Picture Books Teach Diversity

My Travelin' Eye, kids picture bookIn our effort to raise a generation of little ones who celebrate the differences in friends and are educated in classrooms that includes all kinds of learning styles and disabilities, we look for good books that tell the story of turning a challenge into some fun. 

I was excited to find this gem in the “new books” section of our children’s library in town. A tale about Jenny Sue’s travelin’ eye (due to strabismus), we learn how she embraces being different by seeing the world in a whole new way.The real Jenny Sue, author and illustrator Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, has written this endearing autobiographical story from a child’s perspective. Maybe that is why she doesn’t miss a step–what it feels and looks like to have a disability, how people react, what the steps are to get help from the doctor, and how to cleverly face being different to become included. Her punchy illustrations in collage, bring a cheerful element to a challenging situation. See my full review. 

I was attracted to this book because it had a refreshingly new topic–one which I was familiar with on several counts. You see, I had a bit of a travelin’ eye as a child. When I looked to the left, my right eye grandma and grandpa with babyturned in too far, right next to my nose! I had to do exercises and wear what I considered ugly glasses beginning in second grade. Unfortunately, glasses weren’t the fashion statement they are today so I dreaded my yearly visit  to the optician to select new eye wear.

The other endearing part of the story that I related to was Jenny Sue’s mom stepping up and making her sad situation into one of turnround joy. Likewise, my mom was and is my best cheerleader. In spite of the ugly blue, luminescent glasses that I picked out, I remember my mom always telling me how beautiful I looked in them. Her impact has and continues to be positive on our family including her grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. So this blog is dedicated to my mom, almost 83 years old, who knows how to find the joy in spite of a disability. You see she has lived with multiple sclerosis for over 57 years but manages to be a light in so many lives.

This entry was posted in 3-6 year-olds, 6-8 year-olds, Books, Elementary School Age, Preschool, Reading. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Picture Books Teach Diversity

  1. Kristal Juarez says:

    This story is adorable. I love the illustrations and it teaches children about the different character traits some of us may have. And it’s important for children to be exposed to these books about diversity. It opens their minds and allows to not only accept but acknowledge the differences in people; being a little different makes a person that individual and it’s geat!

  2. sherry says:

    Thanks, Kristal, you are right! Jenny Sue, the author, is working on another book about two little boys communicating across cultures through their drawings. I can’t wait to see it!

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