Julia to record her story

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CHILDREN’S Laureate and Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson will personally narrate one of her latest stories onto audio-disc for young blind and partially sighted fans.

Mrs Donaldson, who lives in Bearsden, will record Freddie and the Fairy for the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland (RNIB) at the charity’s transcription studio in Partick.

It will join over 18,000 titles in the RNIB talking books library, the largest unabridged audio-collection in Europe.

The author, who was awarded an MBE in May, said: “It’s so important that books and stories are available to blind and partially sighted children. I’m really looking forward to recording Freddie and the Fairy and also to reading it at a special RNIB event at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

“I chose that story because it has a deafness theme - the fairy mishears Freddie’s wishes until he learns to speak clearly - as I’m also very interested in story-telling for and about deaf children.”

Pam Chater, RNIB Scotland’s transcription service manager, said: “Usually we employ professional actors to narrate our books but it’s always wonderful to have an author read her own work.

“Julia has been very supportive of our drive to make literature accessible to people with sight loss and it will be great to have this beguiling and magical story to add to our collection.”

At next month’s Edinburgh International Book Festival event, Mrs Donaldson will be guest of honour and give a reading from two of her stories to help highlight the fact that only around five per cent of books published in the UK ever make it into any alternative format.