What is a dyslexia friendly book and what makes it different to a standard book?
Previously I wrote a blog called The Dancing Book to try and understand what it’s like to read with dyslexia and the types of difficulties readers with dyslexia face . In particular I highlighted the blurred, river or washed out effects. Today my blog is more about finding the right book to reignite a love of reading despite the challenges they face. Book publishers of dyslexia friendly books go to great lengths to consider how they can assist the reader to overcome their frustrations and some of the necessary adjustments may surprise you. Here are a few differences to keep an eye out for when picking up a book for your child in the library or a bookshop.
- Tinted or cream paper can help reduce the visual distortion experienced, in particular the blurring effect.
- Simplified font with less hooks or tails can help the reader distinguish between upper and lower case characters more easily for example.
- Increased character spacing is used to try and reduce the blurring effect.
- No right hand justification as it can cause uneven spacing between words and letters whereas left hand justification can reduce the spaced out river effect experienced.
- Thicker paper stock to make sure any words on the other pages don’t bleed through to the next and cause confusion.
- Special editing procedures to give consideration to spacing and rhyming for example and how they affect readability; avoiding double spacing after full stops to reduce the river effect or using bold text opposed to highlighted text.
- Shorter extents (e.g. paragraphs and chapters) to provide more breaks.
- Clear layout to ensure the text is not spun around an illustration making it difficult to follow for example.
In recognition of Dyslexia Awareness Week (3-9 Oct 2016) I’ve put together a suggestion of dyslexia friendly books by some of our well known and best loved children’s authors for various age groups. All these books are published by Barrington Stoke Ltd who specialise in books for children with dyslexia.
We are not Frogs by Micheal Morpurgo (author) and Sam Usher (illustrator). Published: Feb 2016.
Jumping with frogs, toads and counting activities. Help them leap out of the ice cream tub and find their way back home.
CLICK HERE TO BUY We are Not Frogs (Picture Squirrel)
Wolfman by Micheal Rosen (author) and Chris Mould (illustrator). Published: Jun 2014.
Wolfman is in a rage and soon stirs up trouble in town. Everyone wants to run away but who will be brave enough to speak to him and ask if they can help?
CLICK HERE TO BUY Wolfman
The Gingerbread Star by Anne Fine (author) and Vicki Gausden (illustrator). Published: Jul 2015.
Hetty the earthworm goes in search of her dream to find her true glow.
CLICK HERE TO BUY The Gingerbread Star (Little Gems)
Blamehounds by Ross Collins (author/illustrator). Published: Apr 2014.
A story of some brave canines taking the blame for the world’s mistakes.
CLICK HERE TO BUY Blamehounds (Little Gems)
A Twist of Tales by Julia Donaldson (author) and Peter Bailey (illustrator). Published: Sept 2016.
A collection of stories from a dreadful secret to a magnificent dream.
CLICK HERE TO BUY A Twist of Tales (Little Gems)
Mary’s Hair by Eoin Colfer (author) and Richard Watson (illustrator). Published: Jul 2015.
When Mary decides she loathes her big, curly hair there’s only one thing she can do – chop it all off. An hilarious tale of mishaps and challenges.
CLICK HERE TO BUY Mary’s Hair (Little Gems)
Moonshine Dragon by Cornelia Funke (author) and Monika Armino (illustrator). Published: Sept 2016.
When Patrick’s book comes to life he finds himself entangled in a battle between a tiny dragon and a tiny knight. Can he escape alive?
CLICK HERE TO BUY The Moonshine Dragon (Little Gems)
Grandpa was an Astronaut by Jonathan Meres (author) and Hannah Coulson (illustrator). Published: Aug 2016.
Space games with Grandpa takes Sherman on the most imaginative galactic adventures he’s ever seen.
CLICK HERE TO BUY Grandpa was an Astronaut (Little Gems)
If Only we had a Helicopter by Roger Mcgough (author) and Michael Broad (illustrator). Published: Sept 2015.
Another book in the Midge & co. series bursting with mad, hair raising adventures with the boys and a new dog.
CLICK HERE TO BUY If Only We Had a Helicopter (4u2read)
Ghost for Sale by Terry Deary (author) and Stefano Tambellini (illustrator). Published: Nov 2015.
When Mr and Mrs Rundle decided a haunted wardrobe was an excellent selling point for their inn it turns out they get a little more than a few extra visitors.
CLICK HERE TO BUY Ghost for Sale (4u2read)
Going Batty by John Agard (author) and Michael Broad (illustrator). Published: Feb 2016.
For someone afraid of Bats Shona has a shock when she’s asked to do a bat project at school and worse still the little creatures turn up in her attic.
CLICK HERE TO BUY Going Batty (reluctant reader) (4u2read)
The Unlikely Outlaws by Philip Ardagh (author) and Tom Morgan-Jones (illustrator). Published: Mar 2015.
The adventures of Tom Dashwood a knight in training with his outlaws will keep you entertained with his funny and sometimes disastrous escapades.
CLICK HERE TO BUY The Unlikely Outlaws
Mind Writer by Steve Cole (author) and Nelson Evergreen (illustrator). Published: Jul 2016.
Luke can hear people’s thoughts and has endless fun with it in class. However when Samira joins his school he soon finds out she can do something far more sinister. She can change people’s thoughts and together they could make a powerful team.
CLICK HERE TO BUY Mind Writer
The Story of Matthew Buzzington by Andy Stanton (author) and Ross Collins (illustrator). Published: Jul 2014.
Matthew Buzzington knows he can change into a fly but hasn’t quite figured out how to do it yet. A book brimming with Andy Stanton’s crazy humour.
CLICK HERE TO BUY The Story of Matthew Buzzington
Contact by Malorie Blackman (author) and Paul Fisher (illustrator). Published: Apr 2015.
Set in the future where no physical contact is allowed this book explores trust, teamwork and what makes us human.
CLICK HERE TO BUY Contact (reluctant reader) (4u2read)
The Genius Aged 8 ¼ by Jeremy Strong (author) and Jamie Smith (illustrator). Published: Sept 2016.
When all adults around are a disaster, there’s Alfie Poppleton.
CLICK HERE TO BUY
The Genius Aged 8 1/4 (Little Gems)
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