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Living Paintings

Picture books funded by our generous supporters

5th November 2019

Our fundraising bell has been ringing a lot lately (yes – we have a bell!) to ring in the news that a variety of children’s books have been funded by our fabulous supporters.

The travel industry has got behind our Touch to See adaptations, with £2,500 from Hays Travel Foundation funding The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. This beloved story of an adventurous snail that hitches a ride on the tail of an enormous whale and travels the world, will be the BBC One Christmas Day screening. We are working hard to ensure that blind and partially sighted children have the same access to the story as their sighted peers and share in this special family event this Christmas.

Front cover of The Snail and the Whale showing a whale breaching the waves and spurting water.

We are also delighted to have received £2,500 from the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, a trust set up by the travel company, which sadly was recently closed. This grant will be used to adapt the story of Tiddler, also by the Donaldson/Scheffler partnership, which follows the story of a tiny fish who tells tall tales.

Another corporate foundation, the Shoe Zone Trust, has very generously supported the production of two adapted children’s books: Yoga Babies by Fearne Cotton and What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Lydia Monks. Yoga Babies encourages movement and mindfulness in little ones, supporting mental health and wellbeing from the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile What the Ladybird Heard follows the adventures of a quiet ladybird on a noisy farm who foils a cunning plot to steal the farmer’s prize cow. The original book includes a hidden, glittery ladybird in each picture, which we plan to incorporate into our adapted version for little fingers to discover.

What the Ladybird Heard showing the heads farm animals and a flying ladybird.

As well as funding The Smeds and the Smoos, which was published on 6th September, the same day as the mainstream version appeared in shops, The Cotswold Primrose Trust has also generously given funding for the adaptation of Rosie Revere Engineer, by Andrea Beatty and illustrated by David Roberts. This picture book complements STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) learning, which is so vital and a key focus in primary and secondary schools. Rosie the protagonist makes and invents gadgets from rubbish and discarded items, supported by her great great aunt to see her dreams into reality, accepting failure and not giving up. The book is full of gorgeous pictures and we can’t wait to bring this bestselling title to life for blind and partially sighted children.

Thanks to funding from the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund, the Hedley Foundation and The Fence Club Trust Fund, we are producing a new topical pack for younger readers about all things transport, with a working title: Vroom! Diggers, combine harvesters, fire engines, aeroplanes – think noise and fun for little engineers to explore and learn about vehicles just like their sighted friends.

We are so grateful to all our donors for their support to our children’s library. Thank you!

Borrow The Snail and the Whale from our library 

Borrow The Smeds and the Smoos from our library

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