Grey-Glasses-Itis: Book Review

Loopy loves the colour-filled world he sees around him. But how does seeing the world in a single colour impact how Loopy feels? 

Title: Grey-Glasses-Itis
Series: Lessons of a Lac
Author: Lynn Jenkins
Illustrator: Kirrili Lonergan
ISBN9781925335958          Language: English

Classification: Fiction
Type: Picture Book
Themes: lessons, social skills, perspective

What's it about?
This is Loopy's story about how different the world can look to different people and how what they see can influence how they feel. Loopy is happy when he sees all the colours but when he sees shades of different colours he experiences the world differently. Then he has the grey glasses and feels so down he doesn't want to do anything.

This is a quick read with a solid story that could be enjoyed by children from age 4 up to about grade 3 (age 10). A lot of white space with the illustrations works well for those children who need less detailed/cluttered illustrations to focus on.

The illustration style is very reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and with the recent debate regarding works completed by Seuss in his early years some teachers may find this one too close if they chose not to use Seuss books.

My Thoughts
I like how it shows the world differently, something that reminded me of the book Erik the Red Sees Green. The overall message that the book has is that we all see the world differently but we choose how we see it. I associate the latter bit with the old analogy of half-full/half-empty
I like the positive message this book is encouraging but (sorry, there is a but) I think some caution is also needed. How people view the world, particularly as a child, is strongly influenced by many nurture and nature factors. This is a simplistic message that may be lost on children coming from backgrounds of domestic violence or other ongoing abuse. Sometimes for those kids seeing the positives is very hard and it isn't as simple as to think/act positively and you'll be happy. Therefore as a teacher, I would caution only using this with a class you teach regularly (not as a relief/substitute teacher) and have in-depth knowledge of the children and their circumstances.

An activity I can see however coming from this book is having the class draw a picture in perhaps lead or black pencil with shading (best suited for grades 1 or 2 onwards). Once completed use cellophane to create a filter frame (a rectangle cut out of an A4 piece of paper) with the cellophane glued in - have frames with different colours and ask students to describe how each one changes the picture as they see it.

It's bright, it's fun, and is likable - just make sure it suits your classroom demographic first.

Special thanks to EKBooks for the ARC

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