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ABILITY, DISABILITY, AND PICTURE BOOKS
By Linda Lucas Walling
(NOTE: A shorter version of this paper appears in School Libraries Worldwide, volume 7, number 2.)
Cushla, a New Zealand child in the late 1960s, was born with multiple disabilities. Doctors assumed she was mentally retarded. Over a period of years, her various disabilities were diagnosed and dealt with. Along the way, her parents read to her and showed her many picture books, which she grew to love. When she was about three and a half, her mother heard her say to her doll, “Now, I can read to Looby Lou, ‘cause she’s tired and sad, and she needs a cuddle, a bottle, and a book” (Butler 1974, 102). Cushla needed picture books that were carefully selected to suit her needs, but the doctors’ label of mental retardation clearly was inaccurate. The doctors had not recognized her abilities.
This article addresses selecting materials for children who have limitations or special strengths in their use of certain learning modes. The author has chosen this approach because children with disabilities in one modality often have strengths in another. Disability may make it impossible for a child to use a modality that might have been preferred. For example, a child with paralysis may be naturally inclined to use touch and movement to learn. The disability must be taken into account, but it is ability on which we should focus. All of the books selected for children with disabilities should meet the same general criteria for good quality literature as books selected for other children. The idea for including a detailed description of the illustrations, the type fonts, and the other physical features of the books comes from Books for Visually Impaired Young Children: An Annotated Bibliography.
This article focuses on the seven types of intelligence that Howard Gardner discusses in his book Frames of Mind. The seven are linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, internal personal intelligence, and external personal intelligence. Each intelligence can be viewed on a continuum from strength to deficit. It is not unusual for a child who is strong in one intelligence to have a deficit in another. There is no apparent correlation between or among the intelligences. Picture books can support a child’s development in all of them (Pollette 1992), but many children with disabilities need picture books which are carefully selected with attention to their available learning modes (Walling and Karrenbrock 1993).
The disabilities we see in children are, in a broad sense, developmental in nature. They interfere with the usual pattern of development and limit a child’s ability to adapt in the area of the disability. For example, a child with severe hearing loss cannot easily compensate if he or she is sitting at a distance from the storyteller. Some children may use adaptive technologies to access picture books and to respond during storytime. Loss of vision most obviously affects a child’s use of picture books, but severe hearing impairments, dyslexia, and mental retardation — as well as other disabilities — all interfere. Children who have difficulty using books because of low vision, deafness, or dyslexia are often considered together and labeled “print impaired.”
Most picture books discussed in this article can be used effectively with any child depending on personal interest. Even adults may enjoy them. Many of the books support more than one intelligence. Children with strengths in an intelligence may use certain materials at a younger age because they are at an advanced developmental stage. Children with deficits may use the same materials when they are older than their agemates because they are developmentally delayed. Thus, developmental age is a critical factor.
Descriptions of the following books assess their strengths and weaknesses for use with children of differing abilities. Some of the books are discussed under more than one intelligence.
Linguistic intelligence: Linguistic intelligence is the “ability to use language to convince other individuals of a course of action; the capacity to use this tool to help one remember information; the capacity to use this tool to help one to convey basic concepts; [and] the ability to use language to reflect upon language” (Gardner 1983, 78). Linguistic ability is highly prized in today’s highly verbal society.
Picture books for children with strong linguistic skills: For these children, the story should introduce new, fascinating words. It should respect the child as an intelligent, learning person and demonstrate “a playful, joyful sense of fun with words” (Halstead 1994, 162).
Base, Graeme. 1986. Animalia. New York: Abrams.
Tongue-tangling alliterative phrases start with the letter in question in this complex ABC book. Visual images with names that begin with the letter clutter the pages. It is a challenge to identify some images. Different type fonts and different size print are used, which can present difficulties for some children. On the other hand, a child who likes to play with words or who is fascinated by visual detail can take pleasure in exploring this book.
Charlip, Remy. 1997. Arm in Arm: A Collection of Connections Endless Tales Reiterations and Other Echolalia. Berkeley: Tricycle.
Charlip’s books are filled with both visual and linguistic challenges. The shooting match between Shott and Nott is a tongue-twisting, mind-bending example. The concrete poem “I Want a Small Piece of String,” with its accompanying picture of a child speaking in complex visual images, is another.
Heller, Ruth. 1988. Kites Sail High: A Book about Verbs. New York: Grosset and Dunlap.
Heller illustrates action verbs, “less action” verbs, linking verbs, verb tenses, regular verbs, irregular verbs, moods, and other possibilities. The illustrations are bright and colorful. Most are outlined with dark lines. The print is generally large with good contrast.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 1978. A House Is a House for Me. New York: Scholastic. Illus. by Betty Fraser.
All kinds of things have houses, and all kinds of things are houses. Through humor, rhymes, alliteration, creativity, and imagination, the reader is encouraged to play with words and ideas. The print is medium sized with good contrast. The illustrations are bright. Some are small on cluttered pages.
Macaulay, David. 1973. Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Macaulay’s books are especially known for their strong visual qualities, but many of them also support vocabulary building in children with linguistic strengths. A child who is interested in medieval history could spend a great deal of time exploring the text of Cathedral for words that identify architectural features and techniques.
Scieszka, Jon and Lane Smith. 1992. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. New York: Viking.
The Stinky Cheese Man stimulates creativity from the front cover to the back. Two author/illustrators with the imagination to create the playful biographies that appear on the back flap could not help but produce a humorous, imaginative book filled with fractured fairy tales. A child who knows the traditional stories will take special delight in the plot twists and turns. The Little Red Hen turns up as a worrywart interacting with Jack, the narrator, throughout the book. The book unobtrusively increases a child’s vocabulary as it humorously introduces concepts of “endpaper,” “title page,” and other parts of a book. Still, a major part of the humor is in the illustrations. One doesn’t need words to imagine the stink on seeing the reactions of the cow, the flower, and the skunk to the cheese man.
Picture books for children with linguistic deficits: A child with a linguistic deficit may have difficulty understanding words and/or expressing ideas or needs in words. Such a child may be labeled as dyslexic, autistic, mentally retarded, brain injured, or hearing-impaired. Supplementing linguistic information with visual, auditory, and/or tactile reinforcement can improve understanding (Hunsucker 1995). Taking plenty of time and repeating and reinforcing the use of words also improves understanding. Luckow (1972) asserts that stories should have underlying themes of unity, a oneness of mood, plot, character, and harmony between picture and story. The book’s theme should be clear on every page. “Colorful, tongue-tickling” phrases can stimulate language, although such phrases may lead to perseveration in some children. Rhythmical speech and sound patterns may aid understanding. The best stories for these children, according to Luckow (1972), include a hero, male or female, animal or machine, which is the only main character or else part of a group operating as one. Large, simple print with good contrast and only a few words per page is best. The book’s paper should be high quality without glare. Many children with print impairments will have difficulty tracking a line of print across a page.
