Lynn Jenkins (text), and Kirrili Lonergan (illustrator), Grey-glasses-itis, EK Books, January 2019, 32 pp., RRP $19.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781925335958
Grey Glasses-Itis is a clumsy-at-times read. The title itself is a play on a medical condition (rhymes with laryngitis, get it?) and was a little tricky to convey to a preschooler. However, the story is sweet, with Loppy the LAC (the origins of whose name is not revealed but it may have been in previous installments to the series) being a lovable and cheerful creature. Loppy loves to paint and sees the world in all its colours. One day, however, the LAC tries on some different coloured glasses. The grey glasses lead him to a state of sadness and despair, as the world all around becomes one, big, colourless haze.
The message here is important. Sometimes we feel sad, and changing our outlook, which is what the different coloured glasses represent, is helpful. There are times we, and children, cannot see the colours and joy in life. Though I felt unsure if the glasses analogy left me wanting I would still try this with the target readers- preschoolers and early primary readers. Perhaps as an adult I looked too much into this. We should all see life through a child’s eyes, and more often, anyway. Normalising anxiety and discussing ways to build emotional resilience is a great thing, and this book does that.
The author, Lynn Jenkins is a clinical psychologist, author and mother with a passion for children’s emotional development. She writes about anxiety and worry, so she is most certainly qualified to tackle this topic. I suggest complimenting classroom use with the teacher’s notes available at the publisher’s website.
Reviewed by Belinda Raposo