Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Travelin' Eye

by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

Books on wearing glasses, I've seen. I even had one or two as a child, when I wore glasses myself. But a book on something as specific as strabismus, when one or both eyes are not aligned properly, is a new one. Like the author, I had both a misaligned eye and a lazy eye, so this book grabbed my interest at once, and I just had to see how she would treat the subject for kids.

She is pretty happy with her travelin' (wandering) eye, but acknowledges some teasing, as well as a teacher who mentioned to her mother that she might see an ophthalmologist. She covers that visit in detail, and is sent home with an eye patch, a constant companion of my childhood, as well. The goal of strengthening the weaker eye makes for some weird exercises and experiences, as she describes!

Her mom helps her navigate the eye patch fiasco admirably, and in her case, the strengthening really did work well enough for her to g ahead with only her glasses, and with eye apparently now working in tandem.

While I don't think books written to a purpose are always great, I do like this one for a child who is experiencing this. Partly because the voice is upbeat, partly because the author has in fact been there herself and clearly knows how some of this feels, and partly because her mom has some fun ideas, I kind of like it.

It doesn't cover what happens when your eye is more stubborn than hers, but I think that this book if only partly informational, and that it is awfully hard to write about eye surgery without freaking a kid out. As it stands, this book is reassuring and sympthatic, just enough to give the message that no child with strabismus is the only one.

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