Leaf, Munro. 1964. The Story of Ferdinand. New York: Puffin. Drawings by Robert Lawson.
Luckow uses this book to illustrate his points. Ferdinand is the focus throughout. The unified story line follows him through the pasture, among the butterflies and trees, and to the bullring where he sits down to smell the flowers. Finally, it takes him home again to his beloved cork tree. The black and white illustrations have strong lines and good contrast, although they are somewhat complex. The print is large and clear with good spacing. There are only a few words on each page.
Burton, Marilee Robin. 1988. Tail Toes Eyes Ears Nose. New York: HarperCollins.
Each right hand page pictures the body parts mentioned in the title, correctly labeled, for a particular animal. On the left half of the next double-page spread, the complete animal is shown. Thus, throughout the book, the names of parts of an animal are reinforced, through association with specific animals. The print is large, and the font is simple in design. Some children may be confused by the fact that the animal parts on the left page do not match the complete animal shown on the page to the right.
Pizer, Abigail. 1990. It’s a Perfect Day. New York: HarperTrophy.
In this book, a child can learn language patterns. Each repetition begins with the phrase “It’s a perfect day to…” and ends with the phrase “What a perfect day.” The large, simple type font, the few words per page, and the strong contrast with the background make the text easier to read.
Logical-mathematical intelligence: “Beginning with observations and objects in the material world, the individual moves toward increasingly abstract formal systems, whose interconnections become matters of logic rather than of empirical observation” (Gardner 1983, 135).
Picture books for children with strong logical-mathematical skills: Books that challenge children at high levels of abstract and logical thinking may fascinate those with strengths in this intelligence.
Brown, Margaret Wise. n.d. The Quiet Noisy Book. New York: HarperTrophy. Pictures by Leonard Weisgard.
Brown’s “Noisy Books” teach and entertain in many ways. The Quiet Noisy Book adds a new dimension. With Muffin, the little dog, we listen to a very quiet noise. What can it be? “Was it a blue flower growing? No.” Each page follows the same pattern as we try to discover what the sound is. The concept of the oxymoron is introduced, and the child is presented with a problem to solve. Contrast, comparisons, and repetitions support learning. There are many different sizes and styles of print, but most are easily read except for the tiny “very quiet” print.
Ehlert, Lois. 1989. Color Zoo. New York: HarperCollins.
Ehlert’s abstract animal faces are built from a series of colorful cutout overlays in heavy, stiff pages (“boards”). The mouse’s face is composed of a square, a triangle, and a circle. The book encourages a child to explore each image in its parts, to understand sequencing and reversibility, to forecast images, and to be flexible in thinking. Because the shape of each cutout can be felt with a finger, the book can be read by children who use the tactile mode. The abstract faces are not necessarily barriers to understanding. At least one child with total blindness was fascinated by the book and could easily identify each animal. It is possible that he could accept the abstract image quickly because he was not distracted by a concrete visual image of the real animal. Even children who cannot recognize the abstract face may appreciate the bright colors and the layered tactile shapes.
Fleming, Denise. 1992. Count. New York: Holt.
Fleming counts colored marks and animals from one to ten and enumerates sets by tens from ten to fifty. On each double page spread, the numeral appears beside a set, or sets, of colored marks equaling the number. An equal number of animals is pictured. Counting the animals may be confusing for some children because some of the animals are large and some are small. On some pages the sets can be difficult to distinguish. The numeral 40, the frog illustrations, and the words “forty frogs” are relatively easy to distinguish against the background. On some pages, though, the words blend with the background of the page.
Hutchins, Pat. 1970. Clocks and More Clocks. New York: Aladdin.
A man gets a clock and asks, “How can I tell if it’s correct?” He adds more clocks in different rooms of his house to check the time, but as he moves through the house, each clock shows a different time. Finally, he gets a watch to carry with him. This book demonstrates telling time, the passage of time, and sequential relationships. The illustrations are sharply drawn and brightly colored, but they are sometimes cluttered. The print is fairly large with good contrast.
Tafuri, Nancy. 1986. Who’s Counting? New York: Greenwillow.
This counting book will present a challenge for many children. What is counted isn’t always the most obvious thing in the picture. On the last double page spread, all of the numerals from 1 to 10 appear, but they are not in the expected order. Furthermore, there is a mismatch between the pictures and text for the number 6. The words say “6 piglets,” but the pigs in the illustration are full-grown. The print is large and clear, and the bright water color illustrations are outlined in black. Many children will enjoy finding the puppy (or part of him) on each double page spread.
Juster, Norton. 1963. The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics. New York: Random House.
“Once upon a time a sensible straight line loved a dot, but she was fascinated by a squiggle…” So the story begins, as the line struggles valiantly to become interesting enough to capture the fancy of his beloved dot. He learns to make angles and ultimately wows the dot as she realizes how untidy the squiggle really is. This is an entertaining way to learn about shapes and angles and patterns. The illustrations are sharp and clear in black and white except for the magenta dot. The print is small and serifed, but there is good contrast.
Krauss, Ruth. 1952. A Hole is to Dig: A First Book of Definitions. New York: Harper and Row. Illus. by Maurice Sendak.
These definitions reflect a child’s way of looking at the world. For an adult, the insights are often humorous. The book itself is little with small, brown print. Sendak’s black and white sketches are small but sharply drawn.
Stevens, Janet. 1995. Tops and Bottoms. San Diego: Harcourt Brace.
Lazy Bear landowner just wants to sleep. Sometimes- clever Hare, who had to sell his land to Bear to pay off a bet he lost to Tortoise, offers to farm Bear’s land and share the crop. Hare gives Bear a choice of tops or bottoms as his share of the harvest. Bear chooses tops and finds himself the loser. The next year Bear chooses bottoms and is still the loser. The third year he chooses the tops and the bottoms. Will he win this year? Children can learn the concepts of top, bottom, and middle. They can explore the relationship between Bear and Hare, and Hare’s sometimes cleverness. What does one do when one makes a mistake? Some children may be confused by the fact that the book must be turned 90 degrees for viewing and reading. The print is small on a tan background with low contrast. The pictures are bright, with figures outlined lightly. Many are cluttered and could be difficult to distinguish.
