A few stories for Children’s Book Week

It’s Children’s Book Week (16–22 August 2014), so let’s enjoy a few stories about literature for the young (and young-at-heart).

First up, an old school/new kid project out of the University of Colorado (Boulder): the Tactile Picture Books Project.

Tactile books have been around for a long time. They’re fantastic objects for introducing the magical world of books to very young children who are blind or visually impaired. You can read about the Tactile Book Advancement Group here, and about how to make fabric tactile books here. You can also find out more here about Vision Australia’s Feelix Library. It’s a great Braille book library for children who are blind or have low vision.

But the CU-Boulder Tactile Picture Books Project has a surprising ‘new kid’ aspect. It’s producing the first-ever 3D-printed tactile picture books.

University of Colorado Boulder students Abby Stangl and Jeeeun Kim are using 3D printers to assist very young blind and visually impaired readers (Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado)
Some pages from Goodnight moon – University of Colorado Boulder students Abby Stangl and Jeeeun Kim are using 3D printers to assist very young blind and visually impaired readers (Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado)

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Old school, new kid – the drinkable book

One of my long-time favourite web publishers is springwise.com. It’s an international noticeboard of ingenious new projects, large and small – a self-described ‘essential fix of entrepreneurial ideas’.

In its most recent weekly email, springwise included a new invention from the US: the drinkable book.

This imagination-grabbing object mixes science with profound social benefit, design, marketing, and the old school hard-back book. It could prevent millions of deaths around the world, caused by waterborne diseases.

The new kid/modern surprise in the drinkable book? It’s filled with pages that can be used as water filters. The pages/filters also feature printed info (done in food-grade ink) about sanitation and safe water practices.

Pages from the drinkable book
Pages from the drinkable book

The box housing the book doubles as a water container.

Getting ready to filter and store water in the drinkable book's cover box
Getting ready to filter and store water in the drinkable book’s cover box

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