Book review by Trevor Agnew
Square Eyes (2014) Craig Smith (NZ), ill. Scott Tulloch, Scholastic, 32pages, paperback ISBN 978 1 77543 269 2
‘He gets no exercise because he’s got square eyes.’
The text of this picture book is an original song by Craig Smith, the New Zealand performer and lyric writer, famous for his performance of The Wonky Donkey (2009). This time his subject is the need to stop watching so much television. The suggestion is that there are other things to do:
‘Listen to some music, dance your way to fame,read a book, invent a new game.’
Various animals are shown exercising, swimming, reading, and even doing their chores.
Scott Tulloch’s watercolour illustrations are witty accompaniments to the song. He has shrewdly chosen a diverse group of animals to illustrate the various activities, many of them with large (square) eyes like the owl and lemur. At the centre of most pictures is a marvellous TV-addicted panda who has dark square markings around his eyes. Sharp-eyed readers will also spot a bumblebee which takes up music in the style of Bob Marley.
A CD of the song, performed by Craig Smith (with a strong Caribbean flavour) is included
10 Oct 2014