Picture books for children with deficits in logical-mathematical development: Children with deficits in this area may be labeled as learning disabled, attention deficit disordered, autistic, mentally retarded, brain injured, or hearing impaired. Their disabilities may be said to involve cognition and/or perception. Picture books for these children should be similar to those for children with print impairments with some exceptions. If the disability is severe, illustrations should be realistic and have some kind of organization. Luckow’s (1972) advice that the story should have an underlying theme of unity fits here. Rhythmical speech and sound patterns may be less confusing. Again, the best stories for these children will include a hero, male or female, animal or machine, which is the only main character or part of a group, which operates as one. The book’s paper should be high quality, nonglare. Large print with good contrast and few words per page again are needed. Multimedia materials of a more concrete nature can support observation, thinking skills, and analysis.
Luckow uses Robert McCloskey’s Blueberries for Sal as an example of a classic children’s book that can present difficulties for many children with disabilities. McCloskey’s story and illustrations are delightful, but both the story and the illustrations shift perspective among the four main characters. In the story, Sal and her mother go to the mountain to pick blueberries. On the other side of the mountain, baby bear and her mother pick berries, too. Along the way, Sal and baby bear wander off, and each accidentally follows the wrong mother. The shifts can be confusing even though the illustrations, black and white with strong lines, may be easy to see.
Branley, Franklin M. 1990. Earthquakes. New York: HarperCollins. Illustrated by Richard Rosenblum. (Let’s Read and Find Out Science. Stage 2).
This book may strengthen thinking and problem solving skills. Children can practice their skills of sequencing and seriation. The colorful pictures are outlined in black, and there is good print contrast. Some diagrams might confuse, but most are helpful. The book concludes with a section of information about what to do during an earthquake.
Galdone, Paul. 1972. The Three Bears. New York: Seabury.
In this humorous version of the tale, the text and pictures present Goldilocks as a naughty little girl who invades the bears’ home. Note her facial expressions as she samples the porridge. Although the book includes illustrations, not photographs, the bears look real, and their facial expressions are humorous. Print size in the text is adjusted to the size of the bears. The largest print is reserved for the big bear, the medium print for the middle sized bear, and the smallest print is for baby bear. Although even the largest print is not very large, there is good contrast.
Gibbons, Gail. 1985. Fill It Up! All About Service Stations. New York: Crowell.
Fill It Up! is an example of a picture book which can be used with any age. It can help build vocabulary about service stations. Some illustrations and diagrams are labeled. The type font is simple, but it is often small. Sometimes there is poor contrast with the background. The illustrations include men and women from many cultures as customers and employees.
Guarino, Deborah. 1989. Is Your Mama a Llama? New York: Scholastic. Illustrated by Steven Kellogg.
Rhyming riddles and repetition encourage the child to match animal babies with mamas. Each set of pictures is introduced by the phrase: “Is your mama a…? I asked my friend,…” The friend responds with a word clue. Some words may be difficult to see because they blend into the background.
McMillan, Bruce. 1991. One, Two, One Pair! New York: Scholastic. Photo-illustrated by the author.
McMillan focuses on number sets, counting, and matching. Colorful photographs show twin sisters as they get ready to go ice-skating. Two small pictures on the left side of each double page spread show, for example, a left and a right foot. A large picture on the facing page shows a pair of feet. Some sets of pictures may confuse. In one set, for example, it appears that the reference is “one, two” girls facing each other wearing earmuffs. Instead, the opposite picture shows one girl facing the camera wearing earmuffs. The reference is to a pair of earmuffs, left and right.
Rockwell, Anne. 1985. First Comes Spring. New York: HarperCollins.
Each season is described in words and pictures on a series of double page spreads. On the first spread in each series, we learn what is happening around the house and what Bear Child wears today. On the second double page spread, we discover what season has arrived, and we see bears of all ages carrying out activities typical of the season. The third double page spread in each series also shows bears at typical seasonal activities, but this time the activities are labeled with words. After the fourth series of double page spreads (winter), the last page asks: “What will happen when winter is over?” The book can help children develop skills of elaboration, forecasting, sequencing, and recognizing patterns. The pictures are sometimes quite small, but they are outlined in black. The print also is sometimes small and can be difficult to read because of poor contrast with the background.
Musical [auditory] intelligence: Musical intelligence demands an awareness and understanding that “…patterned elements must appear in sounds; and they are finally and firmly put together in certain ways not by virtue of formal consideration, but because they have expressive power and effects” (Gardner 1983, 127). In picture books, musical intelligence becomes important in understanding rhythm, rhyme, and the sounds of words.
Picture books for children with strengths in musical [auditory] intelligence: Children with strong skills in musical or auditory intelligence take special pleasure in poetry, riddles, and word plays. The books by Carle and Raschka will be most appreciated by children with strong skills in visual imagery as well as in musical intelligence.
Carle, Eric. 1973. I See a Song. New York: Scholastic.
“Ladies and Gentlemen!” the book begins, “I see a song. I paint music. I hear color…” Carle leads us through patterns, relationships, and symbolic awareness. We see the parallel lines of the music staff; the rich, complex patterns that color the sounds of the various instruments; the muted, soft, sound of a raindrop or a teardrop; the waves of vivid, joyful sound-color that fly through the air. With Carle, we see the song.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 1978. A House Is a House for Me. New York: Scholastic. Illus. by Betty Fraser.
All kinds of things have houses, and all kinds of things are houses. Through humor, rhymes, alliteration, creativity, and imagination, the reader is encouraged to play with words and ideas. The print is medium sized with good contrast. The illustrations are bright, but some are small on cluttered pages.
Raschka, Chris. 1997. Mysterious Thelonious. New York: Orchard.
Inspired by Monk’s composition “Misterioso,” Raschka paints a portrait of the music. He matches the tones of the chromatic scale to the values of the color wheel. Brush strokes are notes. Color washes are harmonies. Listening to the composition while looking at the book could bring special pleasure.
Picture books for children with deficits in musical [auditory] development: Children with musical or auditory deficits may be labeled as learning disabled, attention deficit disordered, autistic, brain injured, or hearing impaired. They may need muted background noise in order to focus. Visual and tactile materials can reinforce meaning. Some may use adaptive technology such as amplifiers. Others may communicate using speech reading or sign language. Many enjoy rhythms, rhymes, and sounds even if deficits limit their understanding. Even a child with a severe hearing impairment can enjoy the vibrations that accompany sound.
Martin, Bill, Jr., and John Archambault. 1989. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. New York: Simon and Schuster. Illustrated by Lois Ehlert.
With this book, learning the alphabet can be fun for virtually any child. The playful rhymes and wordplays delight the tongue, and they help children memorize the sequence of the alphabet. In the bright, colorful illustrations, children can begin to learn the relationship of lower case letters to their upper case equivalents. Lower case letters are the children, and upper case letters are the “mommas and papas and uncles and aunts.” Unfortunately, the text does not consistently show the “mommas and poppas” as upper case letters.
