Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler and Martin Freeman help blind children read
September 5, 2019

Blind child feeling The Smeds and The Smoos

A tale of friendship and cultural diversity, The Smeds and the Smoos is the latest instalment from the brilliant storytelling duo of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. We are delighted to bring this book to life for blind and partially sighted children across the UK, on the very same day as it’s mainstream release by the publisher, Scholastic. It’s set to be a bestseller and we’ve made sure that blind children don’t miss out on Julia and Axel’s storytelling cosmic magic. This adaptation has been generously funded by The Cotswold Primrose Charitable Trust.

The Smeds and The Smoos open book with braille and feely picture
In this latest adventure the pair have blasted in to space to create an alien inspired love story, complete with exotic planets, disapproving families and a whole host of colourful alien creatures to meet along the way. Will the Smeds and the Smoos remain divided or will they find they have more in common than they think?

Here at Living Paintings, our team – including our highly dedicated volunteers – have pulled together to meet the publication date so that blind and partially sighted children don’t miss out on this fabulous rocket fuelled story. Our accessible version includes the original book, comb bound with braille on clear plastic sheets, hand-painted tactile ‘feely’ pictures and an atmospheric audio description with music and space sounds. And as with all of our books it’s been Visually Impaired tested and approved.

Blind child feeling the feely pictures in The Smeds and The Smoos

Martin Freeman lent his voice to our audio guide, which includes absorbing descriptions of Axel’s vibrant array of colourful aliens and landscapes! Here’s Martin having fun with some of the wonderful names of the aliens and planets that Julia has invented:

We have already adapted several titles by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler for our young blind and partially sighted members of our free library, including The Gruffalo and Zog, so it is very special to be adding to this collection. Our last co-publication, Elmer’s Walk, was a big success and although we are not able to do this for every Touch to See picture book we produce, we hope that bringing The Smeds and the Smoos to life in this way, will help us continue making a positive difference to our blind and partially sighted members and their families.

Tayen feeling the tactile pictures in The Smed and The Smoos


Borrow The Smeds and The Smoos from our free nationwide, postal library today!

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