Wales

World Book Day features Welsh-language titles in Braille

Cadi, Nick and Hari
Image caption "Everyone enjoys a story", says Nick Thomas

Bedtimes are set to be very different in the Thomas household following this year's World Book Day.

For the first time, featured titles will be available in Welsh for children or parents who are visually impaired.

Audio, large print and Braille versions of two books have been produced as part of the global celebrations.

Eight-year-old Cadi, who reads every night to her partially-sighted father, said: "I'm happy because we can all listen to books in Welsh together."

Her father, Nick Thomas, 40, was diagnosed with Stargardt's macular dystrophy more than 20 years ago, which leaves him with a "black hole" in the centre of his vision.

It means at bedtime, it is Cadi or his five-year-old son Hari who read to him, instead of the other way round.

He said the family, from Penygroes, Gwynedd, struggled to find audio or large print books in Welsh.

"This is going to be invaluable for us to be able to read and enjoy books in Welsh all together," said Mr Thomas.

"For people with sight loss, audio books are invaluable in day-to-day life and help open so many doors."

Image caption Nick says finding Welsh-language audio books is difficult

World Book Day is a worldwide campaign to promote the benefits of reading for people of all ages in more than 100 countries.

Last year was the first time a Welsh-language book was among the 14 titles on sale for just £1 as part of the celebration.

This year, Na, Nel! Un tro... by Aberystwyth-based author Meleri Wyn James and Darllen gyda Cyw by Anni Llyn will be included and are available to those with sight loss.

RNIB Cymru transcription manager Emma Jones said: "The Braille, large print and audio versions make sure that blind and partially-sighted children can discover these stories and share in the excitement this World Book Day."

First published officially in 1996, Welsh Braille uses the same general rules as English with regard to composition and punctuation.

However, it includes symbols for common Welsh letter combinations such as ll, dd, ff and rh, as well as the most commonly-used words.

Various celebrations will be taking place to mark World Book Day with children across the country dressing up as their favourite characters.

One of the largest will be The Biggest Book Show at The Hafren in Newtown, Powys, with authors including Eloise Williams, Claire Fayers, PG Bell and Max Low.

Image caption The first Welsh braille book was published in the early 1900s

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