Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Seeing Blindness in Children's Picturebooks

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2012), 6, (1), 35–51.


The article explores ways in which children's picturebooks have traditionally framed our understanding of blindness and visual impairments. It examines a variety of picturebooks, first, to reveal messages in the text and illustrations that may overtly and subtly reinforce stereotypes and, second, to investigate how changes in such books may be expanding our understandings of blindness. In a review of four recent picturebooks that include protagonists who are blind, comparisons are made among the visual, literary, emotional, and social elements. The article concludes with recommendations for guiding children's engagement with picturebooks that portray disability.

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Author details

Hughes, Chloë