Books for the Bobbin #4

The Boy with Square Eyes by Juliet Snape is the reason I no longer watch tv... partly.

It is the story of a little boy who watches so much television that his eyes become square and so does the world around him. To him this is such a terrible outcome that he cries square tears and begs his mother to teach him how he can make his eyes round again.

Many a threat of square eyes could be heard in my home growing up.

Mum frequently used the well-known section of the book that when you are bored you could

Read a book,
do a puzzle,
draw a picture,
look at the goldfish,
look at the sky and wonder why.

I even found myself saying this to my nanny boys the other day when all they wanted to do was watch tv after school. Its slightly scary watching children watch tv at times. I'm sure I was the same. They get this glazed expression on their face and very little outside noise gets through to them. All that can be seen is the eerie ever changing glow of the screen on their face, shining in their eyes.

I guess it's not all bad. I remember spending some time watching tv. We didn't really watch it all that much but it was interesting and entertaining and gave us something to discuss with friends at school.

Yet even though I'm pretty sure televisitis is not a real condition i still get a little worried about the shape of my eyes after watching the box for a bit. This book has served as a very good cautionary tale. I think its main message is that there is so much more to life than tv. To spend your life watching it means that you miss out on so much else even if it is just to look at the sky and wonder why.

In the end, the mum unplugs the tv. Not such a huge thing. Not such a scary thing at all.

Transcript and slide show of the book here.

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