Thursday, August 23, 2012

Believing is Seeing - Captain Carl's book review

A long time back, I received an email from Donna Bennet who is the author of the book Captain Carl's Vacation: Believing Is Seeing. Well, it turns out she is the parent of a child with Amblyopia who patches also and is the inspiration behind this 'pirate' series of books.  She sent my daughter a book with a lovely inscription in it, encouraging her to "believe in herself". 

Now, my readers will attest to the fact that Belle hasn't been a big fan of pirates. Nor did she care for one bit the association between pirates and her having to wear an eye patch. So, even though this book really isn't about pirates, she was pretty convinced it was because of the first sentence of the first page which referenced a pirate ship captain. Kids can be SO STUBBORN!

The good news is, kids are also fickle too and can turn on a dime.  Belle has recently decided that Pirates are really OK. She is now able to separate pirates from her wearing an eyepatch. Pirates have been redeemed. In fact, Pirates are more than OK because now she is pretty darn fascinated with anything to do with pirates. Guess what?  Off the dusty shelf came Captain Carl's Vacation: Believing Is Seeing.

After oh about the first page she declared that the book isn't really about Pirates, just "A" Pirate, Captain Carl.  In a nutshell, Carl is a Pirate turned Ice Cream man but he is stressed out. Belle thinks that this is pretty darn funny - and wishes we could have a pirate ice cream shop. In the book,  his 'crew' sends stressed out and grumpy Captain Carl away on a vacation to Upstate NY in the dead of winter.  Now, this is pretty funny to me because it happens to be where I grew up. So, the places in the book like Canandaigua and Bristol Mountain are destinations that I am extremely familiar with.  In fact, it was pretty cool to read the book and share with my daughter how the places Captain Carl was at were places I had been to and so had she (as a baby).  Belle likes that the main character (aside from Carl) is a young girl who wears an eye patch. She is also quick to point out that she thinks it would be dangerous to wear an eyepatch while downhill skiing!!!  Kids are so literal, but the illustration and storyline would lead you to believe that "Princess Patch" does just that.  It's all in the details!

Captain Carl's Vacation: Believing Is Seeing does include decent, kid-friendly and easy to understand explanation about why someone might wear a patch and also includes a 'parent section' after the story is completed explaining amblyopia as well as the specific condition impacts Rachel (the REAL princess patch) the inspiration for the books.

For more info:

About the book
The third book in the Petey & The Mean Pirates series, Captain Carl's Vacation...Believing is Seeing (Princess Patch), is a wonderful story that takes grouchy Captain Carl on a much needed vacation to (of all places) beautiful Canandaigua, New York! After the Captain begrudgingly realizes he won't be seeing the Statue of Liberty and the sky scrapers of the Big Apple, he embarks to the slopes of Bristol Mountain. There, he meets Rachel...a girl with an eye patch, but also a spirit that resonates strength and beauty! This book enlightens and teaches children that no matter what life hands you, if you believe in yourself you can do anything!

Ages: Preschool-5th Grade

Publisher: Three Chiquitas Publishing; 1st Edition (2011)

Related Link: A Pirate for a day

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