Laura Noto's Reviews > Beegu

Beegu by Alexis Deacon
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's review
Oct 15, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-science-fiction

This picture book for 1st-4th graders says a lot without much print. It is about Beegu, an adorable alien, who gets lost on Earth. She doesn’t understand anything about Earth. She is lonely, confused, and sad. The pictures show her reaching out to adults only to be ignored. At one point she finds comfort with some abandoned puppies that all cuddle up to her. Then an adult from an animal shelter finds Beegu and it is obvious that, “Beegu wasn’t wanted there.” Later in the story Beegu befriends some children. They have a great time playing until a teacher gets rid of Beegu. The children don’t let Beegu leave without giving her a big hug and a toy as a present. Beegu learns her first Earth word from the children. She falls asleep with her new toy and her mother and father come in a UFO to get her. She tells them all about how the big Earth creatures were unfriendly but the small ones seemed hopeful.
The illustrations in this book are amazing. They appear to be done in water color and they are simple pictures, yet they convey a lot of emotion. When Beegu is sad her ears hang low, her eyes close, and the picture is dark. When Beegu is happy her ears stick straight up and all 3 of her eyes are wide open. These pictures make Beegu’s feelings obvious to children.
This book shows pictures of Beegu using her alien language on bunnies, trees, and leaves. When the leaves blow away the book says, “Some wouldn’t even stay to listen.” The pictures show how lonely and innocent Beegu is. I think that a lot of children could empathize with Beegu’s loneliness. You could easily use this book to talk about including others or feelings. I also think that this book would be interesting to very different kids. Girls would be attracted to Beegu’s “cuteness” and boys would like it because it is about an alien.
This book points out the difference between rigid, judgmental adults and welcoming children from an outsider’s perspective. Any reader would be able to interpret the emotions and feelings from the pictures. At the end of this book Beegu remembers “the little ones” fondly. That is a nice way to end the story.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I think that this book sounds like a wonderful read for my students. I like that the book focuses on an outsider’s (alien’s) view on our society. I know that this fantasy book is meant to be for younger students, but I also could see this as a read aloud for older students in order to start a discussion about our society and how people treat others that are different and how that is viewed through different eyes. I like the idea of using picture books that are meant for younger readers as a starting point of discussions for older students or younger students that need to be pushed to higher thinking.
For my young students, this seems as if it would be great to talk about feelings and emotions. That topic is always a hard one to teach my students because it is so abstract and they do not understand their own emotions let alone the emotions of other people. Your commented that the emotions are very clear and well supported by the colors, so I would be very interested in taking a good look at this book for my students. Thank you for your review!

message 2: by Valerie (new)

Valerie I agree with Amanda, this book sounds splendid for young children, encouraging a discussion on feelings/emotions. I find it interesting, however, that the main character is an alien. This pushes readers to make connections beyond ones-self or other human beings, encouraging deeper thinking skills. I am interested to see the illustrations to see how they change colors shades, depending on his emotion at the time. Great find, thanks for sharing! :)

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