Ava works out her love-hate relationship with her specs in this Australian import with a fairy-tale twist.
Sans glasses, Ava is miserable in class. It isn’t long before her teacher, Mrs. Cook, takes notice. As it turns out, Ava didn’t forget her glasses; she hid them in her schoolbag because she hates them. Mrs. Cook uses the teachable moment to reimagine fairy tales in a pro-glasses light. For instance, if Little Red Riding Hood had just put on glasses, wouldn’t she have seen the wolf’s teeth and eyes? Wouldn’t Humpty Dumpty have stayed on the wall? Wouldn’t Little Bo-Peep have kept her sheep? After each new story, Ava’s confidence grows. She eventually puts the glasses on and—voilà!—she can see again. Perrini’s digitally colored pencil drawings offer large illustrations and a limited but effective color palette. The art takes a metafictive turn by depicting the fairy-tale scenes in panels, while Ava and Mrs. Cook comment from outside the frame. Though there is some diversity among Ava’s classroom peers, all the fairy-tale characters appear to be white. Moreover, without sufficient character development (why so much hate for glasses?), the book veers into didactic territory, and Ava becomes a plot device.
Clever, but a few smudges will keep readers from seeing this with 20/20 vision (spectacles or not). (Picture book. 3-7)