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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On the Way to Literacy: Early Experiences for Visually Impaired Children

This newly revised handbook and series of 18 storybooks contain vital information and activities to enhance the development of literacy in young blind or visually impaired children.


Handbook for parents and teachers addresses communication, hand skills/tactual exploration, concepts, and book experiences. Recommended ages: birth to 5 years.


Storybooks introduce large print, tactile illustrations, and braille. Illustrations provide opportunities to use finger and hand skills. Recommended ages for storybooks: 2 1/2 to 5 years, except Gumdrop Tree.

WARNING for Gumdrop Tree: Choking Hazard -- Small Parts. Not intended for children ages 5 and under without adult supervision.

How On the Way Is Sold

The handbook and storybooks can be purchased separately or as sets. The books in the sets are grouped together for your ordering convenience, and are not sequential in terms of level of difficulty.

On the Way Storybooks with Real Objects and Textures

Giggly-Wiggly, Snickety-Snick (Set III)
Giggly-Wiggly, Snickety-Snick

Words capture a range of tactile experiences -- bumpy, smooth, crunchy, etc. Envelopes on the pages can be filled with real objects (not included).
Catalog Number: 6-77502-05 Click this link to purchase Giggly-Wiggly, Snickety-Snick.

Something Special (Set I)
Something Special

A young child searches for a lost possession; features objects fixed to the book pages.
Catalog Number: 6-77500-05
Click this link to purchase Something Special.

That's Not My Bear (Set II)
That's Not My Bear

A well-loved teddy bear is lost and cannot be replaced. The special bear and others offered by the family are represented by furry shapes.
Catalog Number: 6-77501-01
Click this link to purchase That's Not My Bear.

Geraldine's Blanket (Set II)
Geraldine's Blanket

A girl's treasured blanket becomes worn and patched over time, but is never outgrown. Squares of fabric illustrate the fate of the blanket.
Catalog Number: 6-77501-02
Click this link to purchase Geraldine's Blanket.

On the Way Storybooks Illustrated with Thermoforms (molded plastic shapes)

Jennifer's Messes (Set I)
Jennifer's Messes

Thermoforms of familiar objects such as breakfast cereal, pretzels, and crayons illustrate the messes made by Jennifer.
Catalog Number: 6-77500-06
Click this link to purchase Jennifer's Messes.

Jellybean Jungle (Set III)
Jellybean Jungle

A counting rhyme about a magical jungle filled with jellybeans. From one to ten, the jellybeans appear in rows for easier counting. Scented stickers included.
Catalog Number: 6-77502-01
Click this link to purchase Jellybean Jungle.

Gobs of Gum (Set I)
Gobs of Gum

A rhyming story about "big blobs, small gobs, and sticky icky strings of bubblegum."
Catalog Number: 6-77500-08
Click this link to purchase Gobs of Gum.

Roly-Poly Man (Set I)
Roly-Poly Man

A young child creates a "roly-poly" figure from pieces of clay.
Catalog Number: 6-77500-07
Click this link to purchase Roly-Poly Man.

Thingamajig (Set III)

Jamie is a collector of "thingamajigs" -- coins, marbles, buttons, and other common objects. His treasures introduce the concept of grouping items, and identifying missing items.
Catalog Number: 6-77502-04
Click this link to purchase Thingamajig.

On the Way Storybooks with Raised-Line Drawings

The Longest Noodle (Set I)
Longest Noodle

A child finds the world's longest noodle. Raised lines illustrate a shoelace, a jump rope, etc.
Catalog Number: 6-77500-01
Click this link to purchase the Longest Noodle.

The Blue Balloon (Set II)
Blue Balloon

A special balloon takes on extraordinary shapes and performs amazing feats. Illustrated with brightly colored, raised balloon shapes.
Catalog Number: 6-77501-03
Click this link to purchase Blue Balloon.

The Littlest? Pumpkin
Littlest Pumpkin

When the littlest pumpkin in the patch isn't chosen to become a jack-o'-lantern, things seem very bleak -- until a child discovers his hiding place! Raised lines and die-cut foam pumpkins.
Catalog Number: 6-77504-00
Click this link to purchase the Littlest Pumpkin.

