A lift the flap picture book
Author and Illustrator: Rod Campbell
Publisher: Pan Macmillan (UK), Little Simon (US)
Target audience: Baby and toddler
Format: Board book, Paperback (16 pages)
We love this book in our house, mostly because my son is obsessed with animals, but also because it lends itself so well to extending into other activities.
The book has plain white backgrounds throughout, with the text far enough away from the pictures that you can easily cover it if you think it would be of benefit to your child. The picture and text lay-out is conveniently the same on every page, enabling you to cover the text by taking a single piece of A4 cardboard with a cut-out to reveal only the picture, which will work throughout the book.
The pictures themselves are nice and clear, just disappointingly small in the board book version, with the flaps being rather too small and fiddly for little fingers (the board book version measures only 17.7 x 17.8 cm, and is pictured below). The paperback version, however, is bigger at around 24 cm square. If you would like bigger still, there is also a Big Book version available, designed for classroom use.
Alternatively, there is a pop-up version (in paperback, at around 21.5 x 21.5 cm, also pictured below), which increases the level of visual interest for kids with CVIs quite nicely due to the movement created by the pop-out animals.
All of the above versions would benefit from having the outlines of the animals made thicker with a black marker pen. I've done this to our pop-up version (see page 'Modifying Books' for a photo). The ink did not bleed through the page, but you should do a quick test if you have the regular paperback version.
Also available is a Touch and Feel version, that I have yet to investigate. The Noisy version, however, has very small buttons to press for the animal sounds, so doesn't look like a great CVI option, especially if your child also struggles with reduced fine motor skills.
Rummage through your child's stuffed animal collection and try to locate one of each animal. Find a box or a jiffy bag to put each one in so that you can tell the story by opening up real packages to find the animals. My son loves the setting up of the story as much as he loves the telling of it itself.
In our house, we generally sing the story rather than read it, ever since we came across this incredibly catchy Dear Zoo song by Kathy Bumblebee on YouTube
Or, alternatively, there is a CVI-adapted reading of the story available on YouTube from Gabby Wolf (a VI teacher from the US).
If you have a pre-verbal child, then recording (or singing) 'I sent him back!' onto a recordable button for your child to press in order to 'read' along with you is a lovely idea and a favourite of Speech and Language therapists.
There are also many different resources available on Teachers Pay Teachers, that may be worth investigating, either to help you create your own book, or in doing activities such as re-telling and sequencing the story
We've also compiled "CVI-friendly" book lists on the following vendors websites where you can browse many of the books reviewed on these pages:
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Original version (board book)
Pop-up version (paperback)