Literacy plays such a big role in both my private and working life that I would be devastated to lose the ability to read or write. To be born blind and not be able to read is something I only get to contemplate through reading. It has fascinated me though as a topic for picture books and I have shared many wonderful books with the young children I teach. My Year 2 students are fascinated by the story of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller and these two books, Helen's Big World by Doreen Rappaport and Annie and Helen by Deborah Hopkinson are borrowed often. Because of this I purchased Six Dots, the picture book about Braille by Jen Bryant and it too has been popular. Up until this beautiful book was published anything my students gleaned about Braille came from some crusty old readers or from the internet. We do however have a couple of books which feature Braille.
• The Black Book of Colours by Menena Cottin
This book has remarkable illustrations done with raised lines. Braille letters accompany the illustrations and a full Braille alphabet offers sighted readers help reading along with their fingers.
• Private and Confidential by Marion Ripley
Here Laura learns Braille so that she can send her blind penpal a letter.