Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille, by Jen Bryant | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | July 30, 2017
Written by Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Age Range: 4-7
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (2016)
What to Expect: History, Biography, Braille.
We all know what braille is, and most of us know why it is important. However, how many of us know the history that inspired it? In Six Dots, Jen Bryant and Boris Kulikov use a magical combination of words, braille, and images to open up to the story of braille to young sighted readers. The books tells the story of Louis Braille as a young boy, clever and inquisitive but tragically blinded when an accident leads to infection and robs him of sight before the age of five. Not to be deterred, Louis – with the help of a loving family – overcomes the obstacles before him, and opens up the world of knowledge to other blind children everywhere.
Six Dots is not only a story about braille – it is also a story about reading, and about the power of education and the support and love of family. Told from the perspective of young Louis, the story emphasizes now his different to other children, but his sameness: his curiosity, his mistakes, and his determination are what make him relatable to young readers, suggesting that whatever the obstacles one faces in life are, we all have the tools we need to surmount them. With a braille alphabet printed at the front and back of the book, an author’s informational note, and portions of the text (such as the title) represented in both letters and braille, the book is a useful tool for anyone wanting to start teaching their child the braille language. More than that, however, it is a touching story about a little boy’s quest to read, and about ability rather than disability.
About the Author
Jen Bryant has published poetry, biographies, picture books, and fiction for young readers. Her picture-book-biography collaborations with Melissa Sweet—A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, and A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin—have all won multiple awards. Jen lives with her family in southeastern Pennsylvania. You can read more about her at JenBryant.com.
About the Illustrator
Boris Kulikov graduated from the Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinema in St. Petersburg, Russia. Since 1997 he’s been living and working as an illustrator in Brooklyn, New York. His many acclaimed books include Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and the Max books (Max’s Words, Max’s Castle, Max’s Dragon, Max’s Math) by Kate Banks. You can find him at BorisKulikov.com.
Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille, by Jen Bryant, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Activity Books, Fact Books, and Science.