Sight impaired

7th April 2000 at 01:00
THE GIANT'S BOOT CHOOSY CHARLIE. By Marion Ripley. ClearVision pound;9.99 each. Tel: 0345 023153

These two story books for young children are especially accessible for those who are visually impaired. They are designed to help with the development of tactile skills. Most importantly, they are attractive and fun. The stories have the all-important repetitive element that allows children to enjoy being able topredict what comes next.

The child-reader is given plenty of opportunities to be involved with the text, which is large and bold with a key word on each page in Braille. The illustrations also encourage involvement, with clear silhouettes and bright thermoforms of objects in the story.

The options to have grade 1 or 2 Braille, moon labels or no labels gives real adaptability for individual needs. The novelty of the thermoforms is likely to provide interest for all children, making these good books for children of all abilities to look at together, as well as for sighted parents to share with their visually impaired children. The supportive introduction to symbol use as well as to tactile skills makes them a good resource for children with learning difficulties or multiple disabilities. I look forward to a time when more books like this are available more cheaply.

Melanie Nind is a senior lecturer in inclusive and special education at the Open University

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