Philomena’s New Glasses by Brenna Maloney (review)
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Reviewed by
Maloney, Brenna Philomena’s New Glasses; illus. with photographs by Chuck Kennedy. Viking, 2017 [34p]
ISBN 978-0-425-28814-6 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad 4-6 yrs

When Philomena the guinea pig gets new glasses, her sister Audrey rushes out immediately for a pair of her own, even though she doesn’t need them. She’ll just wear them on top of her head, she says. Worried about being left out, their sister Nora Jane gets a pair, too. Audrey follows Philomena’s lead when she gets a handbag to keep her glasses in, and then a dress to complete the outfit, while Nora Jane trails reluctantly behind (she has nothing to put in a handbag, and the dress is itchy). The text mostly exists to string together Kennedy’s photographs of the real guinea pigs in their glasses, dresses, and purses; the critters are adorable, but austere back-groundless images could give more context to the story. Nora Jane’s exasperation as she tags along with Audrey and Philomena will, however, amuse viewers who are negotiating sibling relationships and who are learning, as the sisters do, that siblings and friends don’t need to have or like the same things to be close.

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