September, 2017

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

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

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. Of particular importance to our children who are learning braille is the book, Six Dots, A Story of Young Louis Braille. Five delightful books are offered in print/braille for young readers. We sincerely hope that our selection meets the needs of your readers! 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, notably 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 books from our composite list. This benefit is no longer available for non-members. The composite list is found on our website: www.wisbrl.org.

“The Branch” by Mireille Messier

When a branch from her beloved tree snaps off in an ice storm, a plucky girl refuses to let it be hauled away. Mr. Frank, her neighbor, says “it’s full of potential.” So with imagination and spirit, they help each other create something new and whole out of the broken branch to be enjoyed once again. For second to fourth graders.

“A Family is a Family is a Family” by Sara O’Leary

“What makes a family special?” the teacher asks of her students. Students share descriptions of their families: a mom and a dad, a blended family, a week with dad and a week with mom, two moms or two dads, living with grandma. And when someone asks the narrator’s foster mother which are her real children, she responds, “Oh, I don’t have any imaginary children. All my children are real.” Print/braille, for second to fourth graders.

“Garvey’s Choice” by Nikki Grimes

What if you’re not the kid your father wanted? Garvey is a bookworm, an inventor of jokes and a good friend. He loves music and math and learning about outer space. He is not the jock that his Dad wants him to be. Garvey becomes overweight and is taunted by the kids at school. He is faced with making an important decision that could make the difference to getting others—including his father—to see and accept as he is. This story is written entirely in tanka, a Japanese form of poetry. For readers ages 9-12.

“Hannah and Sugar” by Kate Berube

Hannah is afraid of Sugar, a classmate’s dog. But one day Sugar goes missing. Will Hannah be able to overcome her fears and make a new friend? Print/braille, for first to second graders.

“Home at Last” by Vera B. Williams

This is a poignant story about fear, adoption, family and the joy of fatherhood. Lester, the main character is adopted by Daddy Albert and Daddy Rich. He has one big problem -- he can’t fall asleep. No matter how happy Lester is during the day, he gets scared and worried at night. There is a touching solution to this problem and ultimately this is a book that demonstrates that all children have a right to belong someplace safe. For ages 4-8.

“Lily’s New Home” and “Want to Play?” by Paula Yoo

Lily, an African American girl who has lived in a home with a yard, is moving to a New York City apartment. She is uncertain about life in a new neighborhood. Her parents show her parts of it that are just like her old neighborhood, including the library where she finds many familiar books. She also meets a neighbor boy from the apartment next door, Pablo, who also loves to read. In the second book, Lily meets even more new friends who enjoy playing in the park, becoming imaginary explorers. Each book will be produced in print/braille. For beginning readers, ages 5-7.

“Mango, Abuela, and Me” by Meg Medina

This book received the 2016 Pura Belpré Honor Book Award. Mia isn’t sure what to think when her grandma, Abuela, comes to live with her. She doesn’t know Spanish, and her Abuela doesn’t know English. Their stories show the two distinct cultures and generations. Mango, the parrot is the silent star of the book which is ultimately about the love in this family. The author weaves a few Spanish words and phrases into her English sentences. For ages 5-8.

“More Caps for Sale, Another Tale of Mischievous Monkeys” by Esphyr Slobodkina

The original book Caps for Sale was published over 75 years ago. This newly published sequel begins where the original left off. Later the same day the peddler starts his walk back home. He does not look back, so, does not notice the monkeys following him. The peddler is about to have another extraordinary adventure! For late first through third grade.

“Out of Wonder—Poems Celebrating Poets” by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth

This award winning book honors twenty famous poets, ancient to contemporary. The authors write poetry emulating the works of the famous poets with great success. Their aim? To encourage others to find joy in poetry and possibly try creating their own. For readers fourth grade and up.

“School’s First Day of School” by Adam Rex

It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary School, and everyone is nervous…especially the school. Written in the first person from the school’s perspective, children will sense the same feelings and misgivings they have had at the start of a school year. For readers in second and third grades.

“Six Dots, A Story of Young Louis Braille” by Jen Bryant

This award winning book describes the early life of Louis Braille for younger readers. The author emphasizes Braille’s creativity and celebrates him as a young inventor. He was determined to pursue an education and persevered until he developed a tactile code. For ages 5-8.

“The Sound of All Things” by Myron Uhlberg

This book is set in 1930’s Brooklyn during a day trip to Coney Island. Drawing on his own childhood memories, the author describes a wonderful day he spent with his deaf parents. His father wants to know how everything sounds, but his son finds this to be a difficult task feeling that he needs more words to describe the sounds. On the way home, they stop at the library and a kind librarian helps the boy discover that there are many, many new words in poems and books that will help him explain the hearing world to his parents. For ages 6-9.

“Spunky Little Monkey” by Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson

“Sleepy Little Monkey won’t get out of bed.
Mama called the Doctor and the Doctor said
“Apple Juice, Orange Goose, Gooseberry Pies-
Monkey needs some exercise!”

This rhythmic print-braille book has sleepy little monkeys everywhere clapping, stomping, shaking and cheering. Written to be read to children ages 2-5, early readers (grades 1-2) will also enjoy reading this catchy rhyme either alone or with a friend. Produced as a print/braille book.

“When Green Becomes Tomatoes—Poems for All Seasons” by Julie Fogliano

“just like a tiny, blue hello/a crocus blooming /in the snow (march 22)” This book of poetry is a collection of lovely, often playful observations and turns of phrase moving through each season in celebration. Ages 4-8.

“Whoosh—Super Soaking Stream of Inventions” by Chris Barton

This is the story of the African-American inventor Lonnie Johnson. As a child, he always loved tinkering and inventing. He made rockets, robots, space probes, but his most famous invention was the Super Soaker. Surprisingly, it was not an immediate success! It took tenacity and dedication to get it produced commercially. This is an inspiring story of innovation and persistence! Ages 7-11.

Please remember to submit your order by December 15, 2017 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 2018 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: skadams@tds.net