McMillan Dawn McMillan Dawn CREDIT: Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB)
CTS cover w sticker CTS cover w sticker CREDIT: Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB)

Children's book to benefit blind people

Wednesday 9 May 2012, 6:32PM
By Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB)

A special children’s picture book, Colour the Stars, gives children the opportunity to experience a different way of ‘seeing’ the world.

Written by Dawn McMillan and illustrated by Keinyo White, Colour the Stars is a poignant and uplifting story about two children, Isaac and Luke, which explores the question ‘How do you describe a colour to someone who can’t see?’.

Dawn is also generously donating the royalties of the book, which is published by Scholastic, to the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind’s Guide Dog Services.

“It felt right to support the RNZFB with proceeds from the story. I chose the RNZFB guide dogs as one day a boy like Luke might decide he needs a guide dog,” Dawn says.

Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) Chief Executive, Sandra Budd, says the story will be a great tool to raise awareness of blindness.

“The story conveys vision impairment in such a wonderful way for children to learn and be aware of the different ways blind and partially sighted children discover the world,” she says.

Colour the Stars begins when the two boys are sitting together on the banks of a stream in the bush and Isaac asks Luke if he knows about colours. Isaac then uses the non-visual senses of touch and smell to teach Luke the different colours of the rainbow.

Living in a small coastal village on the western side of the Coromandel Peninsula, Dawn’s inspiration to write the story came when she was sitting in her favourite place in the bush, alongside a ford that crosses a stream.

“I often sit there alone, listening to the water and enjoying the colours and the smells that surround me. One day it seemed as if Luke and Isaac were there with me, wanting to tell their story,” she says.

Scholastic has been working with Dawn on Colour the Stars since 2009, when it was accepted for publication. It is Dawn’s twentieth picture book and one of her favourite stories.

Colour the Stars is available now from bookstores nationwide.