Evans, Katie. 1992. Hunky Dory Ate It. New York: Dutton. Pictures by Janet Morgan Stoeke.
The page illustrating “Julie Fry made a pie” is followed by a page showing a dog eating mud pie: “Hunky Dory ate it.” Rollicking rhymes and large, cheerful pictures outlined in black take us through a day with a dog who eats delicious things like cake and not so delicious things like mud pies. Children can enjoy repeating “Hunky Dory ate it,” and they will appreciate the necessary trip to the veterinarian at the end of the day.
Koch, Michelle. 1991. Hoot Howl Hiss. New York: Greenwillow.
Children will enjoy making the sounds the animals make. Some illustrations are strong and clear. Unfortunately, others are muted. The print is large and easy to read with strong contrast.
Kovalski, Maryann. 1987. The Wheels on the Bus. Boston: Little, Brown.
Jenny and Joanna and Grandma go shopping. While they wait for the bus, they sing. They get so involved in the song that they miss the bus and have to take a cab home. Children can sing along and do the actions. The book includes the music. The print is fairly large with good contrast on most pages, but the paper is glossy. The illustrations are softly colored and lightly outlined.
Riley, Linnea. 1997. Mouse Mess. New York: Blue Sky.
Lively rhymes and pictures filled with humor, action, and color take us to the kitchen with a mouse who is hungry. He tears up the place looking for what he wants. Then he surveys the damage and asks, “Who made this mess? These people need to clean their house.” The large, simple print has good contrast, but some pictures are difficult to distinguish from the background. The mouse’s question could lead to a lively discussion of personal responsibility.
Verboven, Agnes. 1996. Ducks Like to Swim. New York: Orchard. Pictures by Anne Westerduin.
There’s not enough water to swim in, so the ducks enlist the help of their animal friends to call for rain. One by one they visit the animals in the barnyard till finally the animals calling together bring the rain. Children will like the colorful, humorous pictures, but they will especially enjoy vocalizing the sounds of the animals first one at a time and then all at once.
Spatial [visual] intelligence: Spatial intelligence demands “…the capacities to perceive the visual world accurately, to perform transformations and modifications upon one’s initial perceptions, and to be able to re-create aspects of one’s visual experience, even in the absence of relevant physical stimuli” (Gardner 1983, 173). Children of the television age are especially attuned to visual information. To understand it, one must be able to look closely, discriminate, and communicate visually in order to classify and compare perspective, size, shape, texture, pattern, color, shadings, light, and points of view. The ability to see clearly the size and shape of printed letters fits here as well. Symbolic awareness, visual and sequential memory, form consistency, and the ability to derive meanings are also critical.
Picture books for children with strong spatial [visual] skills: Illustrations in picture books for children with strong spatial skills should be vibrant, original, and not stereotypical. The illustrations should complement and enhance the story line and encourage the child to return for repeated looks. Illustrations in some of the books should require mental exercise. Some illustrations might be abstract or provide only some details, requiring the child to use imagination to complete the picture. Children with spatial or visual strengths may seek highly complex visual images, preferring pictures which others would consider “cluttered.” They may enjoy unusual print sizes and type fonts. Some children with dyslexia (West 1991), autism, and other disabilities have strong visual skills and are attracted to highly complex visual images.
Anno, Mitsumasa. 1970. Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination. New York: Weatherhill.
The optical illusions and visual puzzles in this wordless picture book raise questions like what’s right side up? What’s upside down? Where do the levels of a ramp start and stop? Which is ramp, and which is open space? The highly complex pictures are bright and clear with good contrast.
Banyai, Istvan. 1995. Re-Zoom. New York: Viking.
Banyai’s wordless picture book begins with an abstract red figure on a blue field. The next picture zooms out to reveal the figure on a watch. The rest of the book is made up of “zoom out” images of each previous page. Some pictures are abstract. Some are realistic. Some are easy to see. Some are difficult. (If the reader starts at the back, of course, the images “zoom in.”)
Ahlberg, Janet and Allan Ahlberg. 1991. Each Peach Pear Plum. New York: Viking.
This rhyming “I spy” book can be a pleasure for children who are linguistically or musically gifted as well as for children with spatial giftedness. One double page spread leads into another. A partial figure in one picture–Mother Hubbard’s skirt and apron — becomes the main figure in the next. Guess whose arm is dusting, and who will be the main figure in the next picture? A child must be able to visualize the whole from the part in order to find Cinderella.
Charlip, Remy. 1997. Arm in Arm: A Collection of Connections Endless Tales Reiterations and Other Echolalia. Berkeley: Tricycle.
Arm in Arm is another book filled with both visual and linguistic challenges. The shooting match between Shott and Nott is easier to understand through the cartoon panels than it is through the words.
Charlip, Remy and Jerry Joyner. 1994. Thirteen. New York: Aladdin.
Words and pictures on a series of double page spreads tell thirteen individual stories. The first double page spread is labeled 13. In four of the stories, a ship floats in a bottle, swans become water, a leaf falls on water, and a shoe doesn’t fit. In the lower right-hand corner of each double page spread, a boxed image previews the next double-page spread. Visual images melt into visual images, and stories unfold one frame at a time throughout the book. The last double page spread is labeled 1. The ship has sunk, a snail is becoming swans, a butterfly flies free, and a shoe fits. The boxed image in the lower right-hand corner shows the title page for the book: Thirteen. The book’s design challenges one’s creativity and the understanding of sequencing, relationships, conservation, reversibility, and seriation. However, the images and print are generally small and relatively indistinct.
Lobel, Arnold. 1984. The Rose in My Garden. New York: Greenwillow.
In this book, the rhythmic word patterns support a child in practicing skills in sequencing and forecasting, but much of the story is told only in the illustrations. The colors are bright and rich, but the lines are not easy to distinguish. The snail and the hummingbird and the beetle and caterpillar, for example, blend into the background. Only the illustrations suggest what happens when the bee wakes up!
Macaulay, David. 1973. Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Macaulay follows the building of a cathedral from floor plan to completion. A child who reads or looks at the book can gain experience with thinking, planning, sequencing, and seriation.
Spier, Peter. 1977. Noah’s Ark. New York: Dell.
With the exception of a page of text that tells the story of The Flood, this is a wordless picture book. The pages are filled with intricate visual details. One can count the animals, two by two, as they enter the ark. Spier also shows the animals and the people who were left behind. The reader’s imagination is stimulated throughout the book. What was life like on the ark? Animals are everywhere with all the sounds and smells and the work to care for them. And when the flood was over and the turtles and the snails were the last to leave, we can see the mess they left.
