The book will feature photos of toddlers and babies wearing glasses with accompanying rhyming text. Written by Ann Zawistoski, a mom whose daughter started wearing glasses at 1 year old and the founder of Little Four Eyes.
Update - 11/16: 2 new reward levels
We've added 2 new reward levels:
- $20 - Share the story: Send a copy of the book and a resource sheet to a childcare provider, preschool, or library of your choice. That way the book will be there when a family needs it!
- $25 - Canadian special: Kickstarter's international shipping costs are higher than necessary for Canadian backers. Get a copy of the book and either the bookmarks or greeting card. No need to add any extra amount for shipping.
My daughter Zoe needed glasses at a year old. I'm a librarian, so one of the first things we did was hit the library to look for books about kids in glasses. Unfortunately, most books on that topic are aimed at school-aged kids with glasses. They generally take place at school, and often include scenes where the child is teased for their glasses.
Now, many of these books are lovely, wonderful, and charming. But they aren't aimed at young children or babies, the situations aren't ones that appeal to young kids, and they are rarely sturdy board books that can stand up to babies and toddlers.
Shortly after Zoe got her glasses, I started LittleFourEyes.com, a website for families with young children in glasses. One of the most popular pages on the site is the photo gallery, which features photos of kids wearing glasses. I've heard from so many parents who have felt better about their child needing glasses after seeing the pictures. But even better, I've heard from parents who tell me that their child is happier to wear glasses after seeing pictures of so many other kids in glasses.
And that's where the inspiration for the book came from. "Glasses!" will feature photos of young kids in glasses doing normal things that other kids can relate to.
My "ode to glasses"
A couple of years ago on Valentine's Day, I dashed off a quick couple of lines professing my love for Zoe's glasses:
Some glasses are red,
Some glasses are blue.
I think your glasses look great on you!
I hadn't planned to do anything more with that verse, but the rhyme stuck with me and began to morph into a full-fledged ode to glasses. It grew to be four verses long, celebrating how wonderful glasses can be in a young child's life. I realized this would be a good text to accompany the book.
I began to investigate publishing the poem as a board book illustrated with photos of children wearing real (not photo prop) glasses. The problem is that board books are expensive to produce. I was told by a few publishers that unless I could make a series out of the book, or tie it to a well-known character, a publisher would be very unlikely to back such a book. The fact that the book is unapologetically aimed at children in glasses, an admittedly small population, only makes it less likely to be published by traditional means.
But we live in exciting times. Books can be published and distributed in smaller quantities. If I have some funding, I can produce and publish these books myself. I have lined up a wonderful local photographer, Heide Woodworth, to do the photo shoots. I am working with Kristin Ellsworth of Peeps Eyewear (and author of "Princesses Wear Glasses" and co-founder of the Great Glasses Play Day) to help with the publishing and distribution of the book and other reward items.
The funding will help cover the costs of a professional photo shoot with local children who wear glasses. It will also cover the printing of an initial run of the book. Because the photos have not been taken yet, the photos that accompany this page are not those that will be featured in the book.
Encouraging Others and Raising Awareness
While bringing this book to reality is my main goal, I want to raise awareness of the importance of early detection and treatment of vision issues, and to help those facing early vision problems to know that they're not alone. While babies and toddlers in glasses are not common, according some studies, 1 in 20 preschoolers should wear glasses.
I also hope that this project encourages others to explore writing children's books, particularly for kids facing less common situations. I especially hope this will encourage even more books about vision issues for very young children.
Glasses for you,Glasses for me,I love that your glasses help you to see!
Bookmarks: Along with the book itself, I plan to use the photography from the book to produce four different bookmarks, each with a different verse and image from the book.
Greeting cards: I will also create a greeting card with an image from the book. The front of the card will read: :
"Some glasses are red,
Some glasses are blue."
On the inside, the card will say:
"I think your glasses look great on you!"
This card would be great for a child just getting their first pair of glasses.
Posters: I will also produce a poster that features images from the book and the full text of the ode to glasses. This would be suitable for framing and would be perfect for an eye care provider's office or an optical shop, as well as a child's room or play area.
Thanks! All backers will be listed as supporters on the book's website.
Risks and challenges
I have quotes and commitments from a book printer and a photographer.
The biggest challenge is likely to be delays in the photo shoots and in putting together the final layout of the book. I have written the full text of the book and have a good idea of how I would like the final product to look, however, I have never made a book before, so may be underestimating the time needed to finish the project.
I will work with everyone to meet the deadlines as best I can, and promise to keep everyone updated on the progress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)