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Miguel "borrows" his grandmother's reading glasses, thinking they will give him the super power ability to see stories like Nana.

Photo of Jo Ann ZImmerman
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Nana the Great sees stories

She sees them everywhere

She sees them in the paper

And says that they’re not fair

She sees them in the kitchen

When she and mama cook

She sees them at the library

Where we go for a book

Nana the Great sees stories

On her computer screen

I see the lines and circles

But I don’t know what they mean

She says they’re daddy’s stories

He sends from far away

But I know she has powers

Whatever she may say

Her magic reading glasses

That give her super sight

Turn shapes into stories

She reads to me each night

Nana the Great sees stories

And someday I will too

I’ll be a Super Reader

I’ll even read to you!

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

The vision for Grandma's reading glasses is literally vision, and how young children assume that what they see is what everyone else sees. The boy in this story thinks his grandmother has magical powers that help her "see" stories, and thinks he can have that power, too, by using the magic "reading glasses."

Share your suggested book title

Nana's Reading Glasses

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

Nana's Reading Glasses validates the power of a child's reality. As someone who has been near-sighted since birth, I vividly recall seeing the "real" world for the first time at the age of 6 when I got my first pair of glasses. Trees had these things called leaves, not just smears of green around their outlines. Previously I had had no idea that "my" world was mine, and that others saw an entirely different one. Similarly, Miguel quite reasonably assumes that Nana sees what he sees, including when he looks at print. The secret to Nana seeing stories, then, must be her magic reading glasses. Children are also very literal, so something called reading glasses would naturally give you the power to read. This is what made Fred Rogers approach to communicating with young children so successful--"Freddish" is a child's natural language.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I have taught in Philadelphia public schools as well as at the University of the Arts and am familiar with our local demographic.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Nana's Reading Glasses celebrates a child's love for his grandparent, and through that, his desire to be like her. Nana, in turn, shares her love of reading with Miguel.

Location: Country


Location: State or Department


Location: City

Greater Philadelphia

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • William Penn Foundation website / social media

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott

Wonderful story, grandma's glasses, full of power and so the stories keep coming. Well done

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