Guest Blog Post by Laura Deck, Bookshare Communications
Imagine for a moment that you cannot see the illustrations in a book you are reading, nor can anyone describe them for you. Your reading and listening experience would certainly be incomplete. Images and image descriptions in books can provide a full multi-sensory reading experience for young readers, especially children with print disabilities, such as blindness and low vision.
Did you know that Bookshare recently added to its collection the Top 100 Picture Books? The list came to us through the School Library Journal, one of the essential sources of information about children’s literature. These well-loved and treasured tales have been shared and read by grandparents, parents, teachers, and children. They are all engaging stories with heartwarming illustrations to bring characters to life. And, of course, there are plenty of wonderful books that aren’t on this list in Bookshare, but we knew we’d have a worthwhile collection chosen by a knowledgeable group of school librarians.
Educators and parents know how important books are for the earliest readers. Getting kids “hooked on books” through the classic bedtime picture book has profound effects on lifetime literacy, both from how a child learns to read to how a child perceives him/herself as being part of the world of books. To get started, browse through the Top 100 Picture Books and search for your favorite characters, such as Curious George, Frog and Toad, Harold and his purple crayon, Madeline, and Peter Rabbit. Then log in, select a book, get comfortable, and click on Read Now to enjoy one of your favorites in Bookshare Web Reader.
Not a member of Bookshare yet? Qualified U.S. students and organizations can become members of Bookshare for free. Texas K-12 public and charter schools serving students with print disabilities can also get free, customized Bookshare training and support through the TEA-funded Accessible Books for Texas (ABT) program. Contact your local ABT Outreach Coordinator today. https://www.bookshare.org/cms/state/texas.