cover image I Can See Just Fine

I Can See Just Fine

Eric Barclay. Abrams Appleseed, $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0801-5

Regardless of whether readers need glasses themselves, they’ll quickly recognize that Paige’s repeated exhortation that “I can see just fine!” is suspect. On the cover, the blonde girl shouts the title in a speech bubble as she reads a book (it’s upside down); before readers even hit the title page, they see Paige leaving a bathroom with toilet paper trailing from her mismatched shoes (worse, it’s the boys’ room). Paige’s father notices something is amiss after Paige mistakes a skunk for a cat, and her teacher realizes she’s having trouble seeing the chalkboard. Barclay pictures Paige standing on tiptoes on her school desk, peering intently at readers—it’s an impressive approximation of a squint, considering the dot-eyed characters call to mind Fisher-Price Little People figures. Trips to the eye doctor and eyeglasses store follow, under protest, and although Barclay also squeezes humor into these scenes (Paige tries on a monocle and pair of 3D glasses), there’s a reassuring normalcy to the entire process. It’s a useful, non-didactic story for kids in Paige’s situation—and utterly fun, too. Ages 4–6. Agent: Kirsten Hall, the Bright Agency. (Aug.)