A very young lion’s new glasses are so big, round, and red that he is driven to great lengths to hide them.
Rex is certainly inventive as he devises all sorts of schemes for making those despised glasses go away, or at least seem as unobtrusive as possible. He puts them in the cereal box, but Daddy catches him in the act. At school he uses his mane to cover his face, but now he can’t see at all. Hunger prevents him from sneaking them into his sandwich. He also tries painting the lenses, and in great desperation, he wraps his head in toilet paper. But all his attempts end in failure. In fact his antics actually draw attention. But when he locates his teacher’s whistle with his newly sharp eyes, and his friends seem to actually like the glasses, he changes his mind and wears them proudly. Ismail presents Rex’s dilemma with sympathy, understanding, and a great deal of humor. There are no wasted words in the brief, emphatic sentences placed strategically among the illustrations, and the tale moves quickly to its comforting conclusion. Bright watercolors ably complement the action and provide many delightful details, especially Rex’s diverse classmates, all the same size whether elephant or mouse. Endpapers and illustrations make the British “specs” instantly understandable to an American audience.
Sweet, funny, and reassuring. (Picture book. 3-7)