Specs for Rex Paperback – 14 Aug 2014
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A riotous and reassuring book about having to wear glasses!
About the Author
Yasmeen Ismail is an exciting new talent in the world of picture books. Her artwork and characters are both charming and unique. She studied at art school in Dublin and has worked on a wide range of illustration and animation projects. Yasmeen has a great eye for colour, detail and composition. Specs for Rex is her second picture book, following on from the delightful Time for Bed, Fred! Yasmeen is Irish. She now lives in London.
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I've never been one to dislike my spectacles, but I know of lots of kids and friends who aren't big fans of theirs. School especially can be a difficult time to make visual changes like this, and Specs for Rex shows children that it's ok to stand out and be a little bit different. At the end of the day, glasses are there to help us see better, so why all the fuss?!
Yasmeen Ismail's illustrations are an unusual style, but I like them. They're very bright with soft lines which really makes them stand out on the page. There's a good amount of text in this picture book, all of it straight to the point and befitting the accompanying illustrations.
I enjoyed reading about Rex and his specs, and I know exactly where he's coming from. Suddenly needing to wear glasses can be a scary time in anyone's school life, and I'm glad books like this exist. I hope younger readers see that it's okay to look a little different, and that it's even more okay to be able to see properly. Yay for Rex!
We loved Time for Bed Fred so were looking forward to this. The title suggested a book about a dinosaur/dog with glasses so I was quite surprised to see Rex is actually a lion.
Rex hates his new big, red glasses. He tries to take them off, hide them but it doesn't work. Yet by the end of the day they've actually helped him earn a good star and a new friend. Maybe they're not so bad after all
It's okay. While my son doesn't (yet!) wear glasses I was interested to see how the author shows the reader how to accept looking different. I wasn't keen on the word 'specs' really - what child knows spectacles/specs? Especislly as 'glasses' are mentioned too. I also had to backtrack twice as I thought is missed a page here and there as the story seemed to skip a step but found it hadn't.
The illustration style is distinctive, child-like and a 'messy' feel to it that works.
My son enjoyed it, especially the ending. He needed 'specs' explaining but liked the impact they had on Rex (earning laughs, a gold star, a friend and playdate). Prefer Ismail's first but would look out for future picture books.