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Touching hues

Karadi Tales is launching a tactile picture book that would help the visually imapaired children “feel” what they’re reading. For their first book, the publishers zeroed in on The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Itee Dewan tells more.

books Updated: May 21, 2012 15:18 IST
Itee Dewan

Close your eyes and feel the butterfly, the cheesecake, the orange, the doormat and other tangible things we encounter in our daily life. In an attempt to reach out to visually-impaired young children, Karadi Tales has decided to launch a tactile picture book that would help them “feel” what they’re reading. For their first book, the publishers zeroed in on The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

Karadi Tales director Shobha Viswanath, and the brain behind the book, says, “I realised that most of the textbooks for the visually-challenged only had Braille text and no pictures. What about people who had some residual vision and could partially see some colours and contours?” The question was answered in the form of different textures produced by different fabrics that Shobha personally selected or “felt” at garment shops.

Hence, hosiery’s cool, soft texture was chosen to represent a butterfly; prickly rug sack represents sun; velvet for cheesecake and white satin for the moon.

Each book takes eight hours to be completely handcrafted. The next two books in the series, ABC Touch and See and I Feel a Foot will be out soon. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is available at all major bookstores for Rs 1,450.