September, 2021


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

Now in our 22nd year as an organization dedicated to promoting braille literacy for 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 Louis database at the National Library Service (www.loc.gov/nls). 

 

The book selection committee is very excited to offer this particular collection of 15 books. Through both prose and poetry, it offers books that are fanciful and fun to read. Are you interested in print/braille books with delightful content which also teach early concepts and promote positive self-concept…or in a book that deals with the first-day-of-school jitters? If so, you will find books in this collection to match your interests. In addition, there are three books in this collection telling the real life stories of successful blind people…Alicia Alonso, Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder! 

 

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; it can also be found on our website: www.wisbrl.org. Wisconsin Braille does not sell its membership list to any other organization. For your convenience, it is possible to pay dues or make a donation using PayPal, now loaded on our website.          

 

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 and updated this fall to our website (www.wisbrl.org) in addition to a listing of books previously produced in EBAE. 

 

Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage, a Rebel Girl's Story by Nancy Ohlin

Alicia lived to dance.  From the moment she slipped on pointe shoes for the first time, she was determined to become a professional ballerina.  Raised in Cuba, she moved to the United States to follow her dreams.  Then, Alicia began to lose her sight.  How could a ballerina dance if she couldn't see where she was going?  Stuck in bed and only able to practice with her fingertips, Alicia didn't give up.  She found ways to get back on stage, eventually performing for audiences all over the world.  She became one of the world's most famous ballerinas before passing away in 2019 at the age of 98!

Grades 3-8. Braille only.

 

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach (2015)

“Sandwich? What Sandwich? Oh, that sandwich. Right. Um well. It all started with the bear…” So begins the dog's explanation to a young girl visiting Central Park in New York City. Could it have really happened that way? Grades 2-4. Print/braille.

 

Dear Librarian  by Lydia M. Sigwarth, illustrated by Romina Galotta

The author of this beautiful story is a librarian in Platteville, Wisconsin.  The book was first featured on the radio show This American Life and it is the author's true story about the challenges of homelessness, the magic of friendship, the power of empathy, and the comfort and rewards of libraries.    This book is a “thank you” to anyone who has offered a child love and support during a difficult time.  Preschool -3rd grade. Print/braille.

 

 

I Can Hear Change Singing by Amanda Gorman (2021)

"I can hear change humming
 
In its loudest, proudest song.
I don't fear change coming,
And so I sing along."
In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes--big or small--in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves. Grades 2-4. 
Print/braille.

 

It's So Quiet: A Not-Quite-Going-to-Bed Book by Sherri Duskey Rinker

“Hush,” says his mama. “Settle down now, not a peep.   The small sweet sounds of nighttime will whisper you to sleep…,” sleepy mama mouse tells her sleepless little mouse.   Quiet turns to noise as little mouse listens to all of the night sounds.  A story told in rhyme with a surprise ending.

Pre-kindergarten--2nd grade.  Print/braille.


Kindergarten Hat by Janet Lawler

Carlos is generally happy and loves to do many things.   As the first day of kindergarten nears, Carlos gets nervous and worried.  He receives a letter from his new teacher and starts to feel a bit better. He's ready now to meet new friends and his new teacher.  On his first day of school, while riding the bus, something unexpected happens.  Will Carlos be able to salvage his first day? 

Pre-kindergarten—2nd  grade. Print/braille.

 

Lucas at the Paralympics by Igor Plohl

Lucas and Eddie are two physically disabled friends who visit the Paralympics and cheer on blind and physically challenged athletes as they compete in running, swimming, sitting volleyball, para archery, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair basketball, and more.  Explanations of each paralympic event are found at the bottom of the page. Preschool - 3rd grade. Print/braille.


 
Maybe by Kobi Yamada

This Nautilus Book Award winner is an inspiring story for “kids” of all ages.  You are the only you there ever has been or ever will be.  You are unique in all the universe.  Just the odds of you being here at this exact place and this exact time are so great and so rare that it will never happen again.  This is a story about all the possibilities ahead of you.   It's for who you are right now and it's for all the magical, unbounded potential you hold inside.  Preschool - 2nd grade, but appropriate for all. Print/braille.

 

Star of the Class Play by Margaret McNamara (2021)

Nia is excited to be tin the class play! Then, on the big day of the performance, she gets nervous and forgets her lines. Will taking deep breaths help her calm down?

 A Level One Ready–to- Read book. Print/braille.

 

Story of Helen Keller: a biography book for new readers by Christine Platt (2020)

Helen Keller became a celebrated author, educator, and activist who believed in equality for people with disabilities. Before she made history as the first deaf and blind person to graduate from college, Helen was a smart kid who loved learning. She overcame many challenges to learn how to read, write, and talk. She spoke up for other people with disabilities so they could get equal rights. Explore how Helen Keller went from being a young girl in Alabama to the world-famous First Lady of Courage. 

For readers ages 6-9. Print/braille.

 

This Way, Charlie by Caron Levis

This story, inspired by a real animal friendship, takes place at the Open Bud Ranch (which is the fictional name for a wildlife rescue and rehab center in Oklahoma).  Charlie is a blind horse, and Jack is a gruff goat.  They get off to a bumpy start, but ultimately, Jack is a caring guide.

Preschool - 3rd grade. Print/braille.

 

 

Time for School, Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle 

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are excited to meet a bright new yellow school bus. They see all the little animals lined up in the bus's windows, and Blue wishes he could be a school bus too. What a fun job, but too big for a little pickup like Blue.  Or is it? When somebody misses the bus, it's up to Blue to get his friend to school on time. For early readers, ages 5-7. Print/braille.

 

Who is Stevie Wonder? by Jim Gigliotti (2016)

Blind since infancy, Stevie Wonder is one of the most successful singer-songwriter-musicians of our time. Signing his first record deal when he was only eleven, he had his first No.1 hit when he was thirteen. Since then he has had thirty US top ten hits, won a range of awards for his music and his civil rights work, and created such iconic songs as "Isn't She Lovely" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You." Stevie Wonder is a beloved entertainer who continues to tour and perform around the world. Stevie's awards include 25 Grammies and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A chapter book for grades 3-4. Braille only.

 

Wonderful You by Lisa Graff

This is a story told in rhyme.   It is about different types of families and their joyful anticipation of the coming new baby.  In the story babies grow from the size of a tiny pea to a large pumpkin as mothers, fathers and siblings await the arrival of the new family member.  It is a perfect celebratory story of the happiness that only a new baby can bring! Pre-kindergarten-- 2nd grade.   Print/braille.

 

You Are Ready: The World is Waiting by Eric Carle

This book inspires children to go out into the world and explore. It's a great, very uplifting story for children who may be anxious about doing something new for the first time. A perfect pep talk for young children facing the unknown. Pre-kindergarten—1st grade.  Print/braille.

 

 


 

Please remember to submit your order by December 31, 2021 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; just indicate that 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 2022. Many thanks for using our service!

 

Special Book Project Committee Members,

Sandy Adams, Cindy Collins, Leanette Dieck,  Alison McKee

Email contact: adamssandra454@gmail.com