Books in Braille and "feelie" bookmarks
Anne Fine gives the background . . .
I wanted to be certain that everyone could build up a home library, not just those people who can slope off to a bookshop at any old time. I am a patron of Calibre and I know how difficult it is if youre blind or seriously visually impaired even to browse through possible choices of reading and we all know how much Braille books cost.
Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, J K Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson know this too. We all agreed to chip in so that 2,400 of the picture books that are most popular with younger blind and visually impaired children could be brailled and passed on for free. The St Jamess Place Foundation made a donation to the project too.
ClearVision, a postal lending library of Braille/print childrens books, selected 12 well-loved stories for younger blind and visually impaired readers. Prisoners at HM Prison Gartree brailled the books and re-bound them with the see-through Braille pages inside. The Inside Out Trust organised it all.
ClearVision is a service that operates only in the United Kingdom and we regret that we cannot send books to children living outside the UK.
The titles are:
Dear Zoo Rod Campbell (Puffin paperback, £3.99)
Peace at Last! Jill Murphy (Macmillan, £3.99)
The tiger who came to tea Judith Kerr (Picture Lions, HarperCollins, £3.99)
Eat up, Gemma Sarah Hayes, illustrated by Jan Ormerod (Walker Books, £3.99)
Alfie gets in first Shirley Hughes (Red Fox, Random House, £3.99)
The Little Red Hen Michael Foreman (Red Fox, Random House, £3.99)
Six Dinner Sid Inga Moore (Hodder Childrens Books, £4.99)
Pass the jam, Jim Margaret Chamberlain, illustrated by Kaye Umansky (Red Fox, Random House, £3.99)
The Book of Riddles Bennet Cerf, illustrated by Roy McKie (Picture Lions, Harper Collins, £4.99)
Days Like This Simon Jenkins (Walker Books, £5.99)
Mrs Goat and her Seven Little Kids Tony Ross (Red Fox, £9.95) NB limited stock
Greyfriars Bobby Ruth Brown (Red Fox, Random House, £3.99)
And feelie Braille bookmarks, too!
Not everyone reads a book all in one go I know I dont. I thought that for the Home Library project you ought to have something a little bit more special than an old bus ticket or a chocolate wrapper to keep your place.
We came up with the idea of bookplates in special shapes, each with a different texture and a little message in Braille. Prisoners at HM Prison Long Lartin are making 5,000 feelie bookmarks. Once again, ClearVision did all this with the help of The Inside Out Trust. There's one on the right and another below.
How to get the books and bookmarks
Write to ClearVision either by email to or by post to Clear Vision Project, 61 Princes Way, London SW19 6JB. Give your name, your child's name, your address, email and/or telephone number. Please also give the name, job and telephone number of a professional such as a teacher, health visitor, doctor, social worker or librarian who knows your child. Finally say whether you need grade 1 (uncontracted) or grade 2 braille, and say which books you would like to receive. (Because stocks of some are now running low, it may not be possible to send exactly what you've asked for.)