Wolkstein, Diane. 1979. White Wave: A Chinese Tale. New York: Harcourt Brace. Ill. by Ed Young.
The luminous visual imagery and symbolism in this story of a farmer and a goddess are striking. Young repeats the pattern of a snail shell/wave throughout the book. The illustrations are delicately drawn and will be difficult for some children to see. The print is not large, and there are many words on most pages, but the contrast is good.
Lioni, Leo. 1960. Inch by Inch. New York: Astor-Honor.
Lioni uses color and contrast for emphasis in his story. Sometimes the inchworm is easily seen, and sometimes one must look carefully to find him. On the later pages in the book, the illustrations are deliberately low contrast as the inchworm tries to escape from danger. Children who need to practice visual discrimination could delight in finding the worm in the later pictures after seeing him clearly in the earlier ones.
Picture books for children with visual deficits: Children with spatial or visual deficits may be labeled learning disabled, attention deficit disordered, autistic, mentally retarded, brain injured, visually impaired, or print impaired. They need clearly outlined visual images with strong lines. Illustrations can be either black and white or colored, but they should not be cluttered, and they need organization and a unifying theme. They should have good contrast and bold outlines that distinguish pictures from the background. Unusual perspectives or incomplete pictures may confuse some children. Backgrounds should contrast without glare. Pages should include only a few pictures and words and have plenty of white space. Auditory and tactile materials can reinforce meaning.
Children with print impairments generally need a type font that is at least 18 point. Letter shapes should be simple and easily distinguished, and the print should be bold on a contrasting background. There should be adequate white space between letters and lines. The uncluttered pages should have well-defined borders. Lines of print should be parallel to the bottom of the page with only a few lines of print per page. The book’s design should include a visually pleasing balance of text and illustration and make it easy to sort out visual and linguistic details. The paper should be of high quality, without glare.
Guarino, Deborah. 1989. Is Your Mama a Llama? New York: Scholastic. Illustrated by Steven Kellogg.
Guarino has designed a book with multiple reinforcement. The rhyming riddles and word clues are supplemented by visual clues. To the question “Is your mama a llama?” Fred answers “No, she is not. She has a long neck…”
Hoban, Tana. 1983. I Read Symbols. New York: Greenwillow.
This wordless picture book could be used with any age group. Excellent color photographs of international traffic symbols make up the content. At the end of the book a two-page spread shows the same pictures, this time smaller with words for each symbol.
Hoban, Tana. 1978. Is It Red? Is It Yellow? Is It Blue? An Adventure in Color.
Brightly colored photographs take us on a walk through the city. Colored dots below each picture match colors to find in the photo. Some photographs are simple. Some are complex. And some are potentially confusing. For instance, there are green boxes in one picture, but there is no green dot.
Hoban, Tana. 1996. Just Look. New York: Greenwillow.
In this book of photographs, Hoban stimulates visual perception, attention to detail, and perspective. Two double page spreads make up each set of photographs. On the right hand side of the first double page spread in each set there is a cut-out circle — a peep hole through which you can see a part of the picture which appears on the right hand side of the next double page spread. The left-hand side of the second double page spread shows the picture detail from the previous page in a larger context.
Hutchins, Pat. 1968. Rosie’s Walk. New York: Macmillan.
The dullest part of this story is in the words. Rosie the hen walks around the barnyard and returns home. In the illustrations, though, a fox follows Rosie, trying unsuccessfully to catch her. Rosie is happily unaware of the humorous disasters the fox experiences. The print is large and simple. The pictures are large and colorful, but some may be difficult to see because of the “calico” style patterns. Children with severe visual impairments will miss much of the book unless it is read aloud with lots of commentary, but children with other kinds of visual deficits may be able to find and follow the fox.
Lenski, Lois. 1951. Papa Small. New York: Oxford UP.
A week in the life of the Small family: Papa Small, Mama Small, Baby Small, Paul, and Polly. On the surface, this story seems dull and the illustrations, stilted. Most of us would probably leave this book lying or weed it from the collection, but it was a favorite of Cushla, the New Zealand child mentioned earlier. It may be that she liked the book because the pictures were easier to see, and the story was about a family doing things that were familiar. The illustrations are black, gray, white, and bright blue, and the figures are outlined with black. They look like caricatures with round faces and marks for eyes, nose, and mouth. The print is large with good contrast. It is important to remember that it is difficult to predict which book will appeal to an individual child. It is best to experiment with a variety of possibilities and observe reactions.
Shaw, Charles G. 1947. It Looked Like Spilt Milk. New York: HarperCollins.
The illustrations in this book are abstract and look almost like a Rorscach test, but the sharp contrast of the white image against the dark blue background could be easily seen by many children with visual impairments. They may enjoy guessing what “It” is (a cloud in the sky). The white print on the dark background will be easier for some children to read than the more usual black on white.
Bodily kinesthetic intelligence: Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is: “the ability to use one’s body in highly differentiated and skilled ways, for expressive as well as goal-directed purposes . . . the capacity to work skillfully with objects, both those that involve the fine motor movements of one’s fingers and hands and those that exploit gross motor movements of the body” (Gardner 1983, 206). It includes nonverbal language, touch, shapes, texture, taste, movement, and dexterity.
Picture books for children with strong bodily kinesthetic skills: Children with strong bodily kinesthetic intelligence delight in materials that involve them physically through touch or action. Children with deficits in bodily kinesthetic intelligence may be labeled as learning disabled, attention deficit disordered, autistic, brain injured, or physically disabled. Some of them may be frightened or confused by certain textures; some can experience tactile material that is brought to them or touched to their faces or bodies. Through adaptive technology, many of them learn to move and manipulate objects. The following books are not divided for strengths or deficits. They could be used simultaneously with children regardless of ability or disability.
Allen, Pamela. 1983. Bertie and the Bear. New York: Coward-McCann.
A child can learn concepts like sequencing in the story of what happened when the bear chased Bertie, and everybody else did, too, shouting, blowing flutes, barking, and generally making lots of noise. Children will enjoy making the noises. The print is large, but it is serifed and sometimes there are many words on the page. The illustrations are brightly colored and outlined in black.
Carle, Eric. 1997. From Head to Toe. New York: HarperCollins.
Different animals move different parts of their bodies and challenge the child to move, too. “I am a buffalo and I raise my shoulders. Can you do it?” “I can do it!” Most children, even those with motor disabilities, can participate in and enjoy at least some of the movements especially if the movements are adapted to specific needs. For example, a child who cannot move his or her legs might dance fingers on a lap board. If a child can move neither feet or fingers, an adult can dance his or her fingers for the child. If the book is read to the children, the reader can select movements in which all can participate.
