FICTION

Calvin, Look Out!: A Bookworm Birdie Gets Glasses

illus. by Keith Bendis. 32p. Sterling. Aug. 2014. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781454909101. LC 2013014444.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2—When a young starling gets glasses (or "spectacles," as the exacting birdie prefers to call them), his friends tease him. But Calvin is so excited to finally be able to see small things clearly that he trips and falls in the woods and becomes wedged under a rock. Undaunted, he uses his glasses to reflect sunlight and signal to the other starlings using Morse code, and soon all the other birds want spectacles, too. Though the topic is an underrepresented one and the busy, cartoon illustrations are full of humorous touches, such as the "Bug and Worm Fine Dining" restaurant and a "Nest Supplies" store in the town of Treeville, the characters, from the know-it-all Calvin to the bespectacled librarian with the sensible bob, are blandly stereotypical.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Though his cousins tease him about his glasses, book-loving starling Calvin (Calvin Can't Fly) reminds himself of great historical figures who also wore them, such as Ben Franklin, Gandhi, and John Lennon. When faced with a precarious situation, Calvin uses his new spectacles in an unexpected way. Overt confidence-bolstering messages abound in the playfully written story with amiable illustrations featuring square, spindly-legged birds.

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