Thursday, February 7, 2019

Review - Busy-Eyed Day

Busy-Eyed Day
by Anne Marie Pace
illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
Date: 2018
Publisher: Beach Lane Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

See the world through fresh eyes with this lush and lyrical picture book.

There are so many intriguing eyes out in the world…and so many amazing things for those eyes to see! From a big-eyed bug and a stalk-eyed slug to a side-eyed frog and a wide-eyed dog, the family in this book doesn’t miss a single sight during their busy-eyed day the park.

This rhyming and richly illustrated picture book is a clever and unusual celebration of being observant and keeping an eye out for magic in the everyday world that surrounds us.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

For me, this book was a mismatch between text and illustrations. It's aiming to be a book about different types of eyes... but it's illustrated with highly stylized characters with unrealistic eyes (especially on some of the animals and insects). Some of the rhymes are kind of boring and unnecessary, like the one about the "two-eyed skater" (since everybody in this book--with the exception of a playing card--has at least two eyes, I don't know why the skater was singled out). Others had me squinting at my screen: Grammy--who's black--apparently has blue eyes. I had to look twice to make it out. It probably would've been easier to see if the illustration style were different. These characters have massive pupils and thin crescents of colour for irises, so it's not always easy to see what colour their eyes are.

Some of the rhymes are a little forced. (What's a "girl-eyed squirrel"?) And at the end, after sticking to a certain rhythm and rhyming scheme for the whole book, the text veers off in another direction. Yes, it rhymes, but it feels kind of out of place.

So while I like the illustrations and I wouldn't be averse to checking out some of the illustrator's other work, I don't really feel like the particular style worked here. I'm also not sure what the point of this book is, other than pointing out a whole bunch of eyes. I guess some kids might enjoy that, but it might not hold the interest of every reader.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.43 out of 5

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