Author of “Matilda’s Eye Patch” Shares Her (Personal) Inspiration for the Book

young girl wearing pink eyeglasses and a colorful eyepatch sitting next to a cloth doll with an eye patch and "Matilda" embroidered

Editor’s note: When Aimie Strachan was told her daughter needed to wear an eye patch for thirty minutes per day, she began searching for a book to explain the process to her daughter. When she couldn’t find a book, she decided to write it herself. Aime Strachan shares her story.

I’m Aimie, a wife, a mother of two, and a primary [elementary] school teacher from the UK.  When my daughter, Matilda, was one and a half, I noticed her eye turned inward, and I proceeded to take her to the doctor. At age two she was prescribed eyeglasses, though we were told glasses may not be enough for her weaker eye. At two and a half Matilda was prescribed an eye patch. We were simply given an eye patch and told she had to wear it for three hours a day. 

Books as a teaching tool

As a teacher, I’ve always used books to help explain and introduce new subjects. When my son was starting school, potty training, and becoming a big brother, I used books to help him understand what was happening. I automatically wanted to purchase books that explained patching to young Matilda. I searched online and discovered no such book to explain eye patching to a young child. I was really shocked, frustrated, and sad.

Writing the book

After realizing the book I wanted wasn’t written, I shared my frustrations on social media. I received such understanding from other families in similar situations that it motivated me to pursue writing it myself. I had never written a book and had no experience of publishing; it was a whole new world!

I found my amazing illustrator, Daisy Winter (daisy.draws.illustrations), through social media and she was able to interpret my rough drawings. I had a very clear idea of how I wanted the book to look and I did speak to some publishers who really didn’t understand the need for a book about patching/amblyopia. I decided to self-publish. During lockdown, I worked on my laptop to put the book together.  It wasn’t easy, but the joy of finally clicking the publish button was amazing! 

curly blonde character with large smile, pink eyeglasses, and an eyepatch

Considering writing a book?

To anyone else thinking about writing a book, I say do it! I was simply a frustrated parent wanting to obtain the book I felt my daughter needed and deserved. The kindness and support of friends, family, and strangers on social media really kept me focused. Matilda’s Eye Patch: A positive children’s guide to eye patching is selling globally in Japan, Spain, Italy, Australia, the USA, Canada, and the UK. 

A quote that I keep in the back of my head is: 

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”