I have a friend
Who sits inside all day,
Watching the TV,
Letting the day waste away.
Square Eyes features Panda with square eyes and his friend Bee. Panda is always watching television and doing little else. Bee would like him to do some other things and sets about enticing him away from the screen. Bee and other friends show the fun that can be had if the TV is turned off. Alternatives offered include scooter-riding, imagining, music, invention and more. Finally, Bee and friends convince Panda to leave his couch and have some fun with them. Illustrations are humourous and colourful and full of detail for young readers to explore. There is a CD with the author singing ‘Square Eyes’.
Square Eyes is a story about the limitations of a life linked to screen. Although this picture book depicts only the TV, it’s clear from the dedications of both author and illustrator that it is intended to refer to all manner of screens. Luckily Panda has determined friends who want to show him other ways to have fun. The CD performance by the author, Craig Smith, offers readers an opportunity to read along with the rhythm of the song and it won’t be long before the catchy tune will be ‘reading’ all on their own. A fun read/singalong for pre- and early-schoolers.
Square Eyes, Craig Smith ill Scott Tulloch
Scholastic 2014 ISBN: 9781775432692
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller