Five Best Children's Books About Blindness

Panhuman Books — January 7, 2022

Reading books about people with disabilities with your children helps expand their knowledge of differences and diversities in the world. These five best children's books about blindness help them understand what it is like to be blind, and how people with vision problems make their way in the world.

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille

by Jen Bryant (Author), Boris Kulikov (Illustrator)

The story of Louis Braille, the originator of the braille alphabet, shows off his difficult childhood at the Parisian school for the blind where he had no books to learn from and enjoy. The story includes a lot of sensory descriptions and resources to learn more about braille and visual disability. It teaches about determination, the importance of books and education, and one of the most important inventions for people with diverse abilities around the world.

The Black Book of Colors

by Menena Cottin (Author), Rosana Faría (Illustrator), Elisa Amado (Translator)

Instead of simply being a story about a visually impaired child, unique book transforms children's experience to be as close to understanding what it is like to be blind as possible. Instead of brightly colored pictures, the graphics here exist as raised lines. The words are accompanied by braille words and a full alphabet. Throughout the book, colors are described using imagery and comparisons that more closely match how they are experienced by blind people. This book won multiple prizes including the New Horizons Prize in 2007.

My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay

by Cari Best (Author), Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Illustrator)

Four little first grade girls all work together to make a fun day for Zulay who is blind. She wants to run a race on Field Day and ends up accomplishing her goal. It is a bright and happy story about determination, goalsetting, and overcoming odds. Whether you read this aloud to younger children or they read on their own, everyone is sure to root for Zulay throughout the story. At the same time, kids will learn important lessons about how everyone faces a challenge and that finding ways to overcome them is a task everyone can get behind.

The Seeing Stick

by Jane Yolen (Author), Daniela Terrazzini (Illustrator)

Originally told in 1977, this story was reimagined recently with all new beautiful illustrations. It tells the tale of a blind princess of ancient China. The original goal to find a cure for the blindness changes when a wise man with the seeing stick appears. This story shows that disabilities and differences only need a different approach to live a full and fulfilling life.

Knots on a Counting Rope

by Bill Martin Jr. (Author), John Archambault (Author), Ted Rand (Illustrator)

With beautiful illustrations and a touching story, this book follows a Navajo boy and his grandfather as they share history and hope for the future. It focuses on intergenerational relationships, living and succeeding as a blind person, as well as the Native American culture and a gentle touch on the societal impact of diversity. Readers are left a poignant sense of community, life and death, and an honest journey toward independence no matter what appears to get in the way.

Other great children's books are featured in Five Best Japanese Fables for Children.