Saturday, March 21, 2009
My kids love books and you know, there is usually a book written about just about everything - so one of the first things I did when I found out Belle needed to wear glasses and patch was to get her some kids books about it. I was thrilled when I found The Patch by Justina Chen Headley, a book written about a little girl who has to wear a patch. The picture of a little blonde in pigtails and a tutu with a pink eye patch made it seem as if this book was written just for Belle! (See the similarity? - My patching Ballerina)
The heroine of The Patch is Becca, a five year old who after taking a trip to the Eye Doctor needs to get glasses for her vision and wear a patch to make her lazy eye get stronger. Becca doesn't handle the news very well. She fears that everyone will think she looks stupid and renounces that Ballerinas don't wear glasses. (Boy, could I relate! My own four year old announced "I look ridiculous!" and told me that princesses couldn't wear glasses). In the book Becca's big brother lends out his favorite pirate costume and lets her wear it to school with her new pink eye patch. In an attempt to overcompensate, Becca spends the day making up all sorts of wild reasons why she is wearing the eye patch - that she is a private eye, a one-eyed monster, a pirate seeking for treasure. Becca, her eye patch, and her classmates all have a blast so that when at the end of the day her teacher asks her to share with the class why she is really wearing the patch she is able to simply share the true reason - she has amblyopia, a lazy eye.. and the patch is no big deal. In fact, it would seem some of the kids are rather envious of Becca's patch.
The book includes a brief summary in easy to understand language at the end about the eye condition Amblyopia.
When I shared The Patch with Belle she could relate to Becca immediately. We had just gone to the ophthalmologist and it allowed for a talking point between us about how Becca was feeling and how Belle felt - which was pretty much the same. She giggled while I read about Becca's wild adventures with her friends and thought it was pretty funny when she pretended to be a one-eye monster. She asked if she could pretend to be a one-eyed monster later when Daddy came home, which I said she could. She told me she didn't want to pretend to be a pirate like Becca, though ironically she was doing just that at a playdate yesterday. The icing on the cake? She asked me if she could bring this book to school with her to show her teacher and friends. Awesome!
The Patch really hit a homerun for us. The book comes in hardcover and paperback versions both priced affordably and has bright, whimsical watercolor illustrations done by Mitch Vane. Amazon has both versions in stock now and priced under $12!
You can even get a Becca or Figaro patch from Patch Pals.
Read my Review of The Patch at Epinions.com
Print out this really cool and fun The Patch Coloring Page