Kris Sheather, The Green Googles, Ormiston Press, 1 Oct 2016, 32pp., $24.00 (hbk), ISBN: 9781925337082
This is a gentle story, written in rhyme, with the admirable aim of encouraging outdoor play. Pete gets a pair of green goggles from his grandfather for his birthday and they magically transform what he sees outside into a wild adventure park where the hose becomes a snake, his cat a roaring lion and his play equipment an ancient palace.
This is the first children’s book for self published author/illustrator, Kris Sheather. The rhyme and rhythm used to tell the story are unsophisticated and keep the reader at a distance, but the book is not without charm. The story is helped along by some interesting illustrative elements and the inclusion of the cat character, who provides humour in the pictorial narrative, adds a splash of orange interest on most pages and adorns the endpapers.
Inside Pete’s imaginary palace there is a maze with hidden gems and other items, not unlike simple video games. Children will enjoy tracing the maze with their finger to find their way through this double page spread.
The book ends with a note to teachers and parents about the research advocating the benefits of outdoor play. The author discusses the book in more detail in an interview on Just Kids Lit and her website has some fun activities for children that support the theme of the book.
Reviewed by Debra Tidball