That Terrible, Awful Day (Set I)
That Terrible, Awful Day

A young child's popsicle gets smaller as everyone shares a taste.
Catalog Number: 6-77500-04
Click this link to purchase That Terrible, Awful Day.

The Caterpillar (Set I)
The Caterpillar

A visually impaired child discovers something in her backyard. Has raised line drawings of a hand, foot, steps, and a fuzzy fabric caterpillar.
Catalog Number: 6-77500-02
Click this link to purchase The Caterpillar.

Silly Squiggles (Set I)
Silly Squiggles

A wormlike creature stretches, squeezes, and squirms into various shapes in this rhyming story.
Catalog Number: 6-77500-09 Click this link to purchase Silly Squiggles.

The Gumdrop Tree (Set III)
The Gumdrop Tree

A tree which grows from a gumdrop! The raised-line drawings depict the growth of the tree. The gumdrops are shown in a row, circle, square, etc. Includes scented stickers. For ages 5 years and up.
Catalog Number: 6-77502-03
Click this link to purchase The Gumdrop Tree.

Bumpy Rolls Away (Set I)
Bumpy Rolls Away

Bumpy the Ball rolls down a hill, down steps, onto a sidewalk, along an alley, and into a box.
Catalog Number: 6-77500-03
Click this link to purchase Bumpy Rolls Away.

Special On the Way Book Lets Children Create a Story About Themselves

Book About Me (Set I)
Book About Me

A "Me Book" for children to create, with fill-in-the-blank sentences in braille and print, and space to add illustrations and text.
Catalog Number: 6-77500-10
Click this link to purchase the Book About Me.

On the Way to Literacy Book Sets

On the Way? to Literacy: Complete (Set I)

On the Way to Literacy: Book Set I

One print handbook and one each of: Something Special; Jennifer's Messes; Gobs of Gum; Roly-Poly Man; The Longest Noodle; That Terrible, Awful Day; The Caterpillar; Bumpy Rolls Away; Silly Squiggles; Book About Me. 10 storybooks total.
Catalog Number: 6-77500-00
Click this link to purchase On the Way to Literacy: Book Set I.

On the Way? to Literacy: Complete (Set II)

On the Way to Literacy: Book Set II

One each of: That's Not My Bear, Geraldine's? Blanket, The Blue Balloon. 3 storybooks total.
Catalog Number: 6-77501-00
Click this link to purchase On The Way to Literacy: Book Set II.

On the Way? to Literacy: Complete (Set III)

On the Way to Literacy: Book Set III

One each of: Giggly-Wiggly, Snickety-Snick; Jellybean Jungle; Thingamajig; The Gumdrop Tree. 4 storybooks total. Gumdrop Tree 5 years and up.
Catalog Number: 6-77502-00
Click this link to purchase On the Way to Literacy: Book Set III.

On the Way to Literacy Handbook and Related Video

REVISED! On the Way to Literacy Handbook, 2nd Edition

On the Way to Literacy Handbook

This extensively updated handbook guides teachers and parents in supporting a young child's first steps towards literacy. Each edition includes a CD of accessible files.

Catalog Number: 8-77520-00

Catalog Number: 6-77520-00
Click this link to purchase On the Way to Literacy Handbook, 2nd Edition 2.

On the Way to Literacy: APH SoundPage

APH SoundPage

The APH SoundPage, an OWTL storybook accessory, allows readers to create their own sound effects and recordings. Slotted to hold up to three eight-second digital recording/playback devices (two included in basic set, with additional devices sold separately), the page can be clipped into the 3-ring binder of any OWTL storybook. The User's Guide contains suggestions for use as a part of story reading, as well as suggesting other uses for the recording device.

APH SoundPage:
Catalog Number: 6-77505-00

Replacement Item:

Additional Digital Recording Device:
Catalog Number: 6-77505-01
Click this link to purchase the On the Way to Literacy: APH SoundPage.

Related On the Way Product: Pumpkin Puzzles

Pumpkin Puzzles

APH offers two pumpkin puzzles related to the On the Way to Literacy book The Littlest Pumpkin. These puzzles, sold as a set, depict the Littlest Pumpkin and another jack-o'-lantern face. Orange and black foam puzzle pieces are reversible.
Catalog Number: 1-08835-00
Click this link to purchase the Pumpkin Puzzles set.

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
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