Books with textures for blind kids?
December 31, 2007 3:33 AM   Subscribe

Can you think of any children's books with texture which would be great for the visually impaired?

A customer at the bookstore where I work has asked me to suggest some books for her school for blind and visually impaired children. But I can't find anything! I'm shocked at how little there is to cater to what her kids need, namely:

Books where texture is an integral part of the text. So not the usual baby & toddler 'touch & feel' books, but books where the textures actually contribute to the story, like in Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider, where you can feel the web as it is being built.

They are interested in anything - stories, non-fiction on any subject, with or without braille. They have a large budget and are desperate, so I really want to help them, but I'm stumped. (And I'm the children's books buyer! It's pretty embarassing actually.) Do you have any ideas?
posted by pootler to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Tactile, Noisy and Smelly books at Birmingham Libraries.

The Tactile Book Advancement Group (TBAG) knows a thing or two about this stuff. Also Tactile Vision in Canada.
posted by pracowity at 5:23 AM on December 31, 2007

Pat the Bunny immediately springs to mind.
posted by kaseijin at 7:33 AM on December 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You're not finding much because, sadly, there isn't much out there. Due to the high costs of production, this sort of book is often hand made in a single edition for a particular child. Here are some ideas from the American Foundation for the Blind.

Typically, ready made books with texture are mostly of the toddler/preschool "touch and feel" variety. For example: Raised line images/Braille, Educational tactile books, tactile books from Amazon.

I did find two US sources that might be more in line with your search:

This article describes a NASA supported effort that has produced four astronomy related texture books, two of which are available from Amazon.

The TEXTured Literacy Project at the Connecticut Children’s Museum produces a “story kit” which includes a collection of real objects that relate to the particular story (available in Braille or text). They list over 40 titles at a cost of $75 each.

Googling your query, it seems that the UK and EU countries are leaders in this field. You can check out the TBAG resources page here. The Clear Vision Project (UK) has a lending library of over 1,000 handmade tactile books and is described as one of only three such collections worldwide. They are also the UK contact for Tactus, a European tactile book competition. Here is a winning UK entry that was donated to the Clear Vision Library.

In the US, you might contact Perkins School for the Blind, although their library seemed to offer only Braille and Talking Books. The National Library Service, a division of the Library of Congress lists resources for Custom Produced Books (mostly Braille and recorded). Tactile maps are listed in the special collections of this Alexandria VA Talking Book Library.

Good luck with your search.
posted by zoel at 8:56 AM on December 31, 2007

Best answer: pracowity has it, the googleable phrase you are looking for is Tactile Books and they can also be called "twin vision" books apparently. This search query seems to have turned up a few hundred of them in the Montana Talking Book library. If that doesn't work, go to this page and type MBT into the search box. Here's a printout list of authors A-K, for example. There are also these people in Zaire who have created the "I read with my hands" series and they call them tactile graphics books.
posted by jessamyn at 9:08 AM on December 31, 2007

Pat the Bunny immediately springs to mind.
My kids utterly loved that book.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:30 AM on December 31, 2007

(Someone make sure that I didn't affiliate link that - haven't done too many amazon links)

My Son LOVES it!
posted by niteHawk at 10:17 AM on December 31, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you! I'll pass all of this along to the customer. The school will have to order most of it themselves, and I don't know if any of these sources would deliver to Europe, but I think they'll be thrilled with all of these links.

niteHawk: Tails was the ONLY other book I could think of, and it's just what they are looking for. Your son is right: it's a brilliant book!
posted by pootler at 1:35 AM on January 7, 2008

« Older Religious counter-programming for dummies   |   HD Favourites Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.