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Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—This picture book biography of Louis Braille (1809–59) strikes a perfect balance between the seriousness of Braille's life and the exuberance he projected out into the world. The text highlights Braille's determination to pursue an education. Readers will learn how he attended the Royal School in Paris and was frustrated by the lack of books for the blind, an obstacle that set him off on a long quest to invent an accessible reading system. Braille ultimately found success by simplifying a military coding technique that had earlier been introduced but was far too complex. The focus on Braille as one of the world's great inventors is apt, and by taking a close look at his childhood, his family, and his experiences as a young person, Bryant makes Braille's story even more powerful. She writes from his perspective, which brings a level of intimacy sure to resonate with readers. Kulikov's mixed-media artwork mirrors and magnifies the text, keeping the spotlight solidly on young Braille and his world as he moves through it. VERDICT An engaging and moving account of an inventor, a solid addition for elementary collections.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
"An inspiring look at a child inventor whose drive and intelligence changed to world—for the blind and sighted alike." —Kirkus Reviews
"Although many Braille biographies stress his disability, Bryant’s title subtly emphasizes his creativity and celebrates him as an inventor, making this an excellent addition for STEM collections. Illustrations in Kulikov’s signature style, light-hearted with a touch of tartness, deftly toggle between sun-washed scenes in which the world views Louis and blackened scenes in which Louis recreates the world he sees in his mind."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review
"Bryant’s sensitive first-person narration draws readers intimately close to Braille’s experiences, and an author’s note and q&a add further depth to a stirring portrait of innovation and determination." — Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The focus on Braille as one of the world’s great inventors is apt, and by taking a close look at his childhood, his family, and his experiences as a young person, Bryant makes Braille’s story even more powerful." —School Library Journal, starred review
"Bryant’s portrayal captures Louis’s intelligence, determination, and tenacious desire for access to the written word. As Bryant states, “The name Braille deserves to be on everyone’s list of great inventors,” and this book ably demonstrates why."--The Horn Book Magazine
"Readers will be floored by the sheer tenacity of Louis Braille." -- Shelf Awareness
Top customer reviews
I received a complimentary copy of this book and am sharing my honest opinions, as always.
Bryant writes in first person from Braille’s point of view. She explains how Louis lost his sight with just enough detail to make it understandable how tragic it was but doesn’t overly linger there. When Louis’ sight is gone, the text changes to become filled with noises and other senses than sight. Bryant moves the story forward using Braille’s desire to read for himself, that drives both the story and Braille’s own life. As each opportunity proves to be disappointing, Braille does not give up hope, instead developing throughout his life a tenacity to find a solution.
Kulikov’s illustrations play light against dark. When Braille loses his sight, the pages go black with shadowy furniture forms only. Color is gone entirely. The reader is not left there, but moves back into the world of color unless the story is speaking about Braille’s blindness specifically, so when Braille finally gets to try reading the wax lettering, the page goes dark again, also showing his disappointment in the solution.
Intelligently designed and depicted, this is a warm and inspiring look at the life and achievements of Louis Braille. Appropriate for ages 6-9.