Carle, Eric. 1984. The Very Busy Spider. New York: Philomel.
One by one, the animals try to talk with the spider, but she doesn’t answer because she is busy spinning her web. Children can name the animals and make their sounds, and they can follow the spider and the progress of the web visually or with a finger. The spider’s body is outlined with bumpy lines, while the lines of the web feel smooth. Late in the book, a fly appears, and the shape of its wings can be felt. Finally, the web is finished. Guess where the fly winds up!
Crews, Donald. 1978. Freight Train. New York: Greenwillow.
Children can learn the names of the cars on trains, and they can learn the names of colors. They can also visualize the train’s movement down the tracks in the bright flowing images.
Otto, Carolyn. 1994. I Can Tell by Touching. New York: HarperCollins. Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott. (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, Stage 1).
The sensation of touch is explored in words and pictures. There are no textures to touch, but texture could be added to reinforce some information. The book supports the development of thinking skills and enhances the understanding of touch and sensation through references to the touch of a back against a chair, touching the warmth of the sun and the cool of the shade, and the sensation of one’s body rolling down a hill. The illustrations are bright with black ink outlines. The print is large, simple, and clear on most pages, but the contrast is poor in a few cases.
Raschka, Christopher. 1993. Yo! Yes? New York: Orchard.
Yo! Yes? tells its story mostly through the body language of two lonely little boys. They exchange few words, but their body language speaks for them. Readers won’t mistake their exuberance at finding a friend! Children for whom language is difficult can especially enjoy this book. (A boy with low vision and a behavior disorder that limited his use of language was once motivated by this book to write a story about himself and his friend.)
Emberley, Ed. 1982. 3 Science Flip Books. Boston: Little, Brown.
Each of the three books in a box tells two stories. Each story contains pages to flip to show action or change, and each story has a few pages of introductory text. Then the rest of the story’s pages are intended to be flipped. At the end of the story, the book is flipped over to reveal a second story. One book is about The Hare and The Frog, another is about The Chicken and The Chameleon, and the third is about The Butterfly and The Dandelion. In The Frog, a frog egg becomes a tadpole which becomes a frog which eats a fly. The illustrations are colorful and easily seen. The action that results from the flipped pages can delight a child and strengthen visual perception. Children who cannot flip the pages themselves will enjoy watching the pictures as someone else flips.
Hayes, Sarah. 1988. Stamp Your Feet: Action Rhymes. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard. Illus. by Toni Goffe.
One can find the words to common action rhymes and songs here, but readers should be forewarned that the words may not be as they are remembered. “The Farmer in the Dell” here has become “The Farmer’s in His Den.” The music is not included. The words and the pictures are relatively small, and most pages are cluttered, but in the illustrations, soft colors are outlined with black.
Martin, Bill, Jr., and John Archambault. 1989. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. New York: Simon and Schuster. Illustrated by Lois Ehlert. The rhythms of the rhymes encourage one to move as they reinforce alphabet memorization.
Roll Over! A Counting Song. 1969. New York: Houghton Mifflin. Illus. by Merle Peek.
The music to this counting song is on the last double-page spread in the book. The print throughout the book is large and easy to read even though it is on a colored background. The illustrations are in yellows and blues. Figures are outlined, but still they are not always easily seen. Children may like to study the pictures to see where the animals sleep when they fall out of bed.
Personal intelligence (directed toward others): Gardner identifies two personal intelligences. The intelligence directed toward others involves “the ability to notice and make distinctions among other individuals and, in particular, among their moods, temperaments, motivations, and intentions” (1983, 239). Empathy, friendship, the quality of relationships with others, the ability to work with others, kindness, appreciation of other cultures, and peer acceptance or rejection are all important.
Childhood is rarely, if ever, as idyllic as adults would like to imagine. The need to learn to cope is not limited to children with disabilities. To achieve a successful, satisfying adult life, all children must learn not only to live with other people and their behaviors but also to deal with personal disappointments, losses, differences, and limitations.
Materials for children with strengths in the area of personal intelligence (directed toward others): Children with strengths in this area are likely to seek out materials about the subtleties of relationships. The story should “depict characters, whether animal or human, who display real emotions, feelings, and relationships the child will recognize” (Halstead 1994, 162).
Aardema, Verna. 1975. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale. New York: Dial. Pictures by Leo and Diane Dillon.
Mosquito’s lie sets off a sequence of events that culminates in the death of an owlet. Mother Owl, who normally wakes the sun each morning, is so grief-stricken that she does not wake it. The animals convene to decide who is responsible for the owlet’s death. Mosquito has such a guilty conscience that he whines in people’s ears: “Is everybody still angry with me?” The highly stylized pictures are bright, and there is good contrast with the background.
Briggs, Raymond. 1978. The Snowman. New York: Random House.
This complex wordless picture book is about relationships, but it also stimulates imagination and creativity. A small boy builds a snowman and then goes to bed. In the night he gets up to discover that the snowman has come to life. The two of them play through the night. The boy goes back to bed. In the morning, the snowman has melted. The illustrations are rich with content and could stimulate a child to create a verbal story. Still, children who have difficulty seeing or interpreting visual information would have great difficulty with this book. There are multiple small pictures on most pages, and they are in soft colors with no outlining.
Brown, Margaret Wise. 1986. The Dead Bird. New York: HarperCollins. Illus. by Remy Charlip.
Some children discover a dead bird while they are playing. They plan together to have a funeral and bury the bird. The story deals with the issue of death, with respect for animals, and with relationships among children. The colors in the illustrations are muted. Many figures are outlined in dark green. Some, however, may be difficult to distinguish. The brown-colored print is fairly large but heavily serifed. The contrast with the background is not strong.
Hinton, S. E. 1995. Big David, Little David. New York: Doubleday. Illustrated by Alan Daniel.
Nick has just started to school. There’s a little boy named David in his class who looks just like Nick’s dad, whose name is also David. Is Little David really Dad? Mom and Dad just tease when Nick asks. The book is full of creativity, imagination, and playfulness on the part of Nick and his parents. When his parents visit school, Nick finally sees Big David and Little David at the same time and knows for sure that they are different people. He thinks of a way to tease his parents back. Children will enjoy the bright, humorous pictures where a dinosaur cavorts, and Nick’s mom overfills her coffee cup.
Lachner, Dorothea. 1995. Andrew’s Angry Words. New York: North-South. Illus. by Tjong-Khing.
