Craig Smith (text) Scott Tulloch (illustrations), Square Eyes, Scholastic (NZ), 1 November 2014, $16.99(pbk), 32pp., ISBN 978-1-77543-269-2
Do you have a friend (or a child or are you a parent) who sits all day, watching TV, and letting the day waste away? If so, this book might be a provocateur to change that behaviour. Dedicated “to all children who sometimes struggle to get their parents off the couch, their tablets and phones to play with them,” this quirky story (and song with its accompanying CD) warns yo’aalll that you might end up with square eyes! “SQUARE eyes, don’t get SQUARE eyes, come on let’s exercise, don’t get SQUARE eyes.” Buzzy bee tries his best to persuade his friends to change their behaviour by suggesting all sorts of exciting alternatives (scoot to the library, dance away to fame, climb a tree swim in the ool (we don’t want a p there) but “don’t get SQUARE eyes”! I must give a warning to all teachers and parents who regularly like to stand up the front and instruct, that children will, after enacting this storyline, try and shout “We’re getting SQUARE eyes” and insist on other ways of interaction! Interaction is, after all, the name of the game in this off-the beat rhythm and rhyme! Let’s get up and dancing. Recommended.
reviewed by John McKenzie