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Added on: 25th July, 2017 by Katie_32467
A 44- ton lorry is turning heads up and down the country, and it’s all for a good cause, to raise awareness of the remarkable national charity, Living Paintings.
Instead of the usual plastic tarpaulin, the lorry has been wrapped with the one and only Gruffalo from the picture book written by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler - it’s being welcomed everywhere, with children eager to catch a glimpse of their favourite picture book character.
Award-winning national charity, Living Paintings is raising awareness of its life-changing charity, and with the help of Tayen, aged 5, it waved off the Gruffalo lorry from Wasing Estate thanks to the support of Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo. Tayen went blind at the age of 2 as a result of tumours on her optic nerves caused by the condition neurofibromatosis or NF1. She is one of the thousands of blind and partially sighted children across the country who have been able to ‘see’ the Gruffalo thanks to Living Paintings unique Touch to See books. The image of her reading one of the books appears on the lorry alongside the Gruffalo and she was delighted to meet him in person today. Tayen’s mum said: “When Tayen lost her sight we knew that we had to ensure that she could enjoy books again one day. Reading had been central to our children’s lives from very early on. Thankfully we discovered Living Paintings and Tayen has never looked back. She loves to feel the pictures in the books and reading with her is one of the great joys of our lives.”
Living Paintings enables blind and partially sighted people to read through touch. The charity design, create and publish special versions of pictures with raised surfaces that come to life when fingers feel them. Often narrated by well-known voices, sound recordings direct the fingers telling the stories of the pictures and describing their features, making up for the missing sense of sight.
The Touch to See books are suitable for anyone from pre-school to adult and they bring favourite children’s stories to life, including Peppa Pig, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Stick Man.
Commenting on the launch today, Axel said: “I’m thrilled to be supporting Living Paintings, the work they do in making books accessible through touch and sound is incredible. It’s wonderful to know that so many children who are blind or partially sighted can enjoy The Gruffalo thanks to their free library.”
Formed in 1989 by Alison Oldland MBE, Living Paintings aims to improve the quality of life of blind and partially sighted people. The Touch to See resources are provided completely free of charge, meaning all visually impaired people no matter where they live can have access and gain a feel for the visual world.
Camilla Oldland, Chief Executive at Living Paintings said: “The Gruffalo is a classic and we couldn’t be happier to bring it to life. It’s important for us to raise awareness of the charity and how our books transform the lives of blind and partially sighted children by ending the isolation and exclusion that they experience on a daily basis. Reading is a vital part of development and being able to understand a story through touch means so much to so many.”
The Gruffalo has sold over 17million copies and has won several prizes for children’s literature. The heart-warming story of the little brown mouse and his journey through the deep dark wood captivates children of all ages.
The lorry, a Ford Motor Company vehicle transporter, will be travelling throughout the UK & Europe.
For further information about Living Paintings and the service they provide please contact Camilla Oldland on 01635 299771, CamillaO@livingpaintings.org. For more information on all the books published by Living Paintings, news and events please visit the website at www.livingpaintings.org