All about books

As I have said before, Dh and I are passionate about giving our child the best education through books and music. OK, OK, the music part is mostly mine. But, we both believe in expanding our child’s mind through reading and thinking. Besides, I keep telling Dh that music will help “HER” be better in MATH. So, it is only appropriate for us to find print/Braille books for us to read to our child.
When I had my older children, there were very few selections available. The ones that I did have, I gave away to other parents and children. After all, what was the purpose of keeping them when other children could enjoy them?
This is where it gets tricky. There are Braille books for this specific purpose. They are called “twin vision” books. They have print, Braille and pictures. Some of them are board books and some are not.
You can read an interesting article about the start of these books at:
http://articles.latimes.com/1990-03-29/news/vw-268_1_twin-vision
I can find them at many state libraries on loan. And I can buy them at the following places:
http://www.seedlings.org
http://www.nbp.org
http://www.braillebookstore.com
There are even some that have tactile pictures. These are even better for parent and child to enjoy. But, always wanting to be “global” in my approach, I was on the hunt for children’s books about Pakistan.
It started with my mother’s suggestion. I had given her first great grandchild, My nephew’s daughter, Lily, a couple of these twin-vision books. They had decided to “give” some of these books back to me. Actually, I hear that Lily has quite a collection of board books and my mother was going to give quite a few of them to me for the new baby. After all, she has graduated to more complicated books. She is now four years old – I think. Anyway, my mother said: “You can Braille these, just like you did the last ones.” But, I had not brailled “any” books myself. I don’t know where she got that idea. Yet, as I began to think about it, I realize that it certainly is possible. I could get some clear plastic labels that come uncut in a large sheet. I’d have to do some measuring to make sure that the Braille will fit. But, since there are few words on a page, I think that I can successfully make it work. I probably could not do this with “story books” that have more words on a page. That would probably require rebinding. But, I could probably handle books with a sentence or two on a page. It would be easy to just go out and buy tons of English written, American board books about almost any topic under the sun. Actually, I admit that most likely the bulk of our collection will be from American authors. However, I want to find a unique collection of world Titles. And, since our child is part Pakistani and since we are not living in Pakistan; thus, he/she will not have Pakistan types of experiences, I want to infuse a bit into our reading. And, I KNOW that there has to be some great Pakistani authors that write children’s books.
I admit that I don’t know urdu Braille. So, translating an Urdu board book is just out of my realm at the moment. But, if I could find some English books that talk about Pakistan, then I am in business. Hey, I might be able to do a “Body part” or “my first objects,” in both Urdu and English. Hmmm, now that is a thought! I’ll look into that one.
Now, it is not just about “Pakistan.” I find that there are many more African and Hispanic writers that write board books for children and I have thought of getting some of these, also. They would be good additions to our collection. Is it my imagination? It seems that there are many many more African writers than Asian writers; especially when it comes to young children’s books.
Annd, while looking for “Pakistani children’s literature,” I found:
“A boisterous Bedtime Read,” by Anitha Balachandra;
“Sumptuous Delights,” by Subhadra Sen Gupta;
“the old woman and the Eagle,” by Idries Shah;
“Two sides of a coin,” by Poile Sengupta;
“Real Winners in life,” by Ramendra Kumar;
“the Lion who saw himself in the Water,” by Idries Shah;
“Flying Dogs and school going monkeys,:” by Deepa Agarwal;
“Temper, Temper,” by Santhini Govindhan;
“Hamid Buys a Present,” by Munshi Premchand;
“the Magic Horse,” by Idries Shah;
“the Man with Bad Manners,” by Idries Shah;
“the Man and the Fox,” by Idries Shah;
Not that I am trying to be picky, here. But, most are more Indian/Hindi in nature. I think that India is the closest that we get to Pakistan.
I wonder if the following Titles are in English or English/Urdu translation.”
“chacha Chakkan,” by Imtiaz Ali;
“Piyari maa,” by Raza Ali;
“Teen Shehzadian,” by Hafizur Rehman;

I found that Idries Shah’s books are published on Hoopoe Books and I might just get some of these because there are CDs to go along with them which sound quite interesting. Although, I want to do most of the reading myself, we can listen to CD books together, also.
And, I might even donate to this wonderful organization, Hoopoe Books, which is trying to keep education in the forefront of children’s minds.
I’d love to hear any suggestions that you might have about children’s literature. Here are some questions for you.
What were your Baby’s first books? Which did you like the most? Did you find any rare books that you and your husband liked to read to your baby? Did your husband participate in the “reading,” also? Did you find books in Urdu and if so, could you read them to your baby?

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One Response to “All about books”

  1. Roshni Says:

    Hmm; this is a really interesting subject! The Braille/print books you mention are also available here in the UK, they are known as clear vision books out here and you might find different selections on UK sites, to complement what you already have; so check that out!
    I know of plenty of Islamic books that fit the description of what you are looking for, but not so many Pakistani specific books! Here is the thing; while there are plenty of Asian writers, they won’t necessarily write from your perspective, or of the Pakistan you and your family know. Moreover, you are both visually impaired; which adds new colour to your reality, How many books will even come close to the reality you all live in? my advice; make your own stories: imagine, create, innovate! I don’t have children of my own, but look after friend’s kids on a regular basis. I’ve never had difficulty making up stories and having them act/create parts for themselves etc. Fiction has a place, but there is nothing more beautiful and personal than building your own reality in the stories you tell. Your in-laws may be familiar with children’s stories and songs handed down via oral tradition and you might like to note down some of those too. Good luck and keep us posted!

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