Hubert and the magic glasses by Candice Lemon-Scott
Ill. by Joe Spellman. New Frontier, 2012. ISBN 9781921928246.
Hubert and the Magic Glasses is another in the Little Rockets Series, designed especially for the emerging independent reader. With short chapters and occasional colourful illustrations Hubert's story will resonate with young readers who should, but are reluctant to, wear glasses.
Hubert is goal keeper for the Able Ants soccer team. Unfortunately he is unable to stop the opposition scoring and realises his team will not win whilst he remains goalie. Regardless of how hard he trains he seems to be getting worse and is under pressure from his team mates.
Hubert's mother realises that he needs glasses, especially after he mistakes dog food for pizza toping, and takes him to the optometrists despite his protests. There Hubert learns he has astigmatism which means he takes longer to focus on things and he is finally fitted with some frames.
Hubert is determined not to wear his glasses, however, when he finally puts them on, after another mishap with food, he feels transformed. No longer Hubert the ordinary school kid but 'Hubert the Brave', a cool dude. They also do wonders for his goalkeeping with the Ants going on to compete in a stirring final and of course Hubert and his magic glasses play a major role in their success.
Hubert is representative of all boys who are faced the dilemma of needing to wear glasses but still being able to compete on the soccer or footy field. While he thinks the glasses are magic he finds that it is he who is in control, and that it is better to wear glasses both on and off the field.
Any parent or teacher who has tried to convince a child that wearing glasses is only going to make their life better will appreciate the value of this story. We need more active heroes who happen to wear glasses as role models for our younger readers.