Author and Illustrator: Dick Bruna
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Target audience: Various ages
Format: Mostly hard cover (24 pages)
There are many many Miffy books out there. Illustrations are beautifully simple and backgrounds are plain. They use a limited pallet of colours; generally only red, yellow, blue, green, black and white. Colours are all blocked, with no shading, and outlines are thick and black. In short, perfect for our kids!
Most of the books follow a standard format: hard cover and 16 x 16 cm square, with the illustration on the right-hand page, and four lines of text on the left-hand page. The words are generally in simple black fonts, often on white backgrounds, so they may also be a good choice for early readers (or could easily be enlarged with a photocopier).
As with Elmo, you can easily source a soft Miffy toy to accompany the stories, helping your child to learn to associate pictures as depictions of real objects.
There are also various animated versions on YouTube.
Below are just some short summaries of the random assortment of Miffy stories we have in the house. It isn't a judgement as to which ones might be better or worse for CVIs. Since all the pictures I've so far come across (in the original series) have been good, your best strategy would be to shop according to the subject matter that would most interest your child.
Miffy's Dream (hard cover, 26 pages)
As Miffy falls asleep, she drifts off on a cloud, meets another rabbit from a far off land, and has adventures among the stars... You'll need to make up your own words as there are none in this book. Whilst that would normally make a book simpler to look at, it's meant that there are now pictures on both sides of the double spread, so it may help to cover the picture you aren't looking at as you tell the story (or get your child to tell you the story if they are able).
There is also a nice YouTube animation of Miffy's Dream.
Miffy at the playground (hard cover, 24 pages)
Not the best of the Miffy books I don't think. The text is pretty poor, with some terrible rhyming.
Miffy at the zoo (hard cover, 24 pages)
We like this one much better. My son likes to watch me find all the animals in the story from his toy box before we start.
Miffy Look and See (board book, 12 pages)
For younger children. It is bright and attractive, and slightly larger than standard Miffy books. You will, however, definitely need to cover the left hand page over as you read the book as, despite simple pictures, the combination of looking through a cut out, and seeing the left hand page in your peripheral vision is very distracting.
Miffy Touch and Feel (board book, 10 pages)
This is quite sweet for younger children. The pictures are perfect, with the book being around twice the size of the standard Miffy books. It is, however, rather strange. Miffy puts her swimsuit on, jumps into her paddling pool, gets dry and then flies off in a plane with her uncle... But then, I'm looking through the eyes of an adult. I loved much stranger books than this as a child.
The tactile patches are Miffy's fur, her swimsuit, the paddling pool, her towel, and the clouds. Other than the paddling pool, which does feel interesting, the other textures are largely just soft and fluffy, so I did find this a little disappointing.
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:
CVI Books receives a tiny commission on books purchased through any of these links.
We would therefore appreciate you using them to help cover our costs, keeping this site viable!
'Miffy's Dream' and 'Miffy at the playground'
'Miffy at the zoo' and 'Miffy Touch and Feel'