See the world through fresh eyes with this lush and lyrical picture book.
There are so many intriguing eyes out in the world…and so many amazing things for those eyes to see! From a big-eyed bug and a stalk-eyed slug to a side-eyed frog and a wide-eyed dog, the family in this book doesn’t miss a single sight during their busy-eyed day the park.
This rhyming and richly illustrated picture book is a clever and unusual celebration of being observant and keeping an eye out for magic in the everyday world that surrounds us.
Frann Preston-Gannon is an illustrator and designer. Her first picture book, The Journey Home, was shortlisted for both the Waterstones Children’s Prize and the Cambridgeshire ‘Read it Again’ Book Prize. She is also the illustrator of Busy-Eyed Day by Anne Marie Pace and One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon. She was the first UK recipient of the ‘Sendak Fellowship’ and spent a month living with and learning from the great master of illustration, Maurice Sendak. She lives in London, England.
A pair of siblings, along with their mother and grandmother, share an exciting day at the park.Two brown-skinned, brown-eyed siblings with Afro-textured hair sit in the grass observing the natural world: One regards a "Big-eyed bug" (a butterfly), the other a "Stalk-eyed slug." Each following rhyming couplet also includes, often cleverly, the use of the word "eyed," as the book focuses on the wonders of the natural world and park activities from a sighted perspective. The refrain, "Busy-eyed day at the park," repeats every few spreads, while the siblings enjoy park fun such as swings and slides as well as less-pleasant pastimes like getting hurt. The illustrations (a combination of digital and hand-drawn techniques) set a tone of pastoral tranquility in the middle of a city, where the pair observe and enjoy various animals and their antics. The book makes a subtle but important point about diversity by depicting the kids' brown-skinned grandmother as "Blue-eyed." A particularly humorous set of spreads starts with the sister eyeing a spider's web with suspicion. The next spread reveals the girl, shocked and possibly horrified, as she meets an arachnid with "Six-eyes? Eight-eyes!" The next spread declares in extra-large font, "See you later," as the girl and her grandma head off in the opposite direction: "No more spiders. No more bugs." A soothing, natural setting adds to the charm of this sweet, playful book that makes vigorous and profitable use of rhyming text. (Picture book. 4-8)
– Kirkus, 2/15/18
Sammi and her little brother spend the day at a city park with their grown-ups. Throughout the day, the children observe many exciting elements: other people enjoying the park, nature, playgrounds, and horse-drawn carriages. Each of the elements the children discover is alliterated and hyphenated with the word, eyed. These alliterations, like “Big-eyed bug,” are usually the only text on the page leaving the mixed-media illustrations to take a starring role in each stanza. For example, there’s a “Side-eyed frog. Wide-eyed dog. Squirrel-eyed girl. Girl-eyed squirrel. Busy-eyed day at the park.” With bright, summer colors; creative use of white space; and a splattered, blue skyline shadowed by skyscrapers, the illustrations amply complement the text. Characters with round eyes and large black pupils add an extra degree of cuteness. As the book reaches the last few pages, the prose changes slightly. This switch from “–eyed” everything to mama hugs and a conclusion is a welcome break from the repetition. VERDICT This is a great book to share with little ones before any stroll outdoors. It will get them talking about their observations as they experience their own “busy-eyed” days.