Friday, April 15, 2016

Absolutely Aggie

 Use what talents you possess;
the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang there
except those that sang best.
~Henry Van Dyke

When reading picture books, some are pure fun, some are touching, and some are educational. And they all have an important role in boosting an early love of reading. Add in a positive and affirming message of self-worth, and the picture book takes on another level of meaning.

Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie (2015) is the second book from author-illustrator team Michelle Eastman and Kevin Richter. It tells the story of Aggie -- a loud, brassy, disheveled dust fairy who loves to play the bagpipes. But she doesn't fit in with the other fairies. They are graceful; she is not. Their wings shine; hers -- well, perhaps they manage to hide her slouching socks. No matter how Aggie tries, she just can't change, and it is defeating.

She takes to hiding away at night, sad and alone. But, she still plays her bagpipes -- she loves her music, even if it isn't perfect.

One night, her music catches the ear of another fairy (and his companion snail -- so cute!), who invites her to join his band. They love her. And even though they don't hit every note, Aggie absolutely gets to be herself. It's a perfect fit.

This book has such an important message to share with children. Aggie wasn't happy when she was trying to be anything other than herself -- and I want my kids to know that their true happiness and meaning will come when they are being who they are meant to be. People will come into our lives who complement our true selves, and that is true friendship.

In addition to this big message of self-worth, Eastman has created a mythical fairy world that is enchanting. She urges young listeners to pay attention at night to see if they can hear Aggie and her band, which adds to the magical ambience of the book. Her rhyming, lyrical meter paired with Richter's vibrant and detailed illustrations create a world that children will want to visit again and again.

I hope you will read this one with your kiddos soon!

For more on Michelle and Kevin, click the links below:

Happy Friday!


1 comment:

  1. I love the opening quote! Thank you for the engaging review.