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Books pediatricians can recommend on problems encountered by children who wear glasses.
When children wear eyeglasses, who notices? Everyone. Vision problems set children apart from their peers by making life a little harder, a little fuzzier, and a little squintier. Glasses often make them feel left out of the mainstream, where most young people really want to be. Stories about children who have the same problems as the reader sometimes help. Such stories also can create an interest in reading among children who have impaired vision, who may avoid reading because it necessitated more effort than it was worth before their vision was corrected. The books described below can be found in the public library or ordered on amazon.com, although some may require special orders. Please feel free to reproduce this article and distribute copies to families in your practice who deal with these issues on a regular basis. Deborah Rivlin, MA
Pam Adams: Mrs. Honey's Glasses. Auburn, ME, Child's Play Intl. Ltd., 1993. Mrs. Honey and her grandchildren, Peter and Emma, spend the day trying to find Mrs. Honey's glasses. They find many interesting things in their search but do they ever find the glasses? Ages 4 to 8.
Marc Brown: Arthur's Eyes. Boston, Little, Brown and Co., 1979. Arthur couldn't see very well and sometimes got headaches. He needed glasses, which helped him see everything clearly. When his friends make fun of him and call him four-eyes, Arthur becomes embarrassed and won't wear his glasses. Finally, with his teacher's help, Arthur realizes that four eyes are better than two. Ages 6 to 9.
Ilene Cooper: Frances Four-Eyes. New York, Bullseye Books, 1991. Frances is a shy fourth-grader. She becomes more confident when she gets the lead dance role in a recital, suggests a community project, and starts to wear her new glasses. Ages 6 to 9.
Lucy Cousins: What Can Pinky See? A Lift-the-Flap Book. Cambridge, MA, Candlewick Press, 1997. Full-color illustrations make this book a game for very young children about what Pinky can see. Ages infant to 3.
Joy Cowley: Agapanthus Hum and the Eyeglasses. New York, Philomel Books, 1999. Agapanthus Hum is always moving. She loves tumbling and acrobatics so her glasses are constantly falling off. Her mother offers to hold Agapanthus's glasses while she is tumbling because this is what real acrobats who wear glasses do. Ages 4 to 8.
Nora Dale: Nan and the Sea Monster. Austin, TX, Raintree Streck-Vaughn, 1989. Nan has mermaid friends who know she needs glasses when Nan mistakes her friend, Dolphin, for a sea monster. Ages 4 to 8.
David Galef: Tracks: All Aboard for the Wackiest Train Ride Ever! New York, Morrow, 1996. When Albert breaks his glasses while supervising the laying of the town's railroad tracks, he becomes responsible for the wackiest train ride the townspeople have ever had. Ages 5 to 8.
Adrienne Geoghegan: Dogs Don't Wear Glasses. Northampton, MA, Crocodile Books, 1996. A humorous story of Nanny Needles who mistakenly believes her dog, Seymour, has vision problems. The book has excellent crayon and watercolor illustrations. Ages 5 to 8.
Patricia Reilly Giff: Watch Out, Ronald Morgan! New York, Puffin Books, 1986. Ronald is having some school troubles. When his teacher suggests that he may need glasses, he goes to Dr. Simms to have his eyes tested. Ronald soon discovers that wearing his new glasses can't solve all his problems, but he certainly can see better. Ages 6 to 9.
Amy Hest: Baby Duck and the Bad Eyeglasses. Cambridge, MA, Candlewick Press, 1996. Baby Duck's grandfather helps her realize that her new eyeglasses aren't so bad after all. Beautiful colored pencil and watercolor paintings illustrate the book. Ages 3 to 5.
Neal Shusterman: The Eyes of Kid Midas. Boston, Little, Brown and Co., 1992. Kevin finds a pair of sunglasses that can grant his every dream. But Kevin's desire for revenge and material possessions begins to destroy his world. Ages 12 and up.
Lane Smith: Glasses: Who Needs 'Em? New York, Viking, 1991. A young boy is unhappy about having to wear glasses until his doctor gives him a list of other people who wear glasses. Out-of-focus illustrations help readers understand what you see when you need glasses. Ages 5 to 8.
Tricia Tusa: Libby's New Glasses. New York, Holiday House, 1984. A fanciful story about a little girl named Libby who is very unhappy about having to wear glasses. She runs away and encounters an ostrich, embarrassed and hiding out with problems of his own. Together they discover that it's not so bad to wear eyeglasses after all. Ages 4 to 8.
Margaret Wild: All the Better to See You With! Morton Grove, IL, Albert Whitman and Co., 1993. Kate is the quiet one among four noisy brothers and sisters, so no one notices right away that Kate is nearsighted and needs glasses. Wonderful blurred watercolor illustrations depict how things look to Kate. Ages 5 to 8.
Angelika Wolff: Mom, I Need Glasses. Pittsburgh, PA, Lion Press, 1970. Susan is having trouble seeing the blackboard at school until she finally has her eyes examined and gets glasses. Ages 6 to 9.
Deborah Rivlin. Bookshelf: Books for children who wear eyeglasses.