2017 IBBY Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities

The 2017 IBBY Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, an international touring exhibition, will be on display in the Curriculum Centre until Friday, the 14th December 2018. The exhibition celebrates books designed for and about young people with disabilities.

We also have a display of books published in the UK, which were nominated for the international touring exhibition. Twenty three books were nominated by IBBY UK and from these the following three were chosen to be included in the international selection:

  • One by Sarah Crossan,
  • Counting by DK Braille
  • It Can’t Be True by DK Braille

The 2017 international touring exhibition consists of 50 books from all over the world and they have been categorised into 3 groups. I will be blogging about some of the books from each category over the next few days. Let’s start by looking at some of the books in the first category.


Category 1 : Specialized Formats.

Books in this category show how stories can be communicated using braille, sign language, non-verbal communication systems, dyslexic-friendly font and tactile elements.


Braille, Print & Tactile Illustrations

Sneeuwwitje Breit Een Monster by Annermarie Van Haeringen

Snow WhiteIf you are a fan of fairytales, you should take a look at this book from the Netherlands about Snow White, which is written in both print and braille.

Snow White in this story is a goat and she has very special talent. Anything that she knits comes alive. It all starts off very well when she knits some woolly socks and some kid goats. But I’m not sure that it was such a good ideas to knit a wolf! You’ll have to look at the book to see what happens next…

The characters in this story are illustrated using a textured pattern, which will appeal to children who have a visual impairement.



Braille, Dyslexic Friendly Font & Tactile Illustrations

SiSi Ma Guang and the Giant Jar by Seow Ser Lee & Ai Khim Tan

Next up, is a retelling of an Asian folktale which was published in Singapore. While a group of children are playing their favourite game of hide-and-seek, a boy falls into a giant water jar and is in danger of drowning. However, one of his friends remains calm and manages to save him.

This story is told using both braille and print – which is written using a dyslexic friendly font and the illustrations contain tactile elements. At the back of the book, both the alphabet and numbers from one to ten are written out in Braille, which is very useful for anyone looking to teach children Braille.


Sign Language

sign Des Signes et Moi by Cendrine Genin & Séverine Thévenet

Deaf children from France feature in this book. Each page displays a photograph of a child signing basic words on the right hand side, with the word written in French appearing at the bottom of the page. The left hand side displays a photograph which is related to the word being signed. This would be a lovely book to use to introduce children to sign language.


Gaze Boards (Picture Communication Signals)

MedMed Blikket På Dyr, Dokker Og Ballonger by Anette Diesen

From Norway, we have a book designed for children with severe disabilities who communicate using their eyes. The child uses eye gaze boards to select the topic or chapter that they would like read to them and to answer “Yes”, “No” or “Don’t Know” to questions about the story.




Kon KonKon-Kon Kushan No Uta by the Mokomoko Group.

People living in Japan often wear masks to reduce their exposure to viruses and this book features a well-known song about masks. The cloth book has a large pocket at the front of it, which contains a selection of masks in different sizes and shapes. The child engages with the story, as it is read to them,  by choosing the correct mask for each animal.


Braille & Tactile

Little Red HenMorgh-e Sorkh-e Pa Kootah by Setareh Eghtedari & Parvin Dowlatabadi

Finally, from Iran, we have another famous folktale. The Little Red Hen is retold using a cloth book that opens up into four directions and contains a book within a book in the centre. The cloth book contains a variety of textures including leather, felt and netting and provides children who are visually impaired with a tactile experience. The story is also told in Braille on each cloth page.


If you wish to take a more detailed look at any of these books or you are interested in seeing some more examples from this category, feel free to pop into the Curriculum Centre.

If you feel inspired to create your own tactile book, ClearVision have published a guide on their website. You could then donate your tactile book to their library. Take a look at their guide on creating a tactile book here.

Our next blog post will look at some books in category 2 : universal access.




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