Friday 10 August 2018

Love books? Want a warm feeling? Watch this! Moira Butterfield

How would you use a picture book if you were blind or partially-sighted? Well, there’s a charity called LIVING PAINTINGS who make this happen, and I think when you see what it does you’ll have a very warm feeling.

It’s recently had a BBC appeal film made about its work, narrated by the gorgeous Martin Kemp, who himself once feared losing his sight. Please take a coffee break to watch it here, and you’ll understand more about the work. Much better than me banging on. Click on the link below and then on the BBC link. It's worth it. 

 I’ve been helping the charity recently by writing audio descriptions of picture books. The first one I got involved with was the remarkable JOURNEY, by Aaron Becker, published in the UK by Walker.  It has no words, but it tells a tale through fabulous atmospheric pictures. I had to find a way of describing them that communicated the visual magic and the adventure. It was a tough one, but I’m glad to say that in preliminary tests one little boy was moved to lay his head on the book because he wanted to ‘get into the adventure’.

The second project I’ve been involved with is the upcoming new Elmer book by David McKee and Andersen Press. It’s the first time that blind and partially-sighted children are going to get their copy of the new book on the same publishing date as everybody else. It will have braille words and some touchie-feelie pictures, and an audio description of the rich, detailed illustrations as well as the story itself in audio. I’m not allowed to say what it’s about but I can say it looks gorgeous and I had to find a way of getting that across without being repetitive. Fingers crossed it goes down well. 

Working with LIVING PAINTINGS is a delight and a privilege. If you're asked, I thoroughly recommend it. And if you haven't yet clinked on that link, do yourself a favour and do it, to get that warm feeling! 

Moira Butterfield 


Pippa Goodhart said...

What a wonderful project in so many ways. Thank you for highlighting it, Moira.

Anne Booth said...

What a wonderful thing to do and be involved with.