Many thanks to EK Books for sending a copy of their new book for me to review. The link to the book on Amazon is an affiliate links. That means that I receive a small commission if you order from there after following the link. – Ann Z
Summary of the book
The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses by Susanne Gervay and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall is a picture book that tells the story of Sammy as he gets his first pair of glasses. Sammy doesn’t want to wear his glasses, they hurt his ears, but worse than that, they seem to make people not recognize him anymore. His family and teachers all say some version of, “who’s that handsome boy in glasses?” when they see him.
Sammy just wants people to see him for who he is and not focus on his glasses. He tries hiding his glasses, but his parents and teacher find them and make him wear them. He sits by himself at school, and takes off his glasses to clean them, when he notices how strange and blurry things look without his glasses. That leads him to making funny faces, and the whole classroom gets in on the fun and call him by name, “Sam, Sam, Sam. You’re so funny!” That’s all Sam wanted, to be seen as who he is. The final page of the book shows Sammy playing playing pirate ship with his friends, with the text, “Everyone can see me.”
This book touches really sweetly on many of the very real, difficult feelings that kids can have when it comes to getting glasses that can be hard for them to explain to others. It talks about how well-meaning comments from others don’t always have the intended effect. The adults in the book are not mean or ill-intentioned, but their comments about how they don’t recognize that handsome boy in glasses only add to Sam’s feelings of being different and his fear that no one will know who he is. Zoe never had that fear with glasses (she got them so young, it wasn’t an issue), but she did voice that fear when she was 4 years old and had to wear a patch in public. I also liked the small detail in the book that Sam’s glasses hurt his ears at first, but when they were adjusted, they stopped hurting.
The illustrations are beautiful, especially those that show Sam and his friends’ imaginations when they play. Often a scene from one page bleeds over onto the facing page, giving more space for details of those scenes.
The books is listed as being for ages 3 – 8, and I agree with that age range. The text and layout and bright illustrations make it a good choice for reading out loud. I think this book could be a good one to read in a classroom to open up discussions on how things can make us feel different and also, how we can see our friends for who they are.
As with most reviews I write, I am giving away my review copy of the book. To enter, leave a comment about your child’s favorite game to play with friends. I will randomly select a commenter to receive the copy on Monday, August 5, 2019. Make sure you leave your email address in the email address field when you comment so that I can contact you if you’re selected.
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