Agapanthus Hum and the Eyeglasses

Common Sense Media says

Engaging book makes kids want to read more.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, in terms of content, there's nothing here to worry about. Quite the opposite; there's much to be praised. The book's imaginative protagonist, sparkling prose, and bright, whimsical illustrations are compelling, more than making up for the sometimes mild and simple plot.

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What's the story?

Agapanthus Hum is one humming, whizzing, twirling little girl who learns the hard way that eyeglasses don't always stay on whizzers' faces. But with a little elementary ingenuity and some help from her exaggeratedly nice parents, this delightfully hyperactive new character solves her problem--and wins the hearts of early readers everywhere.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

AGAPANTHUS HUM AND THE EYEGLASSES is the kind of first chapter book that will make early readers want to read more. It's got it all -- a fun-loving kid as the main character, a gentle story line, interesting and musical phrasing, and irresistibly cute illustrations. From an adult's point of view, the story line is benign -- maybe too much so. It's unsuspenseful, has a loose plot, and seems a bit, well, uninspired. And Agapanthus's parents -- "good little mommy" and "good little daddy" -- are sweet and forgiving beyond reason. But try to tell that to the 4- to 7-year-olds who sat raptly for a reading of this book. Their reaction: The story was "great!" and "fun!" The younger ones had trouble deciding which were their favorite illustrations (they liked them all), and the older ones couldn't wait to get their hands on it to read it on their own.

Why the appeal? Definitely Jennifer Plecas's artwork; her depiction of Agapanthus is charming (and even the dog has personality!). But it's also Cowley's talent for word choices -- not so simple that they're plain and not too complicated that kids won't be able to pronounce or understand them. Cowley's words flow gracefully; they are, at times, even poetic: "Clean glasses made the garden look as sharp as a tune played on a fiddle. Agapanthus twirled, but only a little. She did a butterfly hum on the face of a pink rose."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the qualities that make this chapter-book heroine so memorable. How did Agapanthus Hum get her name? Is her exuberance a good thing, a bad thing, or a little of both? Is she someone you can relate to? Why or why not?

Book details

Author:Joy Cowley
Illustrator:Jennifer Plecas
Genre:Family Life
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:January 1, 1999
Number of pages:48

This review of Agapanthus Hum and the Eyeglasses was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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