A List of Children’s Characters with Glasses – because I keep getting asked about it and can’t find lists long enough
I’ve always wanted glasses. Everyone who’s cool has glasses and the cool and interesting new frames you can get now can tell you a lot about the person you’re talking to. As a bonus, you instantly also look a whole lot cleverer than you really are (which is a definite win in my case), not to mention that as an aspiring librarian I’ve got the very firm image in my mind of the lady with a bun, jumper and glasses checking out books and introducing new ones to young readers. At last I can now match myself to this image (despite the jumper being a no go), because not only am I on my way to becoming a librarian but I have also acquired my very own specs – huzzah!
I’ve found now that if I’m not wearing my glasses not only do I find it more difficult to stare at this computer screen for any length of time but I also feel a little bit naked if I’m out and about without them. They’ve become part of my identity, my secret disguise if you like, with no one knowing the real me behind these frames until one day, I may just surprise everyone by whipping them off and revealing my true self as this fantastic bookish superheroine. Kind of like Clark Kent (only shorter and less pants round green glowy things). I love my new glasses but I did start to ponder, which children’s books feature bespectacled characters? I get asked for books featuring characters with glasses semi-regularly but, as my blog post suggests, I can never find terribly extensive lists when I do a bit of digging – obviously characters with glasses are harder to pin down than previously thought. This just clinched it for me – glasses are uber cool, I adore mine, and it shouldn’t be so hard to think of characters who wear them. So, here’s a glasses-friendly list of bespectacled friends, complete with age ranges (although as ever these are only rough):
Let’s start with the big daddy of bespectacled characters. I don’t really need to say anymore than just his name, Harry Potter, do I? Potter will undoubtedly rank on any list. Also, love the new Jonny Duddle -designed covers Bloomsbury… 9 -12
Mildred’s best friend Maud is ever at her side, whether that’s helping Mildred sort her potions out or helping cover up her latest mishap. Plus, she’s chubbier (like me) has bunches (bit like me) and has horn rimmed glasses (hooray!), so someone a bit more out of the norm when it comes to characters. I loved Maud when I was younger. 5 – 8
For Clark Kent glasses were all just part of his disguise as Superman. Mild mannered bespectacled Kent could safely hide behind his glasses and no one ever suspected him of being the heroic Kryptonian. I love that his glasses were almost a shield – that’s definitely how I think of mine sometimes (and yes I do occasionally pretend I’m really a superheroine too). Multi-age
Your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman! Witty banter aplenty when he’s Spiderman, whoever would know that the everyone’s favourite webbed superhero occasionally wears facial furniture? Multi-age
I wouldn’t normally include a character when their books are sadly out of print or going for silly money on secondhand websites, but I dearly loved the Mary Plain stories as I was growing up – for more info do check out this lovely review from The Little Wooden Horse blog. The Owl Man was Mary Plain’s (a small bear) guardian and was so named for his round spectacles. Ever-patient and a truly caring individual, he has to be one of the best grown ups in Kids fiction I can think of. 9-12
Poor Benjamin Bunny finds out he needs glasses after he has one too many accidents when bouncing. I loved Benjamin and I especially loved the efforts his friends went to to make his spectacles super! Those are some truly snazzy specs! 0 – 5
Poor Klaus Baudelaire, who along with his siblings lurches from one unlucky event to another in Lemony Snicket’s bestselling Series of Unfortunate Events. He is definitely rocking the Potter glasses though. 9 – 12
I could identify with Mandy a little when I was younger – I always felt like I was the baby, like I wasn’t quite on the same level as my classmates (although thankfully I didn’t get bullied like she did). Bad girl Tanya is a pretty awesome character but what I really loved were SPOILER Mandy’s brilliant new specs and the confidence they gave her. 9 – 12
Not just one but three characters with glasses in the ever-popular Where’s Wally? books! Wally, Wilma/Wenda (depending on which sister you’re looking at) and the fiendish Odlaw. The best thing is that although there’s no real story to these books they do have a universal appeal – I’ve had Year 1’s deeply engrossed in spotting Wally and Year 6’s competing with each other to find his various accoutrements both. 5 – 8 and 9 – 12
The genius (if slightly deaf and batty) Professor Calculus is a fine example of glasses-dom and actually now I come to thik of it, Herge has quite a few characters with glasses scattered throughout the ever-popular Tintin series. Perhaps old-fashioned now (and in some cases distinctly of their time, if you know what I mean) but still for the most part excellent adventure comic books. 9 – 12
Rex hates his specs at first and hides them in the most bizarre of places when he goes to school. However, he soon finds out how useful they can be because not only can he see properly (always a win), he actually earns a gold star for them! 3 – 5
Think that’s a long enough list for now – do you have any to add to the list? Please let this newly bespectacled bookish bird know!