3 out of 4 stars
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Out Loud by Luz Agudelo is a children’s book about bullying. There is a sandcastle building contest on the beach and June wants to enter. However, when everyone is pairing up, she gets left out. She decides to enter the contest anyway, but then her castle is trampled down by a bully. Will she build it back up or will she give up? Will stand up to this bully? You’ll have to read this book to find out.
The message of this book is one of the most important lessons that a children’s book can teach. Bullying is something that children deal with almost every day. Whether they are the bully, are being bullied, or know someone who is being bullied, it’s part of their lives. I love when books teach children that bullying is not okay and to stand up to bullies.
The story was well-written. It was easy to follow, and it had a clear problem and solution. Children’s books often lack this clarity, especially when written in rhyme. I appreciate that the author had a solid story to promote the anti-bullying message. I also enjoyed the illustrations in this book. They were creative and depicted the story well. The only issue I had was that the people in the story were blue, but there wasn’t an explanation for this. From my experience with children, they will ask why the characters are blue. I’m not always the most creative, so coming up with an answer for them will be difficult for me.
I wasn’t really a fan of the rhyming pattern. It changed with each stanza, which stunted the flow. Changing patterns would have made more sense if they changed with each chapter instead of each stanza to give the book some consistency. The flow is important for books that need to be read out loud to the audience. Because of the difficulty of the vocabulary in this book, younger children might need the book to be read to them.
I give this book 3 out of 4 stars. The message and story were good, but the rhyming pattern was inconsistent and disrupted the flow of the book. Because of this, I took away one star. The book was well-edited. Even with the inconsistency of the rhyming, I would recommend this book for any children who are dealing with bullying. The recommended age group on Amazon is 7-10. I think this is a suitable age, and I would encourage parents to read it with their children.
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