September, 2018

Dear teachers and parents of the visually impaired and school librarians,

In our effort to promote braille literacy among blind children, Wisconsin Braille Inc. is very pleased to offer another new selection of free braille books, financially supported by the Glen Stacey Fund. Once again, this year’s collection was well researched and includes recommended children’s books not already available in braille [after checking the databases at American Printing House for the Blind (www.aph.org) and the National Library Service (www.loc.gov/nls)].

The book selection committee is very excited to offer this particular collection of 21 books. Through both prose and poetry, this year’s collection offers books that are fanciful and fun to read as well as those with more thoughtful themes. Eight delightful books are offered in print/braille for young readers, including a counting book. We’re also offering three chapter books for early readers and six books written in verse. Several books are award winners. We sincerely hope that our selection meets the needs of your readers! And, of course, all the books in this year’s collection are produced in UEB.

While this project is supported by Glen Stacey funds, none of these funds are used by Wisconsin Braille for its day-to-day operations. We rely on our membership dues to support our other activities, including a newsletter and a website. If you appreciate receiving these free books, we would urge you to become a member of Wisconsin Braille Inc. Annual dues are only $10 for a regular membership or $30 for a sustaining membership. A membership form is attached or may be found on our website: www.wisbrl.org. Wisconsin Braille does not sell its membership list to any other organization.

One decided advantage of becoming a member of Wisconsin Braille Inc. is that you may order additional free books from our composite listings. A composite listing of UEB books has been posted this fall to the website (www.wisbrl.org) in addition to a listing of books previously produced in EBAE.

Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank

Join a busy mama and her baby at a traditional Nigerian market. The market is very crowded; the mama is very busy; and the baby is very curious. With a gentle introduction to numbers, baby eats one of each of the goodies offered by the vendors and puts the rest in the basket on Mama’s head. Mama doesn’t realize until the end and thinks she still needs to feed the baby when they arrive home! A Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book for 21018 for ages 2-4, produced in print/braille.

BRAVO! Poems about Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot -- the Latinos featured in this collection come from Latin American countries and many different backgrounds. The reputations of those described in this book range from “some who were celebrated in their lifetimes but have been forgotten by history,” to others who “achieved lasting fame.” For ages 8-12.

The Buddy Files: The Case of the Library Monster by Dori Butler

Buddy is a dog detective, and he has appeared in several, award winning mysteries by this author. In this book, he is in the school library and students are taking turns reading with him. He is distracted by some unusual sounds and strange smells. Could it be the ghost Buddy has heard so much about? It will be fun to find out as he narrates the story and solves the mystery with his own, funny, doggy style. For ages 7-10.

A Different Pond by Bao Phi

A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book and the winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award given by the University of Wisconsin’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Kirkus Reviews calls it “a must read for our times.” It provides a powerful, honest glimpse into the relationship between a father and son as they go on a fishing trip before dawn to secure food for the day. Discussing the pictures with a parent/teacher will add much to an understanding of the difficulties that refugees coming to the United States face. For K-grade 2, produced in print/braille.

Ellen's Broom: A young girl discovers a family tradition by Kelly Starling Lyons

During slavery, Ellen's parents could only marry using the broom that is mounted on their wall. They jumped over it and into a new life together. In this rare story from the Reconstruction period in US history, we follow Ellen as she accompanies her parents to their legally recognized marriage ceremony and learns the history the family broom. For grades 4-6.

The First Step--How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial by Susan E. Goodman

In 1847, a young African American girl named Sarah Roberts was attending a school in Boston. Then one day she was told she could never come back. She didn't belong. The Otis School was for white children only. This single event set in motion the desegregation of the Boston schools. In 1950 another girl, Linda Brown, faced similar discrimination in her city, Topeka, KS. Enjoy reading about these two brave girls and their families as they set out to desegregate schools across the country. For grades 3 – 6.

Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson

Viv moves to South Carolina and discovers that the sea turtles in her community by the coast are encountering a problem that endangers them. This book delivers a powerful environmental message while demonstrating how kids can change the world through teamwork and persistence. A winner of the GOLD Nautilus Award and a Parent’s Choice 2016 Award, for K-grade 3.

Frog and Friends by Eve Bunting

Welcome to Frog and his world! In this introductory book in the Frog and Friends series, we meet Frog's friends Rabbit, Possum, Raccoon and Squirrel. Together, in a trio of stories, they discover THING in Frog's pond, share a beautiful blue scarf, and meet a hippo who has run away from the zoo to live in Frog's pond. An "I am a Reader" book for Grades 1 and 2.

I Dissent—Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy

This book traces Justice Ginsburg’s accomplishments in the field of law back to her girlhood years, emphasizing the importance of dissent in an unequal society. It also stresses that one can disagree without being disagreeable. A 2016 National Jewish Book Award winner, I Dissent is as important for boys as well as girls. For grades 3-5.

King and Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats by Dori Hillestad Butler

King is a dog and a detective, just like his owner, Kayla. This early reader is a great introduction to mysteries, gathering facts, and analytical thinking. A Geisel Award book and a beginning chapter book for grades 1-3.

