In an earlier post, my discovery of dyslexic-friendly books was introduced (search post on Letter to my Teenage Self). These books have been published to help overcome some of the difficulties experienced by people with dyslexia This was a discovery in my local BMCC library.

Visiting the website reveals a great array of choices, ranging from:

  • wonderful stories like Butterflies by Suzanne Gervay (2001), Simple Gift by Steven Herrick (2000)
  • classic fairy tales (like the Ugly Duckling and Three Little Pigs),
  • series fiction (think John Flanagan, Jack Heath, Andy Griffith) and,
  • latest releases (including CBCA 2019 titles and new adult fiction, e.g. Allegra in Three Parts and Boy Swallows the Universe).

Dyslexic Books are specially formatted books for people with dyslexia. Our books use a dyslexic font that is designed to alleviate some of the difficulties typically reported by readers with dyslexia, such as swapping or flipping letters and skipping lines without noticing.

Additional advice is given about dyslexia – identifying the symptoms, early signs in children and signs in adults. Other support services are also collated on the site.

It is also worth taking note of this encouraging quote from the site:

Nevertheless, there are many dyslexics who have overcome their difficulties and lead successful and happy lives. Examples of famous and successful people with dyslexia include Orlando Bloom, Richard Branson, Tom Cruise, Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Whoopi Goldberg, John F Kennedy, George Washington, George W Bush, John Lennon, Jamie Oliver, Pablo Picasso and Steven Spielberg.

While these books do not claim to have all the answers to dyslexia, some problems may be alleviated. It would certainly be worth looking for such titles at your own public library, as many are trialling their popularity.

# Have you found any yet?

## An interesting side-note. In a discussion with an adult friend with dyslexia, she said that reading was easier for her on a Kindle. I assume a dyslexic-friendly font may well be part of the reason for the difference??

### I also acknowledge that there are other publishers like Barrington Stoke who provide a range of dyslexic friendly titles. However, Dyslexicbooks has a great range of Australian titles.

Keeping fit

beachreadThe New Year has come and gone and by now many of your New Year’s resolutions may already be broken. Or you may be like me, and have only just decided to ‘get fit’.

It’s hard isn’t it – taking those first few steps after making a decision to do something? But with perseverance, you begin to see improvements. Have you ever thought about your ‘Reading fitness’?

An article in the Age (on December 15, 2014) ties in a little bit here. Summer holidays: down time or down to it? suggests that students (and parents) should keep up the reading habit in the holidays:

Catherine Scott, senior lecturer in education and cognitive psychology at the University of Melbourne, adds that, “… There is a well-known phenomenon of memory decay. Particularly when you first learn something, you have to practise it fairly regularly or the ability to retrieve it gets worse. If you are not using it every day, your brain makes a decision for those connections to weaken.” She says the six weeks of the summer holidays are certainly enough time to see a phenomenon such as summer slide. after a study in the States discovered a drop in students’ reading skills after a long holiday break.

Reading is a bit like that, isn’t it? Leave your text books alone during a holiday break, and some of the technical terms may be a little foreign when school goes back. For learner readers, it may be individual words or sounds that are temporarily forgotten.

Thus, researchers are suggesting that students need to keep up their reading practice, whether at infants level or within the senior school and beyond. We all need to keep up regular exercise to keep fit – and it seems reading is no different!!

What do you think? Are you a holiday reader or do outdoor activities get in the way? How could you squeeze a little more reading in your holiday time?

Less or More? Flying books?

Some time last year, I downloaded from iTunes the movie, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore – a short movie which soon after won an academy award for Best Animated Short Film. It left me entranced as I viewed it on my iPad, with echoes of the Wizard of Oz as it began to play.

Since then, the tale has captured the hearts of many booklovers. It tells the story of a young man, Morris Lessmore, who gives his life to building up the promotion of books and reading.

The movie uses different creative techniques, such as including scenes reminiscent of old black and white movies and then colouring people’s lives when they delve into books, either reading or writing them. Passing on the love of reading to future generations is also alluded to when, at the end of the movie, Morris’s book passes on to a young girl who appears on the scene after he leaves.

In a funny twist, the book form of the The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore has only just been released. However, the tale behind its creation is as interesting as the tale itself.

Joyce has been working on it since 1999, with several major interruptions (including Hurricane Katrina and personal health issues). This is a book that really needs to read from cover to cover, including the back fly-leaf, which gives more detail about his writing journey. It is interesting to note:

    1. William Morris, Joyce’s mentor, was a pioneer of library promotion. The book is a tribute to him.
    2. Silent film actors – such as Buster Keaton, are reflected in the character of Morris Lessmore.
    3. The tornado scene from the film, Wizard of Oz, and Hurricane Katrina also make an impact in the story.

The idea for the book preceded the film, but The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore has only just been released in book form this year. But it was well worth the wait! The book and film make great companions!

Here’s a link to the movie trailer: