To help anyone thinking of entering the 2008 competition, or just making a tactile book, the following list of hints has been compiled by judges of previous competitions.
- A good variety of textures
- Good colour contrast and use of refractive materials for children with some sight
- Strong story line, simple ideas shown from a child’s perspective
- Book designed with the needs of visually impaired children in mind and significantly more appropriate than mainstream novelty books
- Strong central character, recurring throughout, easily located and with logical changes in detail (e.g. front or back view, upside down, etc.)
- Interactive features (e.g. flaps, buttons, pegs, etc.)
- Large, simple tactile pictures for the younger age group, to help children with some sight and to facilitate tactile discrimination
- Books for older children showing more symbolic forms of tactile representation in preparation for eventual understanding of tactile diagrams, etc.
- Theme to the book (e.g. funny, scary, tender)
- Stimulation of other senses (e.g. smell or hearing)
- Repetition in stories for younger children
- Possibility of using real objects alongside the story to aid understanding of concepts
- Encouragement to use imagination and role play
- Encouragement to use tactile skills (such as tracking, matching, dexterity) as an integral and enjoyable part of the story
- Good match of tactile illustrations and text in terms of appropriateness for target age group