A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices by Sally Derby

In this book, six children ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade walk through the excitement, jitters, and small pleasures that accompany the first day of school. Divided into four phases—The Night Before, In the Morning, At School and After School—the children voice their experiences in four poems. A very relatable book, it reflects the emotions of so many children on such a momentous day. For ages 5-10.

The One Day House by Julia Durango

This is a sweet story of a young boy’s concern for an elderly neighbor, and the feelings she has for him. Wilson hopes one day to repair Gigi’s home, even fix her piano “so she can have music again”. Gigi reassures Wilson that she simply appreciates his friendship and presence in her life. But one day, Wilson actually keeps his promises, enlisting the help of others in his diverse, multigenerational neighborhood. This is a highly recommended book and the winner of a Charlotte Zolotow Award. For ages 4-8, produced in print/braille.

One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me! by John Micklos, Jr. and Clive McFarland

Count and rhyme your way through the seasons, from one to ten and back again! There is so much activity around this beautiful tree as the wild creatures, and one little boy celebrate the cycles of nature. For ages 2-4; produced in print/braille; tactiles added to facilitate counting.

Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie and Salvatore Rubbino

If you have a dog, or want to adopt one, this story is full of facts that you may need to know about being a dog owner. The story is narrated by a girl who was four when a dog named Sophie came to live with her family. They learn about bedding and bowls, treats and training, walks and washing. Facts related to dog ownership are seamlessly integrated into the blithe, upbeat narrative. For ages 4-8.

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and Eugene Yelchin

La Paz is a happy, but noisy village. The people think they would appreciate a little peace and quiet. So, they elect a bossy mayor, Don Pepe who outlaws singing! After seven years of silence, a rooster comes to the village and refuses to be quiet. This is a delightfully told allegory about the importance of freedom and speaking up, and having the courage to sing at any cost. For ages 6-9.

Thank You Bees by Toni Yuly

This book is a lovely tribute to the Earth and to gratitude. “The sun gives us light, thank you sun” -- with sentences like these, the author takes a large and important concept and makes it completely accessible to young children, inspiring them to use the same pattern to express what they are thankful for. For ages 2-5, produced in print/braille.

Things to Do by Elaine Magliaro and Catia Chien

With playful, child-centered poems, this book brings to life the small moments and secret joys of a child’s day. There are wonders everywhere -- dawn, birds, honeybees, etc . just waiting to be found. Written by a more-than-thirty year teacher turned librarian, this book is sure to inspire creative thinking and writing. For ages 3-7, produced in print/braille.

Thunder Underground by Jane Yolen

What really is under our feet?...Ant cities, fox dens, rabbit warrens. Now dig deeper…Subways, forgotten towns, fossilized bones… What other secrets hide deeper still beneath our shoes? A whole world waits for us. In this book, we’ll go on an adventure to unearth its surprises. And we’ll discover in these poems that there is thunder…and wonder! A five star book for ages 6-10.

Tidy by Emily Gravett

In this zany rhyming book, Pete the badger learns that being obsessively tidy isn’t always the best thing! There’s a conservation message in this book written by an award winning author, but it’s subtle, cloaked in humor. Pete wants everything to be neat and tidy at all times, but what starts as the collecting of one fallen leaf escalates quickly and ends with the complete destruction of the forest! Will Pete realize his mistake and reverse his tidying habit? For ages 3-6, produced in print/braille.

You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith and Danielle Daniel

The award winning author of this book is Cree, Lakota and Scottish and is a consultant and an international speaker. With simple, declarative statements, she answers the question “what does it mean to hold someone up?” The simple beauty of this book affirms the importance and power of acts of kindness and connection. For ages 3-8 produced in print/braille.

W is for Welcome—A Celebration of America’s Diversity by Brad Herzog

“A is for America, a dreamer’s destination, made up of people who are here due to immigration.” Following the alphabet, this book uses poetry and expository text to celebrate America’s diverse population and showcase the remarkable achievements and contributions of the many people who have chosen to make our country their home. In addition to celebrating America’s history and development, key concepts such as the steps to citizenship are explained in easy-to-understand terms for children. From A to Z, this book celebrates our collective heritage. For grades 3-6.

Please remember to submit your order by December 15, 2018 at the latest, using the accompanying order form; send it only to the address on the form. You may continue to order print/braille books for early readers in either contracted or uncontracted braille. Books for older readers may be ordered in hard copy braille or e-files. Just indicate your preferences on the order form.

Teachers, please work with your school librarians to make them aware of our project and answer any questions they may have. Likewise, please alert the parents with whom you work about our project, especially those who do not have ready access to school libraries; this group may well include the parents of preschool blind children. You should receive your books in the spring of 2019 before school dismisses for summer vacation. Many thanks for using our service!

Special Book Project Committee Members,
Sandy Adams, Cindy Collins, Mary Ann Damm, Marilyn Harmon, Alison McKee
Email contact: adamssandra454@gmail.com (new email address)