features coping techniques including counting, breathing, song and pretend play, which teaches children strategies to handle scary situations.

Cohen’s mission with I Am Brave and Unafraid is to raise a new generation of confident children. Using a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, Cohen collaborated with Berwyn’s Piper School and 16th Street Theater to create a drama program for first through third graders in the community. Participants have created their own play based on Cohen’s book. The debut musical performance takes place on Wednesday, May 9 at Piper Elementary School. Doors open at 6PM with a start time of 6:30PM. Books will be available for purchase after the play, along with an exclusive author signing. The drama program is just the first step of many to integrate the story and its mission into local elementary schools in Berwyn.

“I’m passionate about paying it forward and starting a movement in my own town. I’m excited to see the impact that the book has in the community,” says Cohen. “It has been a fun and inspiring journey. Together, we can teach our local youth to be brave and unafraid!”

The book is available for purchase at iambraveandunafraid.com. For more information about I Am Brave and Unafraid or the Piper/16th Street Theater Drama Program and performance, reach out to Arielle Turover Cohen at iambraveandunafraid@gmail.com.

About the Author
Arielle Turover Cohen is the author of I Am Brave and Unafraid. With a passion for helping others, she strives to inspire others to learn and adopt an “I Can” attitude. She encourages readers to take a hold of their fears and use their power of thought to be brave and unafraid, increasing their self-confidence along the way. Arielle holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Wisconsin at Madison and a double Masters Degree from Gratz College. She lives with her husband and three children in Berwyn, IL.

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