Andrew is angry and shouts “the ugliest words anyone has ever heard” at his sister. He regrets it right away, but his sister is on the phone with her boyfriend, and she yells the angry words at him. Andrew wants to get the words back. He runs out of the house and follows them from person to person till he arrives at the market. There, a lady stops the angry words and gives Andrew a gift of “all the kind and happy words I know.” Andrew flies home, dropping his kind, happy words at every spot where the angry words have been. The message comes through that angry words can hurt people, and such words are passed along. Though, in reality, the passing along of angry words may not be so easy to stop, the reversibility of their effects is illustrated as Andrew passes along his kind and happy words. In the colorful illustrations, the figures are outlined in black, but some are still difficult to distinguish. In addition, the print is somewhat small and crowded. Words sometimes appear on a dark background that provides little contrast.
Levine, Evan. 1991. Not the Piano, Mrs. Medley! New York: Orchard. Pictures by S. D. Schindler.
Max and his grandmother go to the beach, but Grandma keeps wanting to take more and more things. Finally, they reach the beach loaded down with everything except what they really need: bathing suits! So they put their feet in the water and make sandcastles, anyway. The pictures are bright but not outlined, and many are cluttered, which could make them difficult for some children to see. The print is somewhat small and serifed, but the lines are well spaced. There is good contrast but some glare on the pages.
Silverstein, Shel. 1964. The Giving Tree. New York: HarperCollins.
Silverstein’s parable of a tree who loved a little boy can be read on many levels. Its sharply drawn black and white drawings are easily seen, although some visual perspectives may be difficult.
Yashimo, Taro. 1983. Crow Boy. New York: Viking.
Chibi has difficulty making friends at school, but he finds many ways to cope. Finally, at the school talent show he has a chance to show his talents to the other children. He wins his classmates’ admiration and a new name of honor: Crow Boy.
Picture books for children with deficits in the area of personal intelligence (directed toward others): Children with deficits in this intelligence may be labeled learning disabled, attention deficit disordered, autistic, brain injured, mentally retarded, or behavior disordered. Many children with disabilities of all kinds have deficits in their social skills because they have too few opportunities to practice those skills. Children with strengths in any of the various intelligences also may have deficits in their social skills because they have spent little time with their agemates. Children with deficits in this intelligence need materials that demonstrate successful and appropriate social interactions in a variety of settings.
Bunting, Eve. 1994. Smoky Night. New York: Harcourt Brace. Illus. by David Diaz.
While some children may find this story frightening, others may find it comforting. An African-American child and his mother live in a neighborhood where a riot is in progress. Their apartment building catches fire, and they must evacuate, leaving their beloved cat behind. At the shelter, they see the Korean woman who owns the local store. She is a person the child doesn’t like, but she had to leave her beloved cat behind, too. Both people and cats learn about surviving and caring for each other. The illustrations are colorful and outlined in heavy black lines. The print is dark and simple. There are many words on a page, but the contrast is good.
Schotter, Roni. 1989. Captain Snap and the Children of Vinegar Lane. New York: Orchard. Illus. by Marcia Sewall.
A group of children tease a grouchy old man who lives alone. One day they discover him sick in bed, and they set out to help him. Their kindness changes them and him, too. The illustrator used a scraping technique that could make some pictures difficult to see, but figures are heavily outlined.
Seuss, Dr. 1954. Horton Hears a Who! New York: Random House.
Among the issues presented here are personal responsibility and individual worth. Horton is the only one who hears voices on a speck of dust. He tries to protect the Whos from others who harass him and try to destroy the speck. He encourages the Whos to make enough noise so that others can hear them, too. More and more Whos join together to try but can’t until one last Who finally adds his voice. The illustrations are typical of Dr. Seuss: colorful, playful, and sharply drawn. Even the complex ones may be useful with many children who have difficulty with most visual material.
Viorst, Judith. 1972. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. New York: Atheneum. Illustrated by Ray Cruz.
Alexander is having trouble with himself, his friends at school, and his family. The book treats his bad day with humor but doesn’t suggest solutions. Everybody has days like that, even in Australia!
Zion, Gene. 1984. Harry the Dirty Dog. New York: HarperCollins. Pictures by Margaret Bloy Graham.
Harry hates baths. He grabs the scrubbing brush, hides it, and runs away. But his adventures take him many dirty places, and he gets very black. So black, in fact, that his family don’t recognize him. He retrieves the scrubbing brush, takes it to the tub, has a bath, and is glad to be home. The cartoon-like sketches are sharply defined in black and colored in green and orange. The print is somewhat small, but there is sharp contrast.
Ets, Marie Hall. 1983. Play with Me. New York: Viking.
A little girl looks in the meadow for someone to play with, but her behavior makes all the animals run away. Finally, she sits quietly, and the animals come to play with her. The illustrations are childlike drawings in muted colors which may be difficult for some children to see. The print is large and simple in design.
Marshall, James. 1972. George and Martha. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
George and Martha are two hippos who are best friends. The five short stories in this book illustrate some of the problems that sometimes happen between friends and how the problems are sometimes resolved. For example, in one story Martha loves to serve George split pea soup, but George hates split pea soup. How can he tell her without hurting her feelings? The illustrations are in soft colors, but they are outlined. The print is small and serifed, but there is good contrast.
Sendak, Maurice. 1963. Where the Wild Things Are. New York: HarperTrophy.
After Max behaves badly, his mother calls him a “wild thing” and sends him to his room without any supper. Max escapes to the land of the wild things and plays with them, and then he returns home to discover that his mother has brought him warm food. Some children may be afraid of the wild things, but most are fond of them. These children look forward to the comfort of Mother’s warm food.
Viorst, Judith. 1978. Rosie and Michael. New York: Atheneum. Illus. by Lorna Tomei.
Rosie and Michael are friends. Friends remember. Friends tease. Friends share. Friends keep secrets. Friends understand. Most children will find this book easy to read because the print is large and well spaced. The illustrations are black and white drawings. Unfortunately, some are cluttered, and many are difficult to distinguish. On many pages, there are several small pictures.
Allen, Pamela. 1986. Hidden Treasure. New York: Putnam.
Two brothers find a treasure and fight over it. One wins, carries it off and devotes his life to protecting it. The other brother goes home and raises a family. This book presents a number of issues about values which could lead to thoughtful discussion. The pictures are bright and outlined. The print is fairly large. It is serifed, but there is good contrast.
Ernst, Lisa Campbell. Miss Penny and Mr. Grubbs. New York: Bradbury.
Miss Penny and Mr. Grubbs have been neighbors for forty-eight years. Miss Penny grows prize-winning vegetables, and Mr. Grubbs doesn’t. Jealous Mr. Grubbs decides to stop her and sets rabbits free to eat her vegetables. But Miss Penny discovers a way to win the day. The print is medium sized, and some is on a colored background with poor contrast. Most illustrations are brightly colored and outlined. Some illustrations are dark and hard to see.
