I am so excited to have this beautiful book, Agate, written by Joy Morgan Dey and illustrated by Nikki Johnson. I first discovered this book on a trip to Minneapolis to visit my good friends, Amanda Clark and Phil Clark, who are both talented graphic designers for Target. Actually both Dey and Johnson live in Duluth, Minnesota, so this was a local book. I was immediately drawn to the brightly colored illustrations. It was enough for me to want it, but alas, I had no money for souvenirs.
Fast forward a couple of years to Wesley’s first birthday and we receive this book in the mail from Amanda and Phil (Wesley’s godparents). Now I love the book for the wonderful story it tells. It’s about Agate, a Moose who feels awkward and plain, especially when he’s surrounded by beautiful animals, like Pearl the monkey, who shine like gems.
Besides being a sweet story of a moose who finds his inner beauty, this book is also fabulous because of its poetry. I love children’s books that rhyme and often judge them based on their readability. Does it have a good rhythm? Is it fun to listen to? Does it convey emotion? Agate, does all of this while still looking good! Again, just look at these GORGEOUS colors.
Both Alistair (4 years) and Wesley (15 months) love this book. In fact, Alistair wants us to read it every night. And of course we do, because we love it too and rereading stories is great for pre-readers. Here’s one of the best pages in the book with all the animals together.
Another fun feature of this book is it’s educational value. Each animal is named after the twelve birthstones. My birthday is in August, so my animal is Peridot the Porcupine. After the story there’s a page that explains what agates are and where you can find them. Another section that shows each animal with their birthstone as well as facts about the stone. We go through each month with Alistair, talking about the animal, the color and the names of family members who have birthdays in each month.
Side note: Alistair can remember someone’s birth month after being told it once. My boy’s wickid smaht
So I definitely have to give this book 5 stars and 2 thumbs up! If you’d like to get a copy for yourself, you can find it HERE on the publishers website as well as a really cool poster of all the animals together. If you don’t trust me yet, check your local library for a copy. I promise, you’re going to love it!
If you know of a children’s book that has a great message, is fun to to read and has cool illustrations, I’d love to hear about it. I plan on sharing more of my favorites with you in the future, so I hope you’ll return the favor.