This is not a review, but the publisher’s announcement of a new book, designed for blind children. As one of this month’s themes is communication we are reprinting their announcement.
– a publishing first with Jim Broadbent including a little help from The Beatles
Award winning charity Living Paintings is delighted to announce the publication of a new touch, sound and picture book for blind children. ‘Mole’s Sunrise’ by Jeanne Willis and Sarah Fox-Davies is published by Walker Books, and for the very first time an accessible version for blind children was available on publication day as well.
Using tactile picture carvings by Living Paintings’ artist Peter Boex, and audio description from Oscar and BAFTA award winner, and Harry Potter star, Jim Broadbent, the story can be enjoyed in all its glory by children who are not able to see, on the same day that their friends can read the traditional version.
Commenting on his experience, Jim Broadbent said, “Until Living Paintings explained it to me I hadn’t really thought about the fact that a blind child can’t ‘see’ or experience a book on the day that it is published. They often have to wait months, years or even forever. This is why I am so proud to be the voice of Living Paintings’ ‘touch to see’ adaptation of Mole’s Sunrise.
“This is the first time that an illustrated story will be read by a blind child on the day it is published for all to buy. What fun to think that blind children will be reading Mole’s Sunrise as soon as it is out – with a little help from me and the feely pictures – and more than likely before their sighted friends. Imagine a blind, and so often isolated, child going into school and telling the class about a great book they read last night that their friends most likely won’t have seen… I can picture the smile on that child’s face as, for once, they share something on a completely equal basis with sighted people around them.”
Twenty blind children across the country won the opportunity to be the first to touch and see Mole’s Sunrise and have already been sent their copies specially wrapped with strict instructions that they are not to be opened until today. More copies will be distributed over and again to thousands of blind children through Living Paintings free postal library.
The adaptation was the idea of the book’s author Jeanne Willis. Jeanne said, “I’ve already been lucky enough to have two picture books brilliantly adapted by Living Paintings and I know that its production of Mole’s Sunrise will be inspired in every sense. I’m particularly thrilled that it has adopted this title because like vole, sparrow, rabbit and squirrel, Living Pictures will show the sunset to its audience in all its glory – something I could never hope to do through words alone.”
Living Paintings’s Chief Executive, Camilla Oldland, added, “Thanks to a collaboration with Walker Books and author, Jeanne Willis, Living Paintings is proving that it is possible to break down yet another barrier in achieving equal access to literature for blind and partially sighted children.
“Jeanne’s lovely book, Mole’s Sunrise, echoes the very sentiments that Living Paintings’s founder, Alison Oldland, had when she started the charity in 1989: of friendship and wanting to share the visual world with those who cannot see. I am so proud that we, together, have been able to achieve this unique publishing milestone and hope Mole’s Sunrise has broken the ground for others to follow.”
Fittingly, the music introducing the readers to Mole and his adventure to find the sunrise with his friends is provided by the classic Beatles’ track Here Comes The Sun.
The announcement did not include details such as ISBN, but the contact details for Living Paintings are:
01635 299 771
Unit 8 Kingsclere Park