Hazen, Barbara Shook. 1981. Even If I Did Something Awful. New York: Atheneum. Pictures by Nancy Kincade.
A little girl accidentally breaks her mother’s vase. She asks her mother: “Mommy, do you love me?” “Would you love me even if I did something awful?” Mommy asks: “What kind of awful?” The child lists several. Mommy says: “I’d love you even if you played so rough you pulled down the Empire State Building. But I’d make you pick it up.” Finally, as they pick up the pieces of the vase, Mommy says: “I might be mad and yell, but I’d still love you no matter what, no matter how mad, no matter how awful. And I always will.” The pictures are mostly black and white sketches. Some are not easily distinguished. The print is not large, but the contrast is good.
Personal [directed toward self] intelligence: Gardner’s second personal intelligence focuses on personal worth, honesty, integrity, justice, importance of the individual, dealing with fears, dealing with loss, dealing with disappointment, and dealing with money. He says, “the core capacity at work here is access to one’s own feeling life” (1983, 239).
Picture books for children with strengths in the area of personal intelligence (directed toward self): Children who are strong in this intelligence may want materials that focus on the subtleties of personal feelings and values.
Balian, Lorna. 1965. Humbug Witch. Watertown, WS: Humbug.
A small witch is frustrated because she can’t cast spells. Even her cat is exasperated. Finally, she takes off her mask and goes to bed.
Charlip, Remy and Lilian Moore. 1996. Hooray for Me. Berkeley: Tricycle. Paintings by Vera B. Williams.
In a busy city a child knocks on a door. The person who answers asks, “Who is it?” The child answers “me.” “Who’s me?” asks the person. “I’m me,” says the child. “I’m me, too,” says the person. All up and down the street, people say “me, too!” “What kind of me are you?” someone asks. The question leads to an exuberant series of pages that illustrate all sorts of “me’s”. The paintings are bright, but the soft colors bleed together so that the figures are difficult to distinguish. The figures of the people are often dominated by the buildings of the city. The pages are often cluttered, and sometimes the words are hard to see.
Curtis, Jamie Lee. 1993. When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth. New York: HarperCollins. Illustrated by Laura Correll.
A four-year-old looks back at how she was different when she was little. The story and illustrations support self-awareness. Handlettered words, soft colors, and low contrast may make this book difficult for children with print impairments.
Hazen, Barbara Shook. 1989. The Knight Who Was Afraid of the Dark. New York: Dial. Pictures by Tony Ross.
Sir Fred is afraid of the dark, even the dark between the head hole and the armhole of his armor. Melvin the Miffed, the castle bully, finds out and sets out to make trouble between Sir Fred and Lady Wendylyn, his love. Can Sir Fred conquer his fear? The pictures are colorful and most are easily distinguished. The print is rather small, with several lines on each page.
Viorst, Judith. 1971. The Tenth Best Thing about Barney. New York: Atheneum. Illus. by Erik Blegvad.
A little girl’s beloved cat dies. She shares her grief with her parents and a friend. Her mother suggests that at the funeral she tell the ten best things she remembers about Barney. But she can think of only nine. Later, her father helps her discover the tenth. The small black and white drawings are somewhat difficult to see. The print is small and serifed with several lines on a page.
Picture books for children with deficits in the area of personal intelligence (directed toward self): Children with deficits in this intelligence may be labeled as learning disabled, attention deficit disordered, autistic, brain injured, mentally retarded, or behavior disordered. They may need materials which help them learn to be in touch with and understand their feelings and the appropriate management of those feelings.
Brown, Margaret Wise. 1975. Goodnight Moon. New York: Harper and Row.
A small child in a great green room is getting ready to sleep. One by one, he calls each thing in the room by its name and tells it goodnight. The pictures are small but clearly drawn. A child could take comfort from following the suggestion of the book and telling each thing in his or her own room goodnight.
Carter, Dorothy. 1998. Bye, Mis’ Lela. New York: Farrar, Straus. Pictures by Harvey Stevenson.
A preschool child spends her days with Mis’ Lela, her babysitter. When Mis’ Lela dies, the child attends the visitation. When she is old enough to go to school, she remembers Mis’ Lela’s encouragement as she passes her house. The print is of medium size, and the contrast with the background is not strong. The illustrations are brightly colored. Most are easy to distinguish.
Hutchins, Pat. 1993. Titch. New York: Aladdin.
The story of Titch and his big brother and sister explores relations with others, but it also carries a special message about the value of one’s self. It’s Titch, the little brother, who plants the little seed that grows bigger than them all.
Leghorn, Lindsay. 1995. Proud of Our Feelings. New York: Magination.
A series of pictures and questions encourage a child to recognize feelings in him/herself and others. The illustrations are brightly colored, but the shapes are not clearly defined. The print is fairly large, and there is good contrast and spacing. There are several lines of print on each page.
Peterkin, Allan. 1992. What about Me? When Brothers and Sisters Get Sick. New York: Magination. Illus. by Frances Middendorf.
Magination Press specializes in “books to help parents help their children.” In this book, a little girl feels guilty and neglected when her little brother becomes very ill. At first her parents are so caught up in their worries that they fail to recognize the problem, but later they respond to her needs. The illustrations are black, white and gray sketches with figures outlined in black. The print is small and crowded, but the contrast is good.
All children need good quality picture books. Each child's unique combination of abilities must be considered as books are selected, adapted, and used. Careful attention to multiple intelligences, individual needs, and personal interests supports children as they advance through the developmental stages of childhood.
Books for Visually Impaired Young Children: An Annotated Bibliography. 1978. Raleigh, NC: Division of State Library.
Butler, Dorothy. 1974. Cushla and Her Books. Boston: Horn Book.
Gardner, Howard. 1983. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books.
Halsted, Judith Wynn. 1994. Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers From Preschool to High School. Dayton, Oh.: Ohio Psychology Press.
Hunsucker, Coy. 1995. Sharing Literature with Children. In Information Services for People With Developmental Disabilities, ed. Linda Lucas Walling and Marilyn M. Irwin, 155-168. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood.
Luchow, Jed P. 1972. Selecting Picture Storybooks for Young Children with Learning Disabilities. Teaching Exceptional Children 4: 161-64.
Pollette, Nancy. 1984. Books and Real Life: A Guide for Gifted Students and Teachers. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.
__. 1992. Brain Power through Picture Books. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.
Walling, Linda Lucas, and Marilyn H. Karrenbrock. 1993. Disabilities, Children, and Libraries. Englewood, Co.: Libraries Unlimited.
West, Thomas. 1991. In the Mind’s Eye. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus.
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