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Living Paintings

Great books on a music theme for children and young people

From sparking creativity, upping motivation and encouraging relaxation, there are simply so many benefits to listening to music. We’ve put together a list of great tactile books about music for blind children that introduce instruments from the around world, musical genres, composers and artists, which are great for learning at school or enjoying at home.

Exploring Music 1: Peter and the Wolf

This fact book features a ‘feely’ version of Ian Beck’s picture book of Peter and the Wolf, the original music by Russian composer Prokofiev and tactile pictures of all the main characters in the story for children to explore.

Inside the Peter and the Wolf book with tactile pictures of drums used in the composition

Exploring Music 2

Designed for children at Key Stage 2/3, this fact book introduces the instruments of the orchestra with tactile images and audio samples, accompanied by excerpts of Benjamin Britten’s ‘The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra’.

Tactile picture and colour pamphlet with a photo of a French Horn.

ABC UK by James Dunn and Helen Bate

Inspired and featuring the innovative picture book ABC UK by James Dunn and Helen Bate, this tactile pack explores the UK’s vibrant and unique cultural identity with reference to musical icons and genres including The Beatles and punk rock. Our adaptation also contains recipes, music, literary extracts and masses of information to prompt classroom discussions.

Tactile picture of a punk singer from ABC UK.

Music NOW! Teenage Kicks

A rocking introduction to the history of popular music for teens and young adults, this entertaining fact book features tactile pictures of iconic music stars from the 1950s to the 1990s including Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Marley, The Spice Girls and Nirvana. Each decade is split into short audio guides with music samples and tactile pictures of iconic performers, rock photography, stage outfits and much more.

Bob Marley collage with text

Rapunzel: A Groovy 1970s Fairy Tale by David Roberts and Lynn Roberts-Maloney

Set in the glamorous 1970s, David Robert’s lively retelling of this classic fairy tale is bursting with colourful period detail and a banging soundtrack with sampled tracks from artists such as David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Kate Bush and Black Sabbath.

Rapunzel is wearing headphone and is listening to records on a record player

World Music

Start off on a musical journey around the world with this lively fact book for Key Stage 2 and 3. Blind and partially sighted children can feel their way around tactile pictures of musical instruments while listening to music, sound effects and interviews with musicians.

World Music tabla

Two Pounds of Onions from Earth by Lionel Giordano

Elliot and Zoox, two young boys from the planet Calavrox are mad about music and just want to practice their instruments but their mum sends them off to Earth for two pounds of onions instead! Our Touch to See version of the book includes tactile pictures of a busker and a guitar.

Two Pounds of Onions busker

Borrow Explore Music 1: Peter and the Wold from our FREE library

Borrow Exploring Music 2 from our FREE library

Borrow ABC UK from our FREE library

Borrow Music NOW! Teenage Kicks from our FREE library

Borrow Rapunzel: A Groovy 1970s Fairy Tale from our FREE library

Borrow World Music from our FREE library

Borrow Two Pounds of Onions from Earth from our FREE library

A mobile phone sitting on a wooden table top and wrapped in earphones displays the Living Paintings website.

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