Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? This is a superlative picture book biography of Louis Braille. It emphasizes how he invented the system of reading and writing for the blind when he was a child. At the Royal School for the Blind as a child, Braille was hungry to learn to read and write. The few books at the school were short and unsatisfying to him. When a French army captain invents a code designed to send secret messages to be read by touch, Louis runs with the idea and invents the Braille system after much trial and error. It exists today with few modifications. Kulikov’s mixed media illustrations show the affection he has for Braille, and also echoes the love and support Braille experienced growing up in his village. The artist very effectively illustrates Braille’s thoughts and imagination by using chalk on a black background, contrasting with the warm full color illustrations of the rest of the story. Includes extensive notes about Louis Braille and the Braille system. I love how this important inventor’s childhood is fully fleshed out, so children today can appreciate how he invented his system as a child.
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a great resource for children interested in inventions, child inventors and biography in general.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Biography
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: December 29, 2016