The backstory of this book started with a conversation years ago with my mother-in-law. She told me how my husband’s eye sight problems stem from when he was a child. The issue could have been corrected when he was young, but it went unnoticed. Fearing the same result in her grandchildren, she encouraged me to check my daughters’ eyesight at a very young age. Sure enough, one of them was prescribed eyeglasses to correct her vision and a potential “lazy eye.”
As my youngest daughter was wearing eyeglasses, I started noticing just how many children were also wearing them. I thought that a story about a child needing glasses would help other children to understand the importance of taking care of their eyes and actually wearing their glasses. When I was first prescribed glasses in fourth grade, I often took them off as soon as I got to school because I was so self-conscious. Big mistake! My eyes just got worse.
Healthy eyes are very important! Many children do not even realize their eyesight is less than perfect. When I put on my first pair of glasses, I thought, “Wow! This is what everything is supposed to look like.”
But the story is not just about eyesight issues. It’s about a child finding the words and the courage to tell a trusted adult that something is wrong. I hope this lesson can carry over to any issue with which a child may be struggling.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses
Genre: Early Reader, ages 6-9
Author: Michelle Nott
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Purchase link: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/freddy-hoppie.htm
Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses is about a little boy and his imaginary frog named Hoppie. Whenever Freddy struggles, Hoppie helps out. Specifically, Freddy’s having problems at school that he doesn’t realize stem from his poor eyesight. Not sure how to tell Mom about his trouble, he explains that Hoppie is the one with headaches, etc. Of course, Mom understands that Hoppie is the tool that Freddy uses to express himself. So, she takes Freddy (and Hoppie) to see the eye doctor. When Freddy leaves with brand new eyeglasses, Hoppie stays to assist the eye doctor with the other young patients.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Before becoming an author, Michelle Nott enjoyed being a French teacher (pre-K to university levels) in the U.S., working for a French company in Paris and an art gallery in NYC. She has also edited and written articles for numerous on-line and print magazines in the American and European markets.
In 2004, Michelle moved to Belgium. When she noticed that her daughters’ book collection included more French titles than English ones, she decided to put her creative writing degree to use. Many of these early stories can be found on her blog Good Night, Sleep Tight where she also reflects on raising Third Culture Kids.
In 2015, Michelle and her family returned to the U.S. But with American and French citizenship, they travel to Europe regularly. Their favorite places include the French Alps, the Belgian countryside, and the Cornish coast in the UK. Her family’s life and adventures prove great inspirations for her stories.
Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses is Michelle’s first book for children. Her future children’s books are represented by Essie White at Storm Literary Agency. She is a member of SCBWI, Children’s Book Insider and Houston Writer’s Guild.
Connect with Michelle Nott on the Net!