Eyes Can Talk
by Lana Jean Mitchell

"'Mr. L. Loveher, Chikere needs her eyes examined. Her eyes are saying she might need glasses.'"

The eyes are the windows to the soul, so they say, and this book teaches children about what their eyes tell them and others through three brief stories. The first story concerns Chikere, a young preschooler whose teacher believes she needs to get her eyes examined. When her father takes her to an optometrist, she cannot be tested because she can’t read, but she does know her ABCs. A second optometrist points out that a young child will learn the song, but if her eyes are poor, she would not be able to recognize the letters. The second story is about Little, a young boy staying with his grandparents, who insists he is not tired enough to go to bed. His grandma, however, lovingly informs him of the clues that his eyes give away and that he is indeed getting sleepy.

Many young children don’t know enough to tell an adult that their body isn’t behaving normally, and so it is up to adults to either recognize those signs or relate to the child enough to find out that information. This book is a loving, caring way to convey that information, teaching children about how eyes are expected to perform and reduce some of the social stigma associated with having an eye exam or wearing glasses. Additionally, the book is full of characters and people of color, which adds another layer of recognition and representation for children of all races. It helps them identify the similarities we all face and that role models like teachers and doctors exist in most communities. Through giant illustrations and characters full of heart, this is an easy book to approach a potentially scary subject with young readers.

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