DID YOU KNOW…..? There are up to two million people in the UK living with severe sight loss, including 20,000 children. For children, this can lead to many situations where they can’t participate in the same activities as their peers leading to feelings of isolation and exclusion as well as difficulties in developing their literacy skills.
Fortunately, there are brilliant organisations like Living Paintings working to support the blind and partially sighted by giving them access to the visual world. Through their Touch to See book clubs they reach 14,000 children and adults annually, giving access to a whole host of brilliant books which have been adapted to make them accessible and also really importantly, enable families and friends of those who are partially sighted or blind to share in the story experience too. The Touch to See books include raised tactile pictures and entertaining audio guides, often narrated by the authors, which tell the stories of the pictures and describe their features to help children immerse themselves in the pictures. For schools and teachers, there are a range of topics covered so that in the classroom partially sighted or blind children can participate in topic work, just like their peers.
The Living Paintings Library is FREE to those who are partially sighted or blind in the UK. There’s a fantastic range of books to choose from, with a brilliant selection of Puffin favourites for all ages. There are picture-book classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, John Burningham’s Mr Grumpy’s Motor Car and a selection of Spot stories by Eric Hill including Spot Goes to the Farm and Spot’s First Walk. And for more dog-delights, there’s Hairy Macclary adventures by Linley Dodd, with Hairy Macclary Sit and Hairy Maclary’s Bone to name a few. Other picture-book sensations include The Dinosaur Who Pooped a Planet by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter and Goodnight Spaceman by Michelle Robinson and Nick East. Families can enjoy titles such as Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and Greyfriars Bobby by Ruth Brown. For older readers, there are a range of books which feature the painted tactile pictures taken from illustrations with an audio guide describing the raised images. It provides a wonderful springboard for the reader to read or listen to the story for themselves helping to inspire a love of reading. Titles in the collection for older readers include classics such as Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Charlotte’s Web by E.B White and Roald Dahl’s B.F.G. With new titles being added, like the all-time festive favourite The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, there is something for everyone. You can find out more about Living Paintings, the Touch to See Library and support for schools and families on their website.
If your school is doing something inspiring to celebrate stories this month that you'd like to tell the world about, please contact PuffinSchools@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk with 'Inspiring Ideas' in the subject line.