Samantha is like most other kids: She love to read books, she plays outside with her friends, she gets hugs from her mom to make her feel better. Oh, and Samantha wears a contact lens and a patch due to a congenital cataract.
In Juliette Vignola’s book, “Samantha Wears a Contact Lens and a Patch,” we get to see a day in the life of Samantha. She is a happy girl, whose day includes having her mom put in her contact and patching. But neither of those activities are portrayed as being something strange, rather they’re simply presented as a normal part of her day. It’s very refreshing to find a book which simply incorporates these as a day to day activity. Most aphakic kids do not remember a time before contacts or patching, so even if they’re a struggle, they’re still a part of of their daily life. The book is also peppered with questions to the audience, “Does your mommy or daddy put your contact lens in for you?” The questions further normalize the experiences of the young readers, helping them feel less alone.
This isn’t to say that the book sugar-coats patching or contact-wearing. Samantha gets mad when her mom has trouble removing her contact, something I imagine most kids and parents reading the book will relate to. I found myself laughing when the contact was correctly put in or removed, and Samantha’s response was, “Not so bad!!”
The writing is simple, clear, and charming. The illustrations in the book are bright and cheerful. They work perfectly with the tone of the book (my photos don’t really do the illustrations justice).
This is simply a wonderful book, and I believe it is the only book out there that is targeted at young aphakic children (probably the only one targeted at any aphakic children), so it is a very welcome addition to the growing list of books for our kids. The author is planning a second book for kids with bilateral contacts. If your child does wear a contact lens and a patch, I absolutely recommend this book!
Updated: The giveaway ended on Sunday, Sept. 15. Congratulations to Terri, who is the winner of the giveaway!
While my daughters and I enjoyed reading the book, neither of them has cataracts. I would like to give my copy to someone who does have a child who wears a contact and patch like Samantha. Leave a comment here to be entered. I’ll do a random drawing of all the commenters on Sunday, September 15. And many thanks to Juliette Vignola for sending me this copy.
Disclosure: I received the copy of this book for review. This did not impact my review.