Richard Byrne's This Book Belongs to Aye-Aye
Book review by Dimitrios Sokolakis
A picture book about inner beauty
It’s perfectly all right for the beast to remain the beast.
The set-up: Aye-Aye is an ugly little animal looking for a way to become cute - like the other animals in animal school - and realize his dream of becoming the major character in a picture book.
The bad guys: Cute rabbit twins give Aye-Aye a hard time, telling him he's not “cute or fluffy enough” for a picture book.
The happy ending: Aye-Aye manages to accomplish his mission, finally becoming a cute and fluffy teddy bear whom the bad guys stop teasing.
End of story. Great sayings, cute pictures blah blah blah... Love is all around yadda yadda yadda...cuteness and beauty prevail... That's it; let's move forward to the next review.
Only...I lied! That is not the ending.
I was unexpectedly amazed by the story. The real ending, well, I wouldn't want to spoil it, but small hint: friendship and teamwork can do miracles!
This book is more than a simple kid’s story; it’s a real life lesson, and I find it priceless. Through its simplicity it manages to provide a precious message - a message where the frog doesn't always have to become a prince, ugly duckling doesn't have to become a swan or even Fiona doesn't have to become an ogre - no one has to adjust to another's perception of beauty.
Isn't that wonderful?
Inner beauty is far more important than external and should be the one that prevails. Author Richard Byrne makes sure it does, and in a genius way.
This Book Belongs to Aye-Aye didn't win the Nobel Prize in literature; it doesn’t have any memorable lines; it doesn’t even have any super duper pictures (they’re ok, by the way), but who cares? It leaves you with hope and a happy feeling!
Ugly duckling go home… look and learn from Aye-Aye!
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