Selecting Books

Things to consider when selecting books for an Adapted Books Collection. These are suggestions, but the professional librarian or teacher will know what is best for their collection and population.

  • Reflect what is most popular in your library- Evaluate the most checked out books in your regular collection and start with those books. This helps reach the goal of ensuring that the popular literature is accessible to all students.
  • Try to create a variety in the collection of lower level picture books, more advanced picture books and nonfiction.
  • For all the books in the Adapted Collection, try to have a traditional copy in the regular collection as well.
  • Since this population is usually a small group, ask the classroom teachers what the students’ favorite books and characters are and add them if they fit your collection.
  • Bright colors and simple illustrations are great. Todd Parr’s books are a good example of illustrations that work wonderfully for this population.
  • Books with simple and repetitive words also work very well. However, don’t restrict the collection to just this type of book. The goal is to make sure all levels of literature accessible.

Tips for Adapting

Enhance! Don’t Block or Change

The goal is to enhance the story. Don’t cover any words or important parts of the illustrations.


Take time to make sure the book looks nice and clean. The books should be high quality.


Make sure to have at least two different textures on each page spread.

Steps to Adapt

Number the Pages

Separate the Pages



Underline the Title

Start by adding a pipe cleaner under the title. Cut the pipe cleaner to the correct length. Then glue it under the entire title using lots of glue. Or you can use another option like puff paint, beads or colored hot glue.

Add Sensory Items

Ideas of how to connect your sensory items to the illustration and story


Add an item that is the same color.

Ex: Put a blue pom pom on a blue shirt.


Add an item that mimics the texture of that item in real life.

Ex: Put something soft on fur.


Add an item that is the same shape as something in the illustration.

Ex: Put a start jewel or cut felt into a star shape to put on a star.

Be Creative!

Be creative and unafraid to try something new! Just remember the goal is to enhance the illustrations and story, NOT to change them.