The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses: Book Review

Sam doesn’t like his new glasses. They make his ears hurt. His parents say he looks handsome in them. But Sam just wants to look like himself. 

Title: The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses
Author: Susanne Gervay
Illustrator: Marjorie Crosby-Fairall
ISBN: 9781760401085          Language: English

Classification: Fiction
Type: Picture Book
Themes: change, differences, acceptance

What's it about?
Sam doesn’t like his new glasses. They make his ears hurt. His parents say he looks handsome in them. But Sam just wants to look like himself. His teacher doesn’t recognize him — she says he must be a new superhero. But Sam doesn’t want to be a superhero. He just wants to be himself. Eventually, with a bit of confidence and a lot of humour, Sam finds out that wearing glasses isn’t so bad — and people still like him just the way he is after all.

The story features sentences featured across the page to tell the story. It has beautiful illustrations.

The teacher's behaviour is questionable.

The moral is a bit preachy.

My Thoughts
This is a new release from EK Books in October 2019.

On the surface, I really liked the idea behind this book. I think I got my first pair of pink glasses when I was about seven or eight-years-old. I got called "four-eyes" mostly and glasses really weren't that common - often I was the only kid in the class with them. I understand Sam's frustration with everyone telling him how handsome he now looks and questioning who is he. The only thing that I didn't get is why everyone in his life acted like that.

The teacher putting Sam up in front of the classroom my eyes roll. Seriously? Teachers get enough bad press about things that are out of their control. For a teacher to do something as incompetent and insensitive as that, indicates they should move to a different profession. Maybe it was common forty years ago, but in the modern school world, I can't think of a single teacher who would disrespect a student that age by doing that.

The illustrations are beautiful and I particularly liked the blurred images that Sam saw when he took off his glasses. I feel it is often difficult to describe to others what the world looks like for those with sight impairments and this conveys Sam's in a way children can understand.

At the end of the book he's friends, or at least playing, with the other children including those that were mean to him. This is another school aspect that just didn't ring true. Few children that age would be friends with someone who teased them like that.

Overall, I felt that while this is an important topic for the classroom, the delivery of the story is too flawed for me. Students should feel comfortable with or without their glasses on - it shouldn't be a big deal. It can be isolating but I found that occurs more often in upper primary and high school than at Sam's age. The book, therefore, came across as being out of touch in this area.

A nice book but not one I would recommend for inclusivity lessons..

Special thanks to EK Books for the ARC

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