Future Reflections Winter/Spring 2006

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Sadie Can Count


A review by Robert Jaquiss

Ann Cunningham

A new tactile book for children is now available: Sadie Can Count, story and illustrations by Ann Cunningham. An accomplished artist who creates and sells tactile art, Ann currently teaches art at the Colorado Center for the Blind. Among her most widely known works is a set of five panels in bas relief, each tactile piece depicting Erik Weihenmayer’s climb up Mount Everest. Displayed on five easels for easy touching and viewing, the set is on display in the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Library at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute.

Sadie is Ann’s first tactile book, and is the result of three years of careful research and feedback from blind children, blind adults, parents, and teachers. There are several interesting and useful features not commonly found in children’s books. The text is produced in both Braille and print. The illustrations are both tactile and printed in full color, therefore, it will be useable and enjoyed by both those who are blind and those who are sighted. As the book has a hard cover and the pages are of heavy paper, this book should last, even with a child reading it many times.

I found the Braille and tactile illustrations are of excellent quality. It might be described as a “bridge” book for tactile development as it bridges the gap between the feel of “real” objects and those same objects depicted in a raised, textured format on paper. A “Parent/Teacher Guide” with specific suggestions for Ann’s book is posted on the publisher’s Web site at: <www.sensationalbooks.com/>. The “Guide” states Sadie Can Count, a multi-sensory book, would work “as an introduction to counting, as an introduction to print and/or Braille, as an introduction to colors and rhythm, and as an introduction to picture recognition both visually and tactually.”

Sadie Can Count can be purchased from Sensational Books, P. O. Box 261085, Lakewood, Colorado 80226; or online at <www.sensationalbooks.com> for $29.95 through PayPal; telephone: (303) 238-4760. (ISBN 0-9770054-8-8)

Other Web sites with information or data on Cunningham and/or her book:

http://www.oooandeye.com/artbase/base_members/ann_cunningham/pages/about.html
http://www.nfb.org/fr/fr20/fr05ci09.htm
www.SensationalBooks.com
http://www.freelists.org/archives/accessibleimage/01-2006/msg00049.html

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