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    Hello all!
    I need help finding living books at the K/1st grade level for my 4 daughters who are blind.

    Since my girls came from hard places (orphanages in Bulgaria and China) I need the story to be living but quite simple (think K or 1st grade level) and I also need it to not rely on visual information in the illustrations.

    I know I’m looking for a very special book (or hopefully books)!  Any ideas?

    Thank you SO MUCH!


    Maybe those classroom, large books that teacher’s use for group teaching? Lakeshore Learning .  com has some. Look for classic stories which will be more living.

    Otherwise, can you use ebooks and enlarge the print?

    Hope this helps!


    Thank you for responding Retrofarm!

    I guess I might not have been clear – my girls are fully blind.  I’m looking for living books that tell a simple story but don’t need illustrations for the kids to understand.

    For example, all the Gail Gibbons books (she has a ton – apples, space, the moon) all rely on being able to see the pictures.  I can narrate for my girls but I was just wondering if anyone could think of very simple books that don’t rely on illustrations.

    I’m trying simple chapter books (we are reading Charlotte’s Web right now) but I don’t think the girls are getting the story.  I read the same chapters 2 nights in a row and plan on having them listen a 3rd time during breakfast.  🙂




    When they are older, reading (or listening to audio books) of The History of US  might be good.  Have you tried Winnie-the-Pooh? There’s a good audio version through the BBC where a different actor reads each part so it’s easier to distinguish characters.  Maybe the Mercy Watson series of books.  Maybe offering a 3-D object you’re reading about for hands on perception?  That’s a tough one.  I’ll keep thinking.


    We do love our Winnie the Pooh audio!

    Thank you for your help!


    That is really tough, having never had the pleasure of working with a blind child.  What about Patricia Polacco, she has beautiful picture books but the stories I think could stand alone.  The Little House books come to mind.  The Boxcar Children, or the Milly Molly Mandy books. Stories based more in reality might be easier to follow.  It am trying to think of some of the books my son enjoyed when he was that age.  He can see, but he never sat next to me when reading so he never enjoyed any of the illustrations. The Cricket in Times Square or Mr. Poppers Penguins.  I hope you find something wonderful to read to them.


    We do like so many of those books and you are right “real life” is way easier for my girls then figuring out what a dragon is.  🙂

    I’m wondering if you have any ideas for science living books – written to a K or 1st grader that doesn’t focus on the illustrations?



    Science is a tough one. It seems like science would have lots of pictures at that age. Or descriptions of things of which they may have  no frame of reference. What about the Burgess books or the Among the… books. Or something like Archimedes and the Door of Science. Snowflake Bentley is great, but without being able to see the snowflake… I think I would try to stick with scientist biographies like Ordinary Genius. It would touch on inventions and such but not get too technical and go over their heads. There are lots of Wright Brothers stories for littles that might be engaging and touch on some scientific principles. You might let them handle things while you read about what they are touching. You could easily do different plants and flowers that way. They could handle petals while you talked about what petals are for, stems, leaves, etc. You could do different rocks that way. Bird feathers. Bugs. Feeling a chicken bone before and after being soaked in vinegar, why they get soft.


    What are “Among the..” books?

    These are such great ideas!  Thank you!



    Oh sorry. These are old books by Clara Dillingham Pierson

    Among the Forest People

    Among the Pond People

    Among the Meadow People

    Nature stories for young kids about creatures of the various habitats. They are very sweet and engaging. Some fun animal facts sprinkled throughout. My kids loved the Pond people best.


    thank you!


    These are “picture books” but all the story is there without pictures, and they retain their beauty and charm:

    Georgia Music by Helen V. Griffith

    Baby in a Basket by Gloria Rand

    The Hickory Chair by Lisa Rowe Fraustino (this is one of my all time favorites, and the narrator/main character is blind)

    Captain Snap and the Children of Vinegar Lane by Roni Schotter

    Amos & Boris by William Steig

    Mice Twice by Joseph Low

    Huge Harold by Bill Peet

    Fables by Arnold Lobel

    A Toad for Tuesday by Russell E Erickson (a little longer)

    I think this one would still be interesting: Grasshopper on the Road by Lobel (you may need to describe the size of the mosquito)

    Chapter books:

    We just listened to ‘Freddy and the Poppin Jay’ in the car. We really enjoyed it! This book has a lot of details, so maybe hold off if Charlotte’s Web was still a challenge.)

    We first heard ‘The Secret Garden’ as an audio book.

    For fun:

    Jungle Jam (a radio program). Completely heavy handed, but silly. My kiddos enjoy it.






    Reach out to Liz from a Delectable Education. They were interviewed on a Simply Charlotte Mason blog post:

    Liz homeschooled using CM and is blind.

    I keep going through books that “don’t need pictures” but keep wondering if the descriptions are too visual. :-0 I thought about asking a friend of mine, who is blind, but I don’t think he ever caught the literature bug.


    Thank you all for the responses!


    How about folk tales and Asops fables? Memoria press sells a compilation of folktales called Animal folk tales of America you could try. Since these were oral first they may work better. Also Asops are short and interesting.

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