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Agate: What Good Is a Moose?
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Agate: What Good Is a Moose?

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Agate is a moose with low self-esteem. He feels inadequate and plain, like an ugly brown rock, especially when he compares himself to his beautiful friends who are named after birthstones. These friend help Agate to see that just like his namesake, true beauty lies within. Stunning original watercolors, a witty, positive message about self image plus bonus pages with birth ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Lake Superior Port Cities
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This book was alright. Most of the water color paintings were very beautiful and the overall message to be yourself was good. However, I felt that the gem stones didn't match the animals and that the ending was tacked on. Some of the lines and rhymes were fun.
Category: picture book
Author: Joy Morgan Dey
Illustrator: Nikki Johnson
Title: Agate: What Good is a Moose?
Publisher: 2007 Lake Superior Port Cities, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-942235-73-9
Genre: rhyming book
Reading level: grade 1 and up

What good is a moose?
Agate thinks to himself...

Through the pages of this rhyming book Agate describes the wonderful qualities of his friends, each a special gem, and finds that he just doesn't meaure up. After all, his knees are wobbly, his coat is not sleek, he is not gracefu
Bridgette Redman
The children's picture book Agate is an example of how there can be too much of a good thing.

Agate is a moose with a self-esteem problem. She has many delightful and colorful friends whom she respects and admires. However, she is constantly comparing herself to them and believes herself to fall short.

"What good is a moose?" she asks herself, believing her to be dull and bland compared to her talented friends. She shares a poem about each of the animals from alligators to hippos to birds. Each
Have you ever gone searching for an agate? They have a very special appeal to many rock hounds. This wonderful story is about a moose named Agate. He does not feel special. He is surrounded by friends are all named after gemstones and appear beautiful to him. Agate learns that true beauty lies within. The watercolor pictures are the perfect compliment to the text. A page with informational facts about each gemstone and agates is an extra surprise. Agate has his own website with dot-to-dot, drawi ...more
Oct 30, 2014 Melle rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who really like birthstones, people who like pictures
Gorgeous, breathtakingly-beautiful illustrations. Neat, interesting little device of representing each traditional monthly birthstone with an animal painted in its style. Story lacked cohesion from page to page. Not a bad read but not a very memorable or good one, either.
I just saw this at my local independent bookstore and loved the story and art, so I bought it for my cousin's 3 yr old for Christmas. Bonus, they'd had an event with the author a few months back, so it's signed.Initially, I'd gone in looking for Wonder Bear, but they didn't have it. Maybe it was fate.

Anyway, Agate the moose feels like he's not as impressive as all the other animals (all with precious and semi-precious stone names), but in the end discovers that each has a role. In the back there
Carrie (envinoveritas)
Winner of two Moonbeam awards, Agate is a touching story that is both beautifully written and illustrated. A modern twist on the Ugly Duckling story, Agate is a moose that cannot see his beauty. Each animal is named a different stone and has special characteristics. Agate feels inferior and without purpose, but by the end of the story we see his inner beauty.

How I would use this in my classroom:
Agate could be used for a unit on rocks, and also could help inspire students’ self-confidence. There
This came to me by way of Pixie Stix. I couldn't find it anywhere to get a closer look at it, so I special ordered it at the store. It is gorgeous! The text is fine- perhaps a bit message-driven, but the artwork is just fascinating. You can see some of it at, but the reproductions don't really do it justice. The flap copy says the art is watercolor, but it has a drippy, smeary quality that I associate with mixing oils and water, like when you marbleize paper. I'd love to know a ...more
Mar 25, 2008 Jode rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I fell in love with this book from across the bookstore! The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. Brilliant color, vibrant - they all but jump off the page. The author's message is essential for children (and some adults I know); especially those about to leap head-first into the world away from home.

I have to admit, I bought this for myself. It's on my inspiration shelf. Each time I read it, I must paint or sketch. Did I already say that I fell in love with it at first sight? Just because of
Amy Schmitz
Agate is a moose with low self-esteem. He feels ugly and plain compared to his beautiful friends named after birthstones. These wonderful friends help Agate see his true inner beauty. This book has wonderful images and has a great message about being yourself. This book could be used in a classroom if students are struggling with low self-esteem. It helps children realize that although everyone is different they still have something unique to offer that makes the world a better place. The words ...more
Katy Hoffler
Themes: be yourself
zoo animals
This book has some of the most gorgeous watercolor work I have EVER seen -- drippy and brilliantly colored and alive with movement. For me, it lost a star for its forced rhyme and strange word choice (Lion is "like a Porsche with a Hemi inside"). This would be a good book for teaching colors, birthstones (contains facts about birthstones at the end), self-esteem, and loose, interpretive painting, but I'd feel like a dork reading it out loud to a group.
"We're a malcontented bunch - Give us breakfast, we want lunch. Give us flippers, we want paws. Show us talents, we see flaws. Make us tall, we'd rather be small. Give us some, we want it all. Comparison can help us grow, but a little is enough, and so.. be glad they're them and you are you... each a gem in life's marvelous zoo!"
Holly Thompson
This book could be used for so many different teaching moments. Birthstones, agates, rocks, or gems. Being beautiful on the inside or polishing yourself to be a hidden gem. Not comparing yourself to others. It's a beautiful story and cool illustrations. There is also non-fiction information about the gems and agates in the back.
Reread this book in preparation for a new semester of working with elementary student teachers. All are special...all have talents...look what a little polishing reveals!!! Also going to tie this into my Petoskey Stone sharing!!! Great message. Interesting watercolor paintings depicting the various animal "gems."
Melissa Housholder
Poor Agate. He just doesn't feel special compared to his friends. Little does he know that he actually is very special and his friends help him figure this out. Wonderful book to help show how everyone is a "gem" in their own way! Gives a GREAT explanation of each gem represented in the book.
My dear friend Janelle did the production work on this book, so I might be a little biased, but I think it's a wonderful book and it has a great moral for kids. My niece and nephew absolutely adore it and have me read it to them every time I come over. The illustrations are amazing, I love it!
Agate and his animal friends discover how to find beauty in everyone--a whimsical tale and a treasure for all ages
It is difficult to lay the connection between the stones and the animals. Beautiful illustrations
Cara Mcmannis
This is a story about a moose with low self-esteem. He is jealous of his friends who are colorful and named after birthstones. This would be a great book to use when teaching your students about self-esteem.
This is a great book for kids - part geology, part philosophy. I also like it for adults - we sometimes need to be reminded of the simple idea that each of us is a gem inside.
Dec 06, 2013 Jonee added it
Shelves: picture-books
This a great book to talk about how everyone has talents and a purpose but everyone has a different talent and purpose. This is great for all elementary grades.
Jan 23, 2008 Carolina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anybody who reads stories to kids
I have been reading this book at bedtime to the kids. I love the images and the story. The bonus is that the author resides in Northern Minnesota.
What a great story to teach students to be themselves as well as teaching students about different rocks. This is definitely one of my favorite books!
This is a great book about how each moose, er, person - has their own special talents and makes their own contributions.
I loved the illustrations, but wasn't much interested in the story. I did enjoy the information about birthstones at the end.
Janelle Wourms
Dec 29, 2007 Janelle Wourms rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I helped produce this book! The story and artwork is amazing and anyone can relate to story. A must-read for everyone.
Sarah Batchelder
[Suggested by 3M] This was a great book with awesome watercolors, great poems, and a sweet story.
The art in this book is amazing! Great message about how it's what is on the inside that counts.
Stunning illustrations.

Moose can see the beauty in all of his friends, but not in himself.
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