Alt-Text for Children's Picture Books
Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:45 pm
In the past, we received feedback on children’s books that were more text heavy with complementary illustrations. The main focus for that feed back was how the Alt-Text fit into the narrative flow. This time around we are looking more specifically at Children’s Picture Books. We have two examples below that utilize different approaches, we also have a list of several questions for you to consider as you are going through the books. Please take the time to answer each question to the fullest. This will go a long way to helping us develop better practices around the creation of Children’s Picture Books.
- When We Were Alone (no description in DAISY reader or E-text, detailed description in MP3): https://nnels.ca/items/when-we-were-alone
- Go Show the World (detailed description in DAISY reader amd E-text): https://nnels.ca/items/go-show-world-ce ... ous-heroes
- Does describing the image in a Children’s Picture Book enhance the reading experience or interrupt it? Why?
- As a rule of thumb, Alt-text generally starts from big to small and often just gives a basic description of the image leaving out details. Do you think that this technique is appropriate to describing illustrations in children picture books? Should there be more detail?
- How much detail is preferred?
- Should the style of the illustration be described?
- If the illustration is based of a description in the book, then should there be less description in the Alt-Text?
- Some picture books also use creative font styles. Should these be described when appropriate?
- Should the tone of the description match the tone of the book?
- Should the description match the reading level of the book?
- How aware of language should we be when writing descriptions? Should we have basic guidelines about appropriate language use and reading levels?
- When describing a book that is culturally specific (i.e. an Indigenous Story) how accurate do we need to be when describing the different cultural aspects (clothing, objects, etc.)?
- For Go Show the World we wrote the text as normal text, and then described the images with Alt-text, dividing each section with headings that were the original page numbers. What do you think about this approach? What works? What doesn’t work? Do you have any suggestions to improve this?
- Different children's’ books use illustrations to various degrees. For instance, some books are mainly illustration driven (what we refer to as Children’s Picture Books), while others just have illustrations to complement the text. In these cases should the guidelines be different?
- Do you have any specific recommendations for how we can improve?