Books of Wonder, Books with "Wow!" Three Reasons to Visit the New IBBY Collection

March 24, 2014 | Deb

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Its full name is "The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities" -- that's it in the photo below, on the shelves directly under the sign -- but there are other words that best describe this one-of-a-kind resource: "Amazing!" "Fantastic!" and, yes, "Wow!"

 

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As its official name indicates, this collection comes from IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People. The IBBY collection features more than 3000 multilingual books in sign language, Braille, Blissymbolics, as well as cloth and tactile books and other formats -- all for and about children and teens with disabilities.

Until very recently, this reference collection was housed in a school near Oslo, Norway. Today, thanks to the efforts of many people on both sides of the Atlantic, you'll find this outstanding collection at North York Central Library, its new home, where it is already receiving lots of attention and accolades.

What's so special about this collection? And why should you see it for yourself? Here are three reasons to come and explore these books:

Reason One: You'll find titles from around the world about children and teen characters with disabilities -- all in one place.

If you're a local teacher or librarian, you can arrange a class visit to share these books with your students. You can also arrange the loan of a small kit of books to share with your class at school. Using these books in the classroom, and talking about them, is a terrific way to help children develop empathy for others and introduce them to different ways of seeing the world.

 

Leigh Turina  with IBBY book-1
Leigh Turina, Librarian in charge of the IBBY collection, shows "Petit Bleu and Petit Jaune," an oversize Braille and tactile edition of "Little Blue and Little Yellow" by Leo Lionni. This edition is published by Les Doigts Qui Revent.

Reason Two: The accessible formats of the books in this collection means that there are many ways to enjoy them and use them with children.

For example, you can use the sturdy, colorful picture books, many containing simple text or no text at all, with children who have developmental delays and learning disabilities. You can also use the same books with children who are learning English as a second language.

 

Leo Deckt den Tisch
"Leo Lays the Table" (in German: "Leo Deckt den Tisch") is a wordless picture book with vibrant colors, strong outlines, and a simple story that works well with young children who have visual disabilities. It was created by Christin Linder and Regula Stillhart and published by Edition Bentheim. Image credit: Edition Bentheim

Reason Three: You'll discover amazing examples of illustration and inspiring examples of craftsmanship in the one-of-a-kind and limited edition cloth and tactile books.

Books like the one in the photo below -- an imaginative retelling of Little Red Riding Hood that is unlike any version you've ever seen before -- are the ones that provoke a "Wow!" response, every time.

Chaperon
"Le Petit Chaperon" (known in English as "Little Red Riding Hood") is a tactile adaptation by Myriam Colin of the artistic book created by Warja Lavater. This accordion-style book uses colors, shapes, and textures to tell its story. It is published by Les Doigts Qui Revent. Image credit: Les Doigts Qui Revent.

Interested in learning more about The IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities? You can find out more by clicking on the IBBY logo below:

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Happy reading and browsing and be sure to let us know what you think!

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