Reviews by Special Education Professionals

  

Hand Talk: Learning Sign Language

The books in the Hand Talk series, by author  Barbara Champion, introduce children to American Sign Language (ASL) in a  way that enables them to understand that being unable to communicate in  traditionally accepted ways is a frustration that can be overcome.  Children can read about the fun and ornery character of Reni, a boy who  is both spirited and vulnerable because of his fears about not being  able to be understood. Children learn alongside Reni; the back half of  each book contains specific written instructions for making each sign in  the book, as well as photos and QR codes that link to videos of the  author signing each word or phrase.While the books are certainly helpful for deaf or  hard-of-hearing children and those around them, they also teach valuable  nonverbal communication skills to special-needs children, minimally  verbal children, and very young children, as well as their parents,  teachers, caregivers, and anyone else who engages with a child who  struggles with spoken language. They are also a fun way to learn the  basics of sign language for those kids who would like to learn a new  skill.Barbara Champion has a degree in interpreting and  has been working with special needs children since 1999, both through  her work as well as with her own family. Her students include those who  are deaf/hard of hearing, nonverbal, autistic, and those with special  needs such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and others. Champion says: “All  of these children have benefited from learning to communicate with sign  language. In fact, some of these kids had no language at all before  they came into our program and are now able to communicate their  feelings, needs, and imagination.” More books will be added to this series as they become available.Readers of the Hand Talk series may also be interested in Royal Fireworks Press' other books for and about deaf children.
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Books in this series

Hand Talk: Reni's Feelings

Subtitle: Learn How to Sign Your Feelings with Reni Author: Champion, Barbara Subjects: Guidance; Disabilities; Deafness; Sign Language Grade: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ISBN: 978-0-88092-228-9 Order code: 2289
                                                                            Price: $15.00                                                                                                              Website price: $13.00 Also an iBook from iTunes📷   Hand Talk: Reni’s Feelings tells  the story of Reni, a young boy who struggles to get people, including  his mom, to understand him. Reni learns how to use sign language to show  if he is hungry, happy, sad, or needs help, as well as other emotions.  The story is beautifully illustrated with fun and colorful drawings.   The second half of the book contains photographs of the author's  students demonstrating how to make more than two dozen signs in American  Sign Language, from “don’t want,” “like,” and “tired” to “I love you,”  “excited,” and “scared.”Reni's Feelings also includes QR codes that will take readers directly to videos of the author demonstrating each sign.Reviews from teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing: "Reni’s Feelings takes  the reader on a realistic journey of how challenging life can be for  children who don’t have a way to communicate their needs, wants, or  frustrations. This delightful book encourages and educates parents on  the benefits of teaching their children sign language and closing the  communication gap.”  – Sabrina Boykin

"Hand Talk is a short, concise journey into the life of a  special needs child. The story very clearly illustrates the feelings of  a child with limited communication skills and provides a much-needed  tool for parents, siblings, and friends to learn simple signs that can  greatly enhance understanding and communication. The pictures are  childlike and allow for an immediate connection between the main  character and the reader. The inclusion of photