At Paths to Literacy, we know how difficult it can be to find children’s books that feature characters with visual impairments at all. Now try to find an engaging story, with an independent-minded school-aged kid, set in this century! Good News: Jacob’s Eye Patch is here.
Jacob is nine years old and wears an eye patch on his right eye, and this attracts a lot of attention. But this book does not take the well-trod “I’m different” approach that you might expect. In this story, the reader follows Jacob and his family through their neighborhood, trying to get to the science store before all the new lighted globes are sold out. What Jacob and his co-author ( and Mom, Beth Kobliner Shaw) emphasize in his story is that answering all these questions takes up a lot of time that Jacob just doesn’t have to spare in his active life. The passersby in this story are as friendly as they are curious, but Jacob has other priorities on his mind.
The book is picture book sized, 9 x 12, and 27 pages long. Because it can be read in one sitting, it is great for laptime, bedtime, or family read-along. There’s plenty of dialogue from all the characters, so everyone can take a turn! And for read-alone time, the book is challenging for 2nd-3rd grade level, and just right for kids Jacob’s age. The Jules Feiffer drawings are a world of their own, in bold outlines and watercolor wash. The drawings are large enough by kids on laps, in bed, or in a reading circle. They are light on clutter for kids learning to process visual information, and contain some nice humorous details as well, for readers who look up-close!
The website www.jacobseyepatch.com celebrates the “something” in everyone by inviting fans to submit short descriptions of something unique about them. This could be an interesting storytelling/writing exercise for your students to reflect on their own unique “something.” Young writers can also insert themselves into Jacob’s story and imagine how he might answer their questions about his patch.
Jacob’s Eye Patch is available through the Jacob’s Eye Patch website, through chain retailers, and in electronic format for Kindle, Nook, Bookish, and iTunes devices. Check individual sellers for prices, and read the book Amazon customers have rated 4.9 stars!