Even in these enlightened days, children still get teased for wearing glasses. Books where the main characters wear glasses themselves can help and so can ones where needing glasses is part of the plot.
by Penny McKinlay,illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
Bumposaurus is given his name before he even hatches: he cannot find his way out of his shell. Needless to say his short-sightedness leads him into all manner of misadventures It’s not until he has narrowly escaped being a Tyrannosaurus’s dessert however, that his myopia is recognised and dealt with.
Illustrated in bold, bright colours with lumpy shapes, this is a funny story dealing with a serious issue that it deals with sensitively though somewhat simplistically. Nevertheless, it provides a good starting point for discussion about differences and why some children need to wear glasses.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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Dog who wears Glasses
by Colin West
When Monty has a series of unfortunate accidents, the small boy who owns him gives him a pair of glasses. The glasses are really just empty frames and don't make any difference but Monty likes them enough to continue wearing them. Each chapter of the book is a free-standing story presenting a Monty's eye view of the world. He likes food, sleep and comfort, doesn't like work and exercise and his attempts to be helpful are frequently misunderstood. The humour is just right for children, making this a good choice for new and less confident readers including older ones. It may be hard to find new but should still be available in libraries.
Ages 6-8 and older, weak readers.
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Harry Potter books by JK Rowling
Good news for those who haven't realised it yet - the current number one character in children's fiction wears glasses. He's also a wizard by birth, has more than his fair share of destiny and goes to an amazing boarding school where letters are delivered by owl and broomsticks really fly. Who better for bespectacled children to identify with?
For ages 8-108 Very popular with reluctant readers.
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Books by Marc Brown
Arthur is a popular character with younger children who wouldn't be the same without his glasses. He has his own cartoon series on the BBC and there is a wide selection of books about him which range from board books for babies to first chapter books for 6-9 year olds.
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and Her Magic Specs
by Claire Fletcher
In this story, it's a girl who wears the glasses and she is the only person who knows that they let her see through things. This extraordinary skill proves very valuable when her teacher disappears and is carried off to an alien planet. Lift-up flaps allow readers to discover what Mabel can see and there is also a decoding key to help them work out what the aliens are saying.
Don't Wear Glasses by Adrienne Geoghan
When everything starts going wrong, Nanny Nettles is sure her dog, Seymour, needs glasses but it eventually turns out that it is Nanny's vision which needs help, not her dog's. This amusing book makes a good starting point for discussing the need for glasses and the bright, colourful illustrations have plenty of amusing details to talk about. Good for 5-8 year olds, likely to attract reluctant readers and suitable for older children with special needs.
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Flies Again by Korky Paul and Valerie Thomas
(Oxford University Press)
Winnie and her cat, Wilbur, have always traveled by broomstick but when they start having trouble avoiding collisions, Winnie decides to solve the problem by turning the broomstick first into a bicycle, next into a skateboard and then into a horse. Still dogged by accidents, she finally tries walking but when even that doesn't work, she gets some glasses and finds she can fly safely again. A wonderfully funny story with hilarious illustrations full of amusing detail and the long suffering Wilbur. Great fun for children of 4 to 8+ and excellent for starting a discussion on wearing glasses. Likely to tempt reluctant readers and suitable for older children with special needs.
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