From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—Ginny suffers from undiagnosed double vision, and seeing two of everything is causing her difficulties in school. On vision screening day, a nurse discovers the problem, and the prescribed eye patch gives Ginny a new identity—the pirate of kindergarten. Lyon's short, descriptive sentences set up the situation deftly, and Avril's astute chalk, pencil, and acrylic drawings of "two of everything" provide a vivid window into Ginny's pre-treatment world. It is not until the end of the story that Ginny declares herself a pirate, but as a metaphor for confidence and competence, her patch effectively declares her to be captain of her own ship. Julia Chen Headley's The Patch
(Charlesbridge, 2006) is another story about a pirate with vision issues.—Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC
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Ginny enjoys kindergarten, but she does have some difficulties, and occasionally children laugh when she runs into chairs or reads lines of text twice. Her teacher notices that the child closes one eye to read, but on Vision Screening Day, the school nurse discovers that Ginny has double vision. When the doctor gives her a temporary eye patch, Ginny wears it with style and becomes a “Kindergarten Pirate,” suddenly better at numbers, scissors, and reading and no longer tense from concentrating in order to avoid mistakes. Created with pastels, acrylics, and colored pencils, Avril’s bold and wonderfully vivid mixed-media illustrations sometimes portray the classroom through Ginny’s eyes, with overlapping images of chairs, books, and people, though they usually present an outside perspective. Based on Lyon’s own experience, the sensitively written story radiates empathy and good humor. Even children who have not experienced Ginny’s problem will understand her occasional frustration and find it intriguing that one person can literally see the world differently from another. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan