September 19, 2018

Rosie's Glasses

Written and illustrated by Dave Whamond
Kids Can Press
32 pp.
Ages 3-7
September 2018

Many of us know that feeling of waking up with a black cloud hanging over our heads. You've woken up late, it's raining outside and everything is grey.  Life has no colour. If anything can go wrong, it does. How does a child pick themselves up to see beyond the noise and strife and bad luck and gloom that pervades everything at home, on the street and at school?
From Rosie's Glasses by Dave Whamond
If you're little Rosie, you're fortunate to spot a colourful butterfly which leads you straight to a pair of round pink glasses that offer you a rosier perspective on your world. The blasé street scene now reveals flowers and bees and families with ice cream and singing birds and multi-coloured balloons. The park is filled with friendly chatter and play and joyful wildlife. At home, there's a new puppy.  
From Rosie's Glasses by Dave Whamond
Now waking up is vibrant and enthusiastic and Rosie, the darling with the rabbit-eared pigtails, sees rainbows and music and colour everywhere.  But, Rosie's new perspective may be in jeopardy when she loses her new glasses. Or is it?
From Rosie's Glasses by Dave Whamond

Rosie's Glasses may play on the premise that rose-coloured glasses tend to make life look better than it really is but Dave Whamond would not give Rosie the perspective of optimism without a bit of reality.  Her day really does start out poorly and things are dreary and unfortunate. Her pigtails even droop! But the magic that comes from those glasses is extraordinary, helping Rosie see the goodness in her reality, not just the bad.  Even when she has lost the glasses, Rosie has been infused with a dose of encouragement–the new puppy helps too–that will help her see the good and the bad, even on inevitable grey days of her future.

I know I always go on and on about Dave Whamond's illustrations from his picture books like Oddrey (Owlkids, 2012) and My Think-a-Ma-Jink (Owlkids, 2009), his first graphic novel Nick the Sidekick (Kids Can Press, 2018) and, of course, his syndicated cartoon Reality Check (see samples at his website at but the art is fabulous! It draws the eye everywhere to reveal details in faces and in buildings, in scenes and in actions. With Rosie's Glasses being a wordless picture book, readers, children and adults alike, will be able to linger on illustrations and find more and more to discuss and contemplate. 

Rosie's Glasses is a story that offers encouragement on observing life from different perspectives and it's a buffet of colour and activity.  Teachers and parents will undoubtedly, as they should, take advantage of the book's value in teaching visual literacy but there's much more to the story and the art. So, be sure to smell the roses along that pedagogical path because there's much more here than a lesson. There's life: the good, the bad and the rosy.
From Rosie's Glasses by Dave Whamond

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