Vision and Literacy and Books, oh my!
First, hello to my fellow librarians (academic reference librarian here, and very frequent patron of our local public library) and educators! I don't need to tell you how important books can be for children as they encounter new experiences. Books can help them process their experiences, can help them put their own thoughts in to words, and perhaps most importantly, books can help kids feel less alone as they move through milestones and challenges.
There are a lot of books for kids getting glasses. Many of the books are quite wonderful, but they are almost all targeted at an older audience. And that's understandable, most children who need glasses start wearing them as school-aged children. But there's quite a few kids that need glasses earlier, sometimes much earlier. As our understanding and awareness of the importance of early visual health increases, the number of children have vision issues caught and treated early has also increased. By some estimations, as many as 1 in 20 preschoolers should wear glasses (Giordano et al., 2009). There's a need for books that can help the youngest children understand why they wear glasses and help them to feel less alone.
Encouraging children who need glasses to wear them is also extremely important for their early literacy development and their later academic achievement (Shankar, Evans, & Bobier, 2007; Williams, Latif, Hannington, & Watkins, 2005).
"Glasses" is a positive book about babies and toddlers wearing glasses. It features photographs of young children playing and having fun, and it has a simple rhyming text the talks about different glasses and how they help you to see. The book is a perfect choice for daycare centers, preschools, and children's library collections.
Giordano, L., Friedman, D. S., Repka, M. X., Katz, J., Ibironke, J., Hawes, P., & Tielsch, J. M. (2009). Prevalence of refractive error among preschool children in an urban population: the Baltimore Pediatric Eye Disease Study. Ophthalmology, 116(4), 739–746, 746.e1–e4. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2680482
Shankar, S., Evans, M. A., & Bobier, W. R. (2007). Hyperopia and emergent literacy of young children: pilot study. Optometry and vision science : official publication of the American Academy of Optometry, 84(11), 1031–8. doi:10.1097/OPX.0b013e318157a67a
Williams, W. R., Latif, A. H. A., Hannington, L., & Watkins, D. R. (2005). Hyperopia and educational attainment in a primary school cohort. Archives of disease in childhood, 90(2), 150–3. doi:10.1136/adc.2003.046755
Letter of introduction
Book Fact Sheet
by Ann Gwinn Zawistoski (Author) / Heide M. Woodworth (Photographer)
Publisher: Peeps Eyewear, LLC
Date of publication: 2014
Board book, 12 pages
"...this board book uses upbeat rhymes and clear full-bleed photographs of bespectacled kids to encourage children who need glasses to wear them and remind them why they are important. “Glasses on boys/ Glasses on girls/ With your glasses on you see the world!” reads a typical passage, as cheerful children play and show off their brightly colored frames." - Publishers Weekly
Listed as a November 2015 "Book of the Month" by the Pierce County Library System's Early Learning Newsletter, which called it a "darling board book showing very young children, and some older children as well, wearing their glasses proudly."
Do you know a parent or someone else looking for more information on children's vision and children and glasses? Take a look at our recommended Resources List.