BUSY-EYED DAY by Anne Marie Pace

BUSY-EYED DAY

Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A pair of siblings, along with their mother and grandmother, share an exciting day at the park.

Two brown-skinned, brown-eyed siblings with Afro-textured hair sit in the grass observing the natural world: One regards a “Big-eyed bug” (a butterfly), the other a “Stalk-eyed slug.” Each following rhyming couplet also includes, often cleverly, the use of the word “eyed,” as the book focuses on the wonders of the natural world and park activities from a sighted perspective. The refrain, “Busy-eyed day at the park,” repeats every few spreads, while the siblings enjoy park fun such as swings and slides as well as less-pleasant pastimes like getting hurt. The illustrations (a combination of digital and hand-drawn techniques) set a tone of pastoral tranquility in the middle of a city, where the pair observe and enjoy various animals and their antics. The book makes a subtle but important point about diversity by depicting the kids’ brown-skinned grandmother as “Blue-eyed.” A particularly humorous set of spreads starts with the sister eyeing a spider’s web with suspicion. The next spread reveals the girl, shocked and possibly horrified, as she meets an arachnid with “Six-eyes? Eight-eyes!” The next spread declares in extra-large font, “See you later,” as the girl and her grandma head off in the opposite direction: “No more spiders. No more bugs.”

A soothing, natural setting adds to the charm of this sweet, playful book that makes vigorous and profitable use of rhyming text. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 10th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4814-5903-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2018




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