You are probably wondering if you read that headline right.
A Braille picture book? For real? For real!
At Groundwood Books, we are very proud to have partnered with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) to simultaneously publish Violet Shrink, written by Christine Baldacchino and illustrated by Carmen Mok, in a print Braille edition along with the original print edition. Publishing in Braille is new to us, so we were grateful to lean on the guidance of the fine people at NNELS who helped us partner with the right vendors to transcribe the story to Braille, who then overlaid the printed text with clear plastic strips embossed with Braille characters.
The result is beautiful and wonderful. Violet Shrink is a gorgeously illustrated and thoughtful story about understanding and acceptance. The main character, a little girl named Violet, is naturally introverted and worried about attending a family party. Her feelings of social anxiety are normalized when she and her father reach a solution together.
The images of the Braille edition are a marvel to sighted people, but a wholly different, more accessible experience for blind and low-vision children and their parents whose ability to consume this book is opened up at a very fundamental level. NNELS has produced several copies of this book and distributed them to public libraries across Canada who host a physical Braille collection.
We are producing these Braille editions on demand and at cost for anyone who is interested. If you’d like an edition and can’t afford one, please be in touch. We have access to a list of individuals and organizations that would like to sponsor your copy. If digital Braille (BRF) is your thing, you can access it on the NNELS website.