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Children's Stories for the Visually Impaired

written by: Elizabeth Wistrom • edited by: Linda M. Rhinehart Neas • updated: 10/1/2012

Children with visual disabilities have very limited access to books. The best books for visually impaired children are of course print – Braille books or books with tactile representations of pictures. This article also includes a list of popular books for young visually impaired children.

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    Print-Braille Books

    Braille is used by people who are blind or partially blind. This language requires the user to feel raised dots on a page with their fingers. A print-Braille book is one that provides both print and Braille on the same page, making it possible for a visually impaired and a normal sighted child to read from the same book. Thus, a sighted parent, sibling, friend, or teacher can read along with the child.

    For young children in the age group of three to nine years, it is advisable to get books with short, repetitive text, and colourful representations of pictures to symbolize the storyline. Popular authors who provide such books are Margaret Wise, Dr. Seuss, and Eric Carle.

    Print – Braille books writers must understand the value of the elements of the picture and rightfully include it with the text storyline. Throughout the book, the child must receive continued reinforcement each time the characters appear. In Margaret Wise’s Corduroy, every time the main character appeared he was represented with a fur cut in the shape of a bear and decorated with a corduroy fabric.

    Authors can use different types of paper, feathers, leather, foil, buttons, fabric paint, foam, and other inexpensive and easily available items to create the tactical representation. Once the supplies are decided upon, they should be used consistently throughout the storyline. These materials can be affixed onto the page using a low heat glue gun.

    The next step is to decide whether the book needs to be transcribed into uncontracted or contracted Braille. The type of Braille to be used in the book depends upon the child’s age. Clear laminated sheets enable both sighted and visually impaired children to have access to the book. Once the text is transcribed, the Braille text is cut and placed over or below it.

    To read normal books, various assistive technologies are available to help the visually impaired.

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    Popular Stories

    Braille books provide quality literature to visual impaired or blind children. Some of the popular 2008 bestsellers are:books 

    Print – Braille and Picture Books in Contracted Braille (Ages 0 – 5)

    • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Bill Martin, Jr.
    • Curious George's 1 to 10 and Back Again
    • Feely Bugs - David A. Carter
    • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed - Eileen Christelow
    • Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown
    • Sheep in a Jeep - Nancy Shaw
    • The Alphabet Book - P.D. Eastman
    • The Foot Book: Dr. Seuss's Wacky Book of Opposites
    • The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

    Print – Braille and Picture Books in Uncontracted Braille (Ages 0 – 9)

    • Butterfly Kisses - Sandra Magsamen
    • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - Judi Barrett
    • Cuddly Baby - Fiona Watt
    • Curious George Makes Pancakes - Margret & H.A. Rey
    • Great Day for Up - Dr. Seuss
    • Let's Play--Vamos A Jugar English & Spanish
    • Love Bug - Sandra Magsamen
    • Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? - Dr. Seuss
    • The Kissing Hand - Audrey Penn
    • Touch & Feel Birthday

    Print – Braille Easy Reading in Contracted Braille (Ages 4 – 9)

    • Amelia Bedelia - Peggy Parish
    • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - Judi Barrett
    • Curious George and the Puppies - Margret Rey and H.A. Rey
    • Frog and Toad are Friends - Arnold Lobel
    • Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss
    • Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound - Beth Finke
    • Helen Keller and the Big Storm - Patricia Lakin
    • The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss
    • The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsburg

    Braille Fiction Books for Independent Readers (Ages 6 and up)

    • A Cane in her Hand - Ada B. Litchfield
    • A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
    • Because of Winn-Dixie - Kate DiCamillo
    • Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson
    • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
    • Charlotte's Web - E.B. White
    • Hatchet - Gary Paulsen
    • It's Raining Pigs & Noodles - Jack Prelutsky
    • Little House on the Prairie Easy Chapter Books: School Days
    • The Million Dollar Putt - Dan Gutman
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    To purchase many of the titles in this list visit Seedlings Braille Books or the Braille Superstore.