Specs for Rex
Written and illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail
Bloomsbury, 2015, Ages 3-5
This story is about a young lion named Rex who gets glasses for the first time. Originally Rex is very unhappy about getting the new glasses. He tries to hide his glasses multiple different ways, including shoving them in his cereal box. He finds out he has no luck trying to hide them because they were so big and round and red. He didn’t however want any of the other children in school to see him in his new specs so he continued to try and hide them. After trying to hide his glasses for so long Rex found that they actually had some use to him. He found them helpful when he was able to spot his teacher, Miss Spots’ glasses. He finally realized the value of his glasses and he appreciated them greatly.
The author's writing style was nice and simple, allowing young readers to follow. She uses nice descriptions, such as crinkling and crunching that are describing the cereal being smashed when Rex tried to stuff his glasses into the cereal box. The sentence structure is also strong enough for the children to follow along with what is happening in the story and assists the images perfectly.
The illustrations of this book have an effect that makes it appear as if it was made with watercolors. This is especially creative because it is kid friendly. They are also full of color and cover most of the page leaving little white spaces. The illustrations correspond to the story in a way that allows the children to clearly understand what is happening without even reading the pages. There are also lines throughout the illustrations that display the movement of the pictures which is a good enhancement of the story.
Overall I really enjoyed reading and viewing this story. It can really give a nice perspective on children who have to receive glasses for the first time and how they may be hesitant at first on wearing them. It gives the example of how they may not want their fellow classmates to see them in their new glasses. This story also shows how in the end wearing glasses isn’t a bad thing and it can really benefit you after all. The book kept me entertained by making me wonder what Rex would do next and how he would handle each situation. I think this book could benefit children with and without glasses and I would definitely recommend it or even have it in my own classroom.
Reviewed by Libby Burkhart