I’m excited to be reviewing three new books by Juliette Vignola, and Cynthia Davis and Baby Sue Acree. The authors of these books have all been through glasses either as a parent of a young child in glasses, or as a child who wore glasses themselves. I am giving away the copies of the books used in this review. See the bottom of the post for details.
My Bright Blue Glasses by Cynthia Davis and Baby Sue Acree
The first book, “My Bright Blue Glasses“, is written by Cynthia Davis and Baby Sue Acree. Author Davis’s son was diagnosed with amblyopia at 3 years old, and author Acree was diagnosed with amblyopia in 2nd grade. The story follows Tommy and his stuffed animal friends “Puppy” and “Little Bunny.” Tommy learns that he needs glasses, and would have to wear an eye patch and do vision therapy.
The book does a great job of introducing the idea of glasses and patches and vision therapy in an understandable, relatable and realistic way without being overly-negative. While Tommy is not happy about his glasses, his family and friends help him to see how much they help. The concepts of why a child might need glasses or patches are clearly explained. Some books fall into the trap of only showing how much a child dislikes their glasses, while other books talk only about how wonderful glasses are. I really appreciated how My Bright Blue acknowledges the difficulties with glasses and patches without dwelling on them, and balances that with humor and a celebration of good vision.
The illustrations are charming. I loved seeing what Puppy and Bunny would be doing in each scene: in one scene, Bunny is testing Puppy’s eyes, in another, they’re both enjoying ice cream in their own ways.
Jack Wears Contact Lenses and Glasses … JUST LIKE YOU! & Jack Wears Glasses and a Patch … JUST LIKE YOU by Juliette Vignola
The next two books, “Jack wears contact lenses and glasses … JUST LIKE YOU!” and “Jack wears glasses and a patch … JUST LIKE YOU!” are by Juliette Vignola and are the second and third book in the “JUST LIKE YOU” series, following her first book, “Samantha wears a contact lens and a patch … JUST LIKE YOU!” Like her first book, these show a day in the life of a young child who needs vision correction.
I should first explain that Vignola used many of the same pages in her two Jack books. In the first, “Contact Lenses and Glasses,” Jack is a bilateral aphakic child who needs to wear contacts and sometimes wears a patch or glasses. In the second book, Jack needs glasses and a patch, so the contact lens pages are left out. The result are two different books addressing two different reasons for wearing glasses (bilateral aphakia, and amblyopia). This means that the “JUST LIKE YOU” series now has a book for:
- unilateral aphakic kids
- bilateral aphakic kids
- amblyopic kids
I think it’s great that these books address very specific situations. Each book emphasizes the routineness of glasses (in this case bifocals) and contacts and patches — as an example, in the “Contact lenses and glasses” book, the contact lenses always go in the left eye first. This focus on these things being routine can be wonderfully comforting to kids as that is their experience once they’re past the initial adjustment period. The books do not talk at all about learning you have a vision problem or starting out with contacts or glasses, which makes them perfect for kids who have been doing this for a while, but still want a book character who wearing glasses or contacts like them. The books do give brief explanations of what the glasses, contacts, and patches are for. The books also direct questions at the child reading the book, helping them to think about their own experiences.
The illustrations are simple, cheerful, and upbeat. At the end of each book, Vignola has included a page of notes of helpful tips and advice from her own experiences.
I have one copy of each book to give away. Leave me a comment with the title of the book you’d like to be entered to win — you can list more than one title, but winners are limited to one book each (so if you win in the first drawing for My Bright Blue Glasses, you won’t be eligible for either of the JUST LIKE YOU books.
If you want to add something to your comment, leave your best piece of advice for parents who are just starting out with a child in glasses, patches, or contacts. Or, if you’re just starting out, what’s your biggest question?