Written by Michelle Eastman, Dust Fairy Tales: Absolutely Aggie is a fantasy picture book. The story follows a dust fairy named Aggie as she tries to fit in with her peers. Absolutely Aggie is a wonderful story with an important lesson for children.
Aggie is a lovable misfit that feels like an outcast. No matter how hard she tries to fit in, she isn’t like the other fairies. Her bagpipes are too loud and her clothes don’t fit right. Even her hair doesn’t behave as it should.
Feeling alone, Aggie tries her best to change so she can fit in. Her efforts make her miserable and feel more secluded than before. The other fairies are able to convince Aggie that she’s not good enough.
I love to play my music. It’s absolutely true. But, I’m just not good enough. Oh, what am I to do?
The story concludes with Aggie playing in a band that welcomes her as she is. She makes real friends, fairies who fit in with one another. Their band plays to an audience that appreciates their music for its flawed sound. And, despite the opinions of the other fairies, Aggie is free to be herself again.
This is an important story about the dangers of peer pressure and conforming. Michelle handles the weight of the story’s theme with ease. Learning to be comfortable in your own skin is an ongoing struggle for a lot of people. The earlier children learn these lessons, the better.
The narration in Absolutely Aggie flows in a rhyming style. While I was reading the story, it reminded me of classic fairy tales. The poetic writing is perfect because it adds a charm to the emotional adventure. It also helps young children read the story easier while learning new words.
Kevin Ritcher’s illustrations bring the characters to life. The emotions in Aggie’s eyes deliver the weight of the story’s message to readers. His style matches the tone of the book through the personality he injects into the pages.
Even though this is the second picture book in the Dust Fairy Tales series, I wasn’t confused while reading it. The book’s standalone nature is important for new readers who didn’t read the first story.
The collaboration of Michelle and Kevin continues to pay off. The story delivers its message without preaching to the reader. For a picture book to reach children it has to be accessible, which this one is.
The fantasy world is charming and filled with little quirks. I love the contrast between the grace of the fairies and their dusty gifts.
Absolutely Aggie is a wonderful book about real problems. Michelle delivers the story’s themes with a masterful grace, showing respect for her readers.
The illustrations fill the characters with personality. If you haven’t had a chance to read this story, I recommend picking it up.
This is the sort of picture book that pushes the genre to new and exciting heights. I’ll be using this story to measure others against for the foreseeable future.
To learn more about the story, watch the book trailer below: