4 out of 4 stars
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Princesses Don’t Wear Glasses by Tia Cherie Dammen is an illustrated children’s book about a girl who finds out she needs glasses. Avery is a young princess who has a wardrobe of beautiful dresses and tiaras in every color. One day she realizes everything she’s seeing is blurry. When an eye exam reveals she needs glasses, Princess Avery becomes very upset. She feels she won’t look pretty wearing glasses and they won’t match her clothes. Picking out glasses with her mother provokes more tears as the pairs Avery tries on either don’t fit well or look nice on her face. She also becomes insecure about wearing glasses to school and fears the other kids will make fun of her.
I enjoyed this light, heartwarming story. The plot is easy to understand and there are only a few sentences on each page. The themes of self-esteem and feeling different are very relatable as a change in appearance can be difficult for a child to adjust to. Many children have to wear glasses, braces, or other type of health aid. This can create feelings of insecurity and anxiety.
Kim Betschart’s full-page illustrations really make this book shine. I also liked the whimsical font which is sometimes placed in a fun style that curves around the pictures. The watercolor-style artwork not only complements the text, but turns the story into something really special. The pictures of Princess Avery are so lively and in-your-face that she almost seems to jump off the pages. I loved the pictures and themes so much that I would recommend the author consider creating additional products based on the story – for example, a coloring/activity book, a Princess Avery paper doll book with interchangeable dresses and glasses, etc.
My main gripe is that the ending is too neatly tied up. Still, the overall story is sure to capture a child’s interest. Since the language is fairly simple, the book would be ideal for young readers who are learning to read independently. It would also be a good selection for teachers to read during storytime, as the story could easily jump-start a discussion about feeling different, friendship, and the importance of self-respect.
I was pleased to find no grammatical or spelling errors in this well-written book. However, pages 18 and 19 are displayed sideways for no explicable reason. Since I received the book as a PDF file, I am hoping the published e-book includes the proper formatting of these pages.
This book has earned a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Despite the minor flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet story about a common issue. As a picture book, it seems most appropriate for children ages 4-8, particularly girls. It would be a nice addition to any young child’s book collection.
Princesses Don’t Wear Glasses
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