Repeatedly uttering the titular protest, a child is dragged off to “see” the eye doctor in this neatly drawn, too neatly resolved take on a common experience.
Paige’s inability to make out what’s on the class chalkboard is just one of a set of symptoms that trigger a day off from school, an eye exam, a chance to try on a zillion pairs of eyeglass frames and, after a fitting, a whole new, sharply focused world. But if the textual narrative is pretty straightforward, the visual subtext is not. The climactic fuzzy-to-sharp spread implies that Paige’s affliction is really no more than simple myopia, but cues scattered through Barclay’s bright, simple cartoon illustrations point, if apparently unintentionally, to more complex vision (or other) problems. Paige wears mismatched shoes of different colors; in one scene, she “reads” a book held upside down; most egregiously, she happily cuddles a “kitty” that is actually a skunk (later, she identifies it correctly and still cuddles it). Even the final scene, in which Paige pours orange juice into her breakfast cereal while disagreeing with her mother’s remark that her glasses are too dirty to see through, doesn’t quite come off as a joke.
It’s hard to judge intent, but even if this might provide lighthearted reassurance for young squinters, it’s going to leave more observant parents and other caregivers disquieted, at best. (Picture book. 5-7)