Review—Mr. Gamal’s Gratitude Glasses by Asmaa Hussein and illustrated by Nuria Tomas Mayolas

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Mr. Gamal’s students are grumpy. One lost her bouncy ball; another doesn’t like his lunch. Mr. Gamal wishes there was a way to help them be more positive. On the way home from school, he stops at the dollar store, one of his favorite places. Seeing a bin of funky colored glasses, he gets the idea that “gratitude glasses” might help his students see the world in a new light.

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The next day at school, he hands out fifteen pairs of glasses, and when a student is feeling grumpy or negative, he reminds them to put on their gratitude glasses. One student spilled paint on his shirt, but after putting on his glasses decided the spill looked like a whale. He completed the painting and was proud of his new shirt.

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This illustration is my favorite one in this book (left)! And I love Mr. Gamal’s beard (right)!

This fun story is about seeing the good in a bad situation, finding creative solutions to problems, and helping each other out. Kids will be able to relate to the setbacks and disappointments in the story, and use the coping techniques in their own lives.

The idea of the glasses as a cue to change your attitude is fabulous. It normalizes the idea of working to see things in a new way, and it translates well into parenting. Saying “how would this situation look through your gratitude glasses?” to a child is a wonderful alternative to “you need to fix your attitude.”

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I loved seeing such a cool male teacher represented in literature (and one who loves the dollar store!) And the ending was perfect—it had a lovely little twist that I really appreciated.

I highly recommend Mr. Gamal’s Gratitude Glasses for all picture book readers. Mr. Gamal’s Gratitude Glasses is published by Ruqaya’s Bookshelf (2018), and you can get your own copy here.

Thank you to Ruqaya’s Bookshelf for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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