Touch the Universe is a unique and innovative astronomy book that will help visually impaired people "see" the wonders of our universe. Using a combination of Braille and large-print captions that face 14 pages of brilliant Hubble Space Telescope photos, it is embossed with shapes that represent various astronomical objects such as stars, gas clouds, and jets of matter streaming into space.
"Universally designed" for both the sighted and visually impaired reader, Touch the Universe takes readers on a voyage of discovery, starting at Earth, proceeding through the solar system, and ending with the most distant image taken by Hubble, the mind-boggling "Hubble Deep Field" photo -- the first telescope image ever to bring home to human consciousness in a deeply fundamental way the literally infinite reaches of our universe of galaxies.
As the author puts it, "A visually impaired person can still touch and smell a flower, or a tree, or an animal, but he or she could only imagine what an astronomical object is like ... until now."
"Touch the Universe is a delightful and functional book. ... Accompanying each tactile image is a large-print caption that accurately and succinctly describes the objects pictured and what the raised lines and patterns are meant to represent... What a great idea. What a great book. What a wonderful way to introduce the wonders of the universe to that part of our constituency that sees in special ways."
-- The Planetarian, September 2003
"...a fine achievement... the result of a thorough and committed approach... the text is concise and lucid, and some of the illustrations, particularly those showing star and galaxy clusters, are classics of their kind: here, the fundamental problem of translating the three-dimensional photographic perspective into two-dimensional tactile illustration is tackled with ingenuity and imagination. ... [this book] will enrich your life."
-- Malcolm Ferries in the International Journal of Astrobiology, January 2004
"...very interesting... For a visually impaired person as myself, who's a fluent Braille reader, the book is great and gives many clear explanations. ...the book is very easy to understand because it is so well written and the author has obviously thought about how to describe all the galaxies, down to the very fine detail of the shapes of them... a great book, very enjoyable to read..."
-- Vicki Manley in the International Journal of Astrobiology, January 2004
"...fun to experience whether you're visually impaired or not..."
-- Chicago Tribune, June 29, 2003
"Noreen Grice presents the sky in a way I'd never envisaged. Sighted people should close their eyes to touch the Eagle Nebula. It will never seem the same again. This book doesn't merely fill in gaps for people with impaired vision, it adds a new dimension for those of us who have already seen the phenomena depicted here."
-- New Scientist, March 22, 2003
"...a unique resource for the visually impaired that will delight all students in your class. ... This resource will fascinate all students in your middle or secondary classes. The text is a well-written reference for teachers and students as well as pre-service education students. This book expands the range of materials available to teachers, and the modes through which we can communicate exciting ideas to our students. The content of the work is accurate (considering the rapidly expanding knowledge base of the discipline). This book is highly recommended."
-- NSTA Recommends, May 2004
"This is an excellent Braille publication. It is very compact and concise. It tells you a great deal in very few words, an important asset for a Braille publication. The tactile images are well explained and thoughtfully produced on heavier quality paper than the text. In a few words, it can serve as a quick reference guide recapping basic knowledge of the subject, teaches you something and wets your appetite for more. It is a recommended read for anyone having the slightest interest in astronomy."
-- Barrier free, Winter 2003/4
"...a wonderful book...The gorgeous full-color images are also beautifully rendered in raised line form. ... Author Noreen Grice writes in clear, simple terms easily understandable by children from third grade or so on up. ... Grice's enthusiasm for astronomy and wonder at the universe is evident throughout the book. ... How exciting that there is now a way for blind children to get a glimpse of a world they ordinarily would not get to see. I tried the book out on three blind students, a fifth grader, an eighth grader, and a senior in high school. One of the kids almost refused to give it back to me! I am sure blind adults would also appreciate and enjoy the book. If you've ever marveled at the size and complexity of the universe and if you'd like to awaken or nourish that wonder in your child, be sure to get this book."
-- Carol Castellano, Future Reflections, 2002
"As a radio astronomer (and the world's only blind one, at that), I feel a powerful intuitive connection with the astonishing exotic objects in the distant universe. When I touch the tactile image of the Hubble Deep Field galaxies in Touch The Universe, I am overwhelmed by the same astonishment, a sensory connection with the distant cosmos. It has oft been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, for the first time in my career, I get the picture."
-- Dr. Kent Cullers, Director of Research and Development, the SETI Institute
"...a fine achievement... the text is concise and lucid, and some of the illustrations, particularly those showing star and galaxy clusters, are classics of their kind: here, the fundamental problem of translating the three-dimensional photographic perspective into two-dimensional tactile illustration is tackled with ingenuity and imagination. ... Grice has accomplished something which, unless you are worringly short on the capacity to stand back in amazement, will enrich your life."
-- Royal National Institute for the Blind, Jan/Feb 2003
"All ages will enjoy this special book..."
-- Support for Families, Fall 2003