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Angus All Aglow
by Heather Smith
Must Read, Picture Book
3 - 5
Angus loves sparkly things so much that he can hear them. To Angus, shiny objects not only look beautiful, they also crackle, buzz, and go whiz-bang-POP! His unique ability is lost when Angus wears his grandma’s beaded necklace to school, and his classmates tease him for his unusual choice. Saddened by their laughter, Angus stops hearing the sparkle.
Without sparkly things in his life, Angus is sad. Before being teased, Angus loved the diamond studs on the collar of his dog, Sherlock. After being teased, Angus pushes Sherlock away because Sherlock’s collar has sparkly diamond studs that make Angus feel bad. As the story progresses, Angus’ emotions are explained in unique ways that younger readers can understand. For example, when Angus’ classmates tease him, their “laughter was like the downpour of freezing rain.”
In order to be accepted, Angus thinks he is going to have to give up sparkly things. One of Angus’ classmates shows him acceptance, friendship, and a shared love of all things sparkly. In the end, Angus gains a new friend and a new understanding that it’s okay to be different. Instead of feeling embarrassed because he likes sparkly things, Angus’ newfound friend and confidence make him glow from the inside out.
Angus Aglow should be on everyone’s reading list not only because of the positive message but also because the text and pictures are beautifully sparkly. Angus Aglow is packed full of fun words including new vocabulary, similes, and onomatopoeias. The text is fun to read aloud, and it also has some wonderful elements such as brightly colored font and larger text for important words.
The full-page illustrations use bright colors and fun details that younger readers will want to look at again and again. Angus’s classroom is diverse, and his new friend is an African American girl, which reinforces the idea that people do not have to be exactly alike in order to be friends. Each page has 2-7 sentences per page along with illustrations that show Angus’ expressive emotions. Even though Angus Aglow is a picture book, the story is intended to be read aloud to a child rather than for a child to read it for the first time independently.
Angus Aglow will help younger readers understand the value of acceptance and friendship. The story uses figurative language that makes the story fun to read. Angus Aglow will remind readers that they should embrace the things that make them feel sparkly inside.
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