Laura Hertzfeld Katz has spent her career as a marriage and family therapist, working with women and children, especially girls, to build their confidence. So when a friend's young daughter, faced with the prospect of getting glasses, raised a concern, Katz sprung into action.
"She said, 'But Mommy, there are no princesses who wear glasses,'" Katz said. "I did the research ... and she was right."
The question eventually prompted Katz to write a book, "The Princess Who Wore Glasses." The book tells the story of Princess Liana, who wonders why the trees are singing because she can't see the birds.
Her caring parents, King Edward and Queen Victoria, realize she's having trouble seeing and take her to the court magician. He fits her with a pair of glasses. The story follows her to school where her friends ask her questions, but quickly accept her new look. Best of all, Princess Liana is now able to see small details, such as the color of her friend's eyes, that she'd never noticed before.
Katz, a mom of two in Cary, tells me that children naturally like to fit in with their peers. And anything, such as a pair of glasses, that makes them different or appear a little different can make them anxious.
"I felt compelled to make a princess come alive who wore glasses so I could help little girls feel more confident in that process," she said.
In addition to the story for kids, Katz also included tips for parents when their own daughter needs glasses.
Katz said it's important for parents to get excited for their daughter. Parents should let her pick out her own frames. And celebrate it with a dinner out or an ice cream cone.
"Celebrate that she can see clearly," she said. "It really is magical to see what you have not seen before."
Katz tells me that response to her book has been wonderful, especially when she hears from moms and grandmothers who wished there was a book like this when they were fitted with their first pair years ago.
"It was a nice surprise," she tells me. "It's been really amazing."
Katz self-published the book, which features illustrations by Jacob Duncan, a young illustrator from Holly Springs. For more information and to buy a copy, go to The Princess Who Wore Glasses website. Watch the video to hear more from Katz.
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