Chinese translation rights sold.
- Selection for the Outstanding Books 2011
IBBY DOCUMENTATION CENTRE OF BOOKS FOR DISABLED YOUNG PEOPLE
- Desetnica award 2011 nominee
This is an unusual picture-book, which can be read, searched through, touched – and even smelt. The witty text tells of Spaghetti Joe who escapes from the cooking-pot and, on his way into the world, comes across an apple. The apple is convinced that this strand of spaghetti is an enormous worm that will eat him up. The picture-book as a whole (visual, tactile, even olfactory stimulus) functions in a multi-channel way, offering the ultimate artistic enjoyment – also to the fully-sighted reader.
The particularly valuable quality of the tactile picture-book is that it is intended not only for the blind or partially-sighted children, but also for the fully-sighted, who are only now discovering the world of reading. This is why the text is printed in raised-point type and in Braille script. Experience has shown that tactile picture-books are indeed of immense importance for all children – when using them, the blind can touch the illustrations, while the fully-sighted are for the first time encountering Braille script and beginning to think about their schoolmates with special needs, which develops their empathy towards 'otherness'.
Why s the main character actually a strand of spaghetti?
Between sight and touch there is a basic difference: sight is a distal sense (a sense of distance) which functions synthetically, providing instant information, while touch is a proximal sense (a sense of what is close, can be palpated – a sense of contact) hence the information is analytically received, gradually and successively. The half-cooked Spaghetti Joe, as the main character, in the shape of a wavy line provides a handy aid to the blind or visually impaired to gradually explore the illustration from the left side towards the right.
- The tactile details on each image are few and clearly delineated, since one must also take into account the tactile threshold (the ability to distinguish different bits of information by touch.)
- The colours are strong and contrasted, since many of the blind still retain some percentage of vision.
- The textures are supported by real surfaces of the materials, the objects depicted are real life-size, which helps to re-create the representations.
- The picture-book is presented in an A4 flat format, which is suited to the two outstretched palms of a blind reader – i.e. the optimal range of high quality tactile information.
- The spiral binding has been chosen in order to enable the blind reader to have access to a completely open book, and at the same time having both hands free for undisturbed exploration of the picture-book.