‘Jacob’s Eye Patch’ is a sweet story that offers lessons for approaching special needs.
by Christina Elston
If you’re the parent of young children, you’ve no doubt had to remind them not to stare, point or talk too loudly about some difference they have noticed in someone else – the man who is so tall he has to duck to get through doorways, the child in the wheelchair, the lady with brilliant orange hair. Or maybe you are the parent of a child with special needs, coping with how others react to the differences in your son or daughter.
Either way, Jacob’s Eye Patch is a book you can use.
Jacob Shaw is a 9-year-old boy who wears an eye patch to correct strabismus (crossed eyes). Beth Kobliner Shaw is his mom – and an author and financial advisor. Together, they wrotethis bright and engaging picture book (out this fall from Simon & Schuster and illustrated by the award-winning Jules Feiffer) about how we deal with the somethings that make us all different.
In the story, Jacob is in a hurry to get to the science store to buy the last light-up globe on the shelf. As he walks along with his family, people keep stopping them to ask questions about Jacob’s eye patch. Normally, he wouldn’t mind. He knows it makes people curious. But today is different. He’s afraid that if they take too long, the globe will be gone.
Jacob’s story reminds us that sometimes people want to talk about their differences, and sometimes they don’t. And the kind, lighthearted way his whole family approaches curiosity from strangers offers a nice example of how to deal with interactions that could otherwise be uncomfortable.