Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pearl and Wagner Four Eyes

That first pair of glasses. It's a rite of passage for many kids, especially those in my myopic family. I was in fifth grade when the world suddenly became a whole lot clearer. My daughter was in second. Unlike my unattractive first pair of specs, hers were wire frames patterned in rainbow colors. In the optometrist store they were cool-looking. But then came the day she had to wear them to school, and doubts bubbled to the surface. As she bravely marched into the schoolyard, a gaggle of friends surrounded her, giving her hugs and telling her how great her glasses looked. As the song goes, "That's what friends are for."

In Pearl and Wagner Four Eyes by Kate McMullan, Wagner has friends just as supportive. In this Level 2 early reader, Wagner lines up for a school eye test and soon learns the awful truth. He needs glasses. Pearl, his best buddy, is envious. She would love a pair, saying that "glasses can give you a whole new look."  Wagner is fitted with a spiffy pair of blue glasses, but he refuses to wear them to school. Pearl convinces him that he looks cool, and in the playground his other friends agree. Unfortunately, a pair of older boys tease Wagner, calling him "Four Eyes." Off come the glasses and Wagner is again in the dumps. His friends find a clever way to bolster his confidence, and the specs go back on, as Wagner proudly declares, "The name's Four Eyes." R. W. Alley's delightful ink and watercolor illustrations complement the storyline. This early reader concludes with helpful tips for wearing glasses.

Pearl and Wagner Four Eyes
by Kate McMullan
illustrations by R. W. Alley
Dial, 40 pages
Published: September 2010

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