Rosie’s Glasses – Dave Whamond

Wow! This is one of the best books I’ve never read! Both wordless and speaking volumes at the same time Rosie’s Glasses is allegedly a children’s book but I think it’s profound enough for all ages to get something from it. I’d actually dare say that the older you are the more you may need this book.

I love the idea of ‘reading’ this book with a child, taking turns telling the stories that are happening within the pages. It’s never too early to learn about perspective and never too late to be gently reminded of it. I adore the exploration of how our emotions can influence the way we see the world and interact with it.

I was talking to one of my doctors last week about how it’s easier to do the same thing over and over again. She is the undisputed Queen of Analogies and All Things Poetic and Deep in my life so naturally she likened thoughts and behaviours to grooves; water being more likely to want to travel the already well worn path. She talked about how it’s possible to carve a new groove in your life, that over time you can essentially train yourself to think and behave in physically and mentally healthier ways. We tend to get set in our grooves of how we see the world and those grooves deepen in time as we tread the same path, unless we make a conscious effort to change them. (P.S. Unlike most people I actually look forward to appointments with my doctors because I have the most profound, caring, extraordinary ones ever!)

This book reminded me of that conversation. The same thing that’s true of grooves can be said for perspective. We can inadvertently get stuck seeing the world one way when there are so many unexplored possibilities. It can take just the slightest shift in your perspective and your entire outlook can change, much like when Rosie puts on the glasses in this book and all of a sudden a world of colour and wonder opens up around her.

I love that reading the title Rosie’s Glasses made me think of rose-tinted glasses. The positivity associated with rose-tinted glasses seems to get a bad rap all around and even when I looked up ‘rose-tinted’ in the dictionary, Mr Collins told me that it’s “excessively optimistic”. I don’t know though. Is there such thing as too much optimism? I like to think that even when things in our life suck and there doesn’t seem to be any colour in sight that we can still choose to hope. Surely we can acknowledge the suckage of life (I’m not advocating denial) and still find the good as well.

I took some photos while I was sitting at the beach several years ago. Looking out across the ocean the water was sparkling, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. It was a gorgeous day. Then I looked behind me and there were angry storm clouds ready to release buckets and the sky was prematurely dark. If I showed you the photos you’d be forgiven for thinking they were different days, maybe even different seasons. Yet what the camera recorded was determined by what I was looking at at the time.

Until I opened this book, remembering the contrast between the sunny and stormy photos has been my go to in thinking about perspective. Now I think I’ll be imagining Rosie’s glasses whenever I catch myself needing an attitude realignment. If I’m seeing a monochromatic world I can remind myself that I don’t need glasses to change my perspective. I just need to allow myself to see the rest of the spectrum.

I’ve said in a number of reviews now that the illustrations bring the book alive or they are everything. In this book they really are everything. They’re deceptively simple, easy to ‘read’ but with depth that you appreciate more as you keep looking. Dave Whamond’s illustrations capture the mood and story so well that words really aren’t necessary.

So, as usual, here I am writing a review that’s longer than the actual book but at least this time I’ll have company. That is, unless someone is smart enough to post a review that simply shows two illustrations, one of Rosie’s world without glasses and one with them. Now, why didn’t I think of that?!

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the opportunity to discover this little gem. Kid’s book? Sure, I can see that. Yet it’s not only a kid’s book. I’m looking forward to the release of Rosie’s Glasses because in my world it’s going to be a coffee table book so kids and once upon a time kids can both appreciate its message.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

In this wordless picture book, Rosie wakes up in a monochrome world, with a dark cloud over her head. As she plods through her miserable, grey day, the cloud follows. Mishaps and mayhem thwart her every move, irritating noises assault her – and the pouring rain makes everything worse. But then, on her way home from school, Rosie finds a pair of strange glasses. When she puts them on, her world transforms into vivid, joyful color. All of a sudden, she can see the beauty and fun in everything around her – and her dark cloud has disappeared. Are the glasses magic? Or could it be that changing how we look at the world can change the way we experience it?

Award-winning author and illustrator Dave Whamond is known for his energetic, humorous and colorful art. Here he uses three different color palettes to powerfully tell a story of how moods can affect what we see. The wordless format encourages visual literacy and deeper readings of the story based on individual interpretation. It also invites nonreaders to develop vocabulary and narrative skill by reading the illustrations. This book offers a perfect lead-in to a discussion about good and bad moods. It also works for lessons on self-awareness and personal development, and as an excellent reminder to children (and adults!) that we can all exercise some control over how we see our world. 

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