Lodewijk I in the PrentenboekenPlus series

Lodewijk is just an ordinary sheep. Until the wind blows him a crown. He pops the crown on his head and voilà: he is suddenly King Louis the 1st. But will he be able to cope with this new-found power? Okay, so this sounds like a nice story in a pretty picture book, but what makes it special? Lodewijk I koning der schapen has been adapted to be enjoyed by children with impaired sight. Discover this remarkable object in our collection.

Video contains English subtitles.

Lodewijk I in the PrentenboekenPlus series

Lodewijk I koning der schapen is a children’s picture book from 2014 by the French illustrator Olivier Tallec. The Dutch translation was published in 2016. And in 2018, the book was published in the PrentenboekenPlus series. 

PrentenboekenPlus is an initiative of the PrentenboekenPlus Foundation. This publisher makes special tactile versions of good, well-known picture books for children between 4 and 8 years old with a communicative, auditive or visual disability.

Until now, the Foundation has published 18 book sets of this type, including Lodewijk I

PrentenboekenPlus books are published as a set comprising: 

  • a copy of the original picture book 
  • an adapted version of the book with tactile lines and Braille 
  • 1 or more tactile objects 
  • Reading instructions for the person reading the book aloud

Difference with the original

The pictures in the adapted picture books are much simpler than the originals and the design stands out from the surface. The texts are printed in a clear, black font and ‘subtitled’ in Braille. This enables visually impaired children to enjoy having the book read to them, together with sighted friends.

The reading instructions give tips and recommendations for teachers or support workers so that they can help children to experience and understand the story.

The additional objects are designed to give children a sensory impression of the important aspects of the story. The book about the nativity, for example, includes an atmospheric joss stick and holder. And the Lodewijk I set includes a woolly toy sheep.

Consulting publishers and illustrators

The Foundation can only produce the books with the consent of the publishers and illustrators of the original books. There’s often a lot going on in the detailed illustrations in picture books. This can be confusing for children with impaired sight or who rely on touch to understand a story. The adapted version is therefore made without extra detail, while the essence of the illustration is retained. Overlapping figures are placed next to each other, enabling children to feel the entire shape of the objects. In Lodewijk I, for example, a herd of sheep has been replaced by a number of individual sheep. Every book is carefully examined to decide which adjustments are needed.

Deviser of PrentenboekenPlus

Colette Pelt devised PrentenboekenPlus. She works with a graphic designer and together, they follow the guidelines for producing tactile drawings. The printer is specialised in 2.5D print techniques. Pelt also consults a range of experts in the field of text analysis and picture books. 

The production process for a tactile picture book is laborious, complex and therefore expensive. Luckily, the development and production costs are largely funded by donors. The KB paid the purchase price of the book sets so that they can be permanently included in the collection. Until now, 50 copies of each of 18 titles have been published.

Why does the KB have PrentenboekenPlus in its collection?

Any national library collection should include publications for blind and visually impaired people. As part of the ‘Modified Reading’ programme, the KB is working on providing access to books, newspapers and magazines to people with reading difficulties via audio books, Braille, large print or combi-reading. However, the KB’s Special Collection currently only includes a few dozen modern and older books for blind and visually impaired children. The PrentenboekenPlus books sets are a good addition. 

How can you access 'Lodewijk I koning der schapen'?

You can request Lodewijk I, koning der schapen and other picture book sets via the KB catalogue or the Central Children’s Books Database. You can only read the set in the Special Collections reading room. If you work with children with a visual impairment and want to borrow PrentenboekenPlus sets for your pupils, please contact the publisher. Schools interested in a subscription should also contact the publisher.

Would you like to know more?

Karin Vingerhoets
Collection specialist children's books