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Can Alfred find what he is looking for?
When Alfred goes to the optometrist, he finds out he needs glasses. But life can be tricky when you are a cyclops. Can Alfred find glasses that suit him?
Eye Spyclops is a story about finding the right fit and learning it's okay to stand out.
This book presents a relatable story about being comfortable with who you are in a world that includes both the everyday and the fantastic. Alfred's surroundings include cyclops, fairies, and other magical elements. The imaginative illustrations are by Lily Uivel.
The children's parents thought this was a really sweet book. It deals with embracing differences and celebrating one another's appearance in an accepting, non-judgmental way. Initially we thought it might be more suitable for Mr Four, but the subject matter was more demanding than they had expected even for his big sister, Miss Five. This was not a book the children could "read" on their own, although they happily browsed through the pictures once they knew what the story was about. Some of the vocabulary was quite demanding (myopia and optometrist, for example) although this is not a bad thing; they are bright children and quickly latch on to new words and ideas once they have had them explained.
Both parents found that the children's attention tended to wander, and the adults needed to encourage them to follow the narrative. It turned out to be a mixture of reading and unpacking to ensure that the youngsters could get the most out of the story. Once they had read it a few times, however, they began to enjoy themselves. Miss Five was sad when Alfred could not find glasses that were suitable, and was so relieved when he found his perfect pair at last. She also spotted the huge pair of glasses at the back of the SurprEYEses Optometrist's shop and wondered if that pair had been made for a giant. Clearly this shop catered for all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Mr Four loved searching through the graphics for all the different mythical creatures - the mermaid in the swimming pool, the winged dragon on the top of the building next door to the optometrist, the baby dragon being taken for a walk on a lead just like a dog. He also loved the flames on the wings of Alfred's new glasses. He was happy for Alfred when he was able to leave the shop and not only see where he was going at last, but also help the small fairy to enter the shop. Mr Four's mother told him about the time she got her own first glasses as a child, and how magical it was to be able to see things clearly at last - just like Alfred.
Both parents need glasses so it is likely that in the future one or both children might need some too. A book like this is helpful to prepare children for such an event; even though wearing glasses these days does not carry the stigma that caused children much grief not so long ago, it is still a life changing event and it is vital that they have a positive view of it.
I was left wondering just one thing, however. If a cyclops has only one eye, does he need a pair of glasses or just a glass? We are still trying to work that one out!
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