Thursday, January 31, 2013

Not Every Girl has to be a Princess

Agnes and the Butterfly DragonReview of Agnes and the Butterfly Dragon by Nalin Desilva

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The world of little girls is most often filled with pink, princesses, and dresses. I personally don't mind the girliness of it all, but I can appreciate a girl character who isn't so girly.

Agnes of Nalin DeSilva's Agnes and the Butterfly Dragon is that non-princess, pants-and-sneakers-wearing little girl. And you know what? I think she's a good character to have out there in the universe of children's books. Agnes is brave and spunky, and what I appreciated most is that she doesn't whine, she's not sassy, and she's not a brat. Her bravery isn't even about fighting an evil king; rather, it's about everyday stuff - insects. Not being scared of insects leads to Agnes' adventure, and in the real world, could probably lead to some encouragement for parents who have kids who are afraid of bugs.

The book also features some wonderful artwork. DeSilva not only wrote the story, but illustrated it as well. The illustrations are amazingly detailed, and remind me of the kind you find in graphic novels. An added visual bonus, I think, for parents who read books aloud to their kids.

Reading aloud is probably a good idea when it comes to Agnes and the Butterfly Dragon. Some of the words and phrases may need explanations (i.e. gullet; soft, silky voice; vanished), but it seems like most parents want their kids learning "big words" at younger ages. Besides, don't people read books aloud to kids so they can introduce a higher reading level to younger ages?

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