In this tale of a common childhood ritual, an extrovert named Sally describes her younger brother's blurry vision. "Paul asked, `Has the world gone fuzzy, Sal?' `Nah,' I said. `It's probably your eyes.' " Sally, the classic know-it-all sibling, tells Paul he needs glasses, so he goes for an eye exam. Kelly, illustrator of the video game story Power and Glory, here making his picture-book debut, depicts the optometrist's office like a mad scientist's lab, with its dark purple walls and pink-and-green neon highlights; the slouching, squinty doctor looks a trifle sinister, despite his smiley-face lapel pin. As Paul tests various lenses, hallucinatory images and stretched-out text duplicate the experience of looking through bifocals. After Paul gets a prescription, Sally takes him to the store to choose frames. Kelly creates wildly active compositions of slashing lines, vibrating squiggles and electric colors. The orange endpapers, styled as an eye chart, spell out a seek-and-find game. Australian novelist Cohen (Condor) explores Sally's point of view and neglects Paul's perspective. At the conclusion, for instance, Sally wants readers to see Paul in his specs, but he hides. When she finds him, she accidentally knocks him into a creek: "Paul's a bit cross," she says, as he frowns and drips. "But as you can see, the specs look good." Sally, who has 20/20 vision, hogs the stage; the intense illustrations exude her personality. Paul's shyness, which says much more about getting glasses, unfortunately goes unexamined. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
K-Gr 2-During the course of a year, Paul's eyesight gradually becomes blurry and out of focus, so his older sister takes him to the eye doctor. With his new glasses, everything is clear again, but the boy is so self-conscious about his specs that he hides. It is unclear who the "we" is when Sally goes looking for him-presumably it's the reader she's inviting to go along, but some children may find this confusing. Also, they are likely to question the lack of any adult presence or intervention. Pages are filled with busy, garishly colored psychedelic images of distorted visions. Intended to be reassuring, this story may have the opposite effect. Better choices on the topic include Lane Smith's Glasses, Who Needs `em? (Puffin, 1995); Tricia Tusa's Libby's New Glasses (Holiday, 1984; o.p.); Amy Hest's Baby Duck and the Bad Eyeglasses (Candlewick, 1999); and Marc Brown's Arthur's Eyes (Little, Brown, 1979).-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Sally's brother Paul needs glasses-perhaps the effect of these riotously colored illustrations. Sally explains how Paul's vision has become progressively blurrier until a trip to the eye doctor reveals he needs spectacles. Now she's sneaking up on Paul to show off his new glasses to her readers. Sally's a teasing sister, but she's confident that Paul looks good in his specs. Distorted images depict the world from Paul's point of view: blurry before the new specs, contorted or goofily monstrous while the doctor experiments with different prescriptions, and simply surreal while Paul becomes accustomed to his newly adjusted vision. Colored, stretched, and oddly formatted text illustrates Sally's tone, but to such excess that it weakens the prose's never-powerful flow. Bright and energetic, but that's about it. (Picture book. 5-8)