Picture books featuring characters with blindness or visual impairments

Thanks for joining my “Mommy and Me” Book Club. I hope you’re enjoying my ongoing “stay in bed and read” series. See my previous post on All the Light We Cannot See for a book summary and “quotable quotes”.

As you’re reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr in bed (or in your favorite armchair), feel free to share these picture books with your children.

For every “mommy book” read, I’ll suggest a “me book” for your children with a similar theme. It is my hope that this “Mommy and Me” book club is a fun activity for you and your children.

5 Picture Books Featuring Blind Characters or Characters with Visual Impairments

1. My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay (2015) | Cari Best

Zulay, who’s blind, and her three best friends are in the same first grade class. When the teacher asks the students what they’d like to do on Field Day, Zulay surprises her classmates by saying she wants to run a race. This book reminds readers that people with visual impairments can do anything if they set their mind to it. (Age Range:  4-8 years)

2. Yuko-chan and the Daruma Doll: The Adventures of a Blind Japanese Girl Who Saves Her Village (2012) | Sunny Seki 

An intrepid young orphan, who happens to be blind, invents the Daruma doll. It earns income for her whole village, even righting itself whenever it’s knocked over. This book celebrates the resilience of Yuko-chan and her Daruma doll. (Age Range:  4-8 years)

3. Knots on a Counting Rope (1997) | Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

In this evocative story, the counting rope symbolizes the passage of time and a Navajo boy’s growing confidence in overcoming his blindness. Through his grandfather’s story, Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses learns he has the strength to conquer any challenge. This book tells a lovely intergenerational story that stays with you long after the last page. (Age Range:  4-8 years)

4. See the Ocean (1994) | Estelle Condra

A family goes on their yearly trip to the coast. The beautiful ocean views inspire the children to not merely rely on what they see with their eyes. This book encourages readers to “see” and think about things in different ways. (Age Range:  5-6 years)

5. Seven Blind Mice (2002) | Ed Young

Based on an Indian tale, seven mice, one by one, go to the pond to investigate a strange Something. Each Mouse returns with a different theory. Finally, the seventh mouse’s exploration of the whole Something enables the mice (and readers) to see the whole truth. (Age Range:  3-7 years)

5 Picture Books Featuring Characters with Glasses

6. Arthur’s Eyes (1986) | Marc Brown

Arthur really hates wearing glasses because everyone makes fun of him. When the teasing becomes unbearable, Arthur stops wearing his glasses. This book warns readers of the trouble you can get into if you take off your glasses! (Age Range:  4-6 years)

7. Arlo Needs Glasses (2012) | Barney Saltzberg

Every glasses wearing child will relate to how Arlo feels. But Arlo’s story illustrates how glasses allow us to do all the things we need and want to do. This book shows readers that glasses are very useful, but still trendy and fun. (Age Range:  3-6 years)

8. Glasses Board Book (2014) | Ann Gwen Zawistoski

Glasses is an upbeat book about babies and toddlers who wear glasses. The playful photographs of young children and simple rhyming text are heartwarming. This book discusses different glasses and how they help us see. (Age Range:  N/A)

9. Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses (2013) | James and Kimberly Dean

Pete is feeling gloomy until Grumpy Toad lends him his magic sunglasses that help Pete see in a new way. Crack! The sunglasses break and Pete must learn how to have a positive outlook by himself. This book has a very groovy message to share, one that would uplift even the gloomiest of readers. (Age Range:  4-8 years)

10. The Patch (2007) | Justina Chen Hadley

Everyone at school wants to know about Becca’s new fashion accessory, a patch. Instead of saying she has amblyopia, Becca takes her friends on an adventure to explain her latest addition. This book urges us to embrace the unique differences in ourselves and one another. (Age Range:  5-8 years)

A Final Thought – From the Pillow

“Always look on the bright side of life…Always look on the light side of life.”

So hopefully these bespectacled characters help your little ones see a clearer and crisper vision of the world…and one that’s a little brighter, a little lighter.

What other picture books would you add the list?

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