Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Review: Calvin, Look Out! by Jennifer Berne and Keith Bendis

Publisher: Sterling
Format: Hardcover
Released: October 7th, 2014
Rating: 7/10

Amazon summary:

Everybody's favourite bookworm birdie is back- and something's wrong! When Calvin reads the word 'wagons', he sees 'dragons' instead, and he's tripping over the library chairs. Calvin needs glasses! When his family checks out the new specs, though, they just tease him. Poor Calvin. But when he gets lost and trapped in the forest, it's Calvin's glasses (and smarts) that save the day. Soon EVERYONE thinks glasses are great, and Calvin's clan becomes the coolest flock of starlings in the sky. 


Calvin loves to read, but when he accidentally picks up a book about wagons instead of dragons, he thinks he might need glasses. Turns out he does, and he likes them, but all his birdie friends think he looks geeky. It's typical of kids really - glasses aren't thought of as cool when you're younger, but Calvin proves they are!

This picture book has more text than usual, with some difficult vocabulary that might be a bit challenging for preschool readers. I'd recommend it for slightly older children, though of course it's a great learning tool and offers a more sensitive approach to the subject of needing spectacles.

Keith Bendis has done a brilliant job with the illustrations, and they compliment Jennifer Berne's story perfectly. I particularly like the town of Treeville and Calvin's funky-looking glasses - what a cool colour they are! So much time and effort clearly goes into illustrations like this, and it's a pleasure to get to appreciate them in their finished form.

Calvin, Look Out! is an important picture book for any child needing glasses. It shows that they're not as bad as you might think, and they're actually pretty necessary to be able to see things properly. Calvin's story will make anyone happy with their spectacles, and I'm sure lots of kids will benefit from knowing they're not alone with their bad eyesight. Calvin is one cool bird!

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