Children's Book Reviews

Monday, March 31, 2008

How Do We Cope With Our Disabilities?

When I think about it, we all have a disabilities, even if it's for a day when it's one of those "bad hair days." Here I, in no way, want to make light of major disabilities. I have taught special ed and so know what youngsters have to deal with, especially when they are aware of what makes them different. However, it's how we perceive ourselves that makes the difference, plus how we can creatively deal with that difference. It is especially important for parents and teachers to help each child turn her disability into a positive experience. On the day my son showed up in preschool with his patch and glasses, the kindly teacher had gone to the trouble of rounding up 20 pair of glasses so each child in the school could wear glasses just like Douglas! In Jenny's book the mom helped Jenny Sue decorate her patches and glasses! What fun. I have a blind friend who used his disability to become a therapist for disabled people! I admire him and his work. And, those poignant stories about how the disabled men and women coming back from war heroically overcome and compensate for their severe injuries, make one's heart warm.
I do hope you are having a wonderful start to Spring. Isn't it fun to watch the weather change and the first bulbs and flowers push their way through what was just a few weeks ago frozen earth, at least here in Taos!

My Travelin' Eye

This cheerful picture book by new author Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw is dear to my heart as my son also has a wandering or travelin’ eye. I wish I’d had this book when he had to wear a patch and glasses to school for the first time. Jenny Sue, in a loving manner, portrays, through her text and illustrations, what it is like for a child with a travelin’ eye.
In this semi-autobiography of herself as a little girl Jenny Sue describes how she saw the world with each eye and the gift each eye gave to her, one an artist and the other a navigator. However, when she had to wear a patch and glasses, how did she cope with suddenly seeing in a different way and with the pointing of the other children? Young readers will be entranced to find out.
The mixed media illustrations are delightful and inspire children to turn the pages just to see what they can find in each picture: counting opportunities, finding objects, and trying Jenny Sue’s art activities. Teachers and parents will also find this an inspiring book for their children with wandering eyes, or for a unit on understanding disabilities. This picture book is highly recommended for young children, ages 3-8.


Blogger coloredsock said...

hi Judith! i just wanted to say thank you for reviewing my book. i'm happy you liked it! i hope it inspires kids. also, i LOVED the story about all the students in your son's class wearing glasses. that is awesome. and yes, i'm loving Spring. we already started digging in the garden.

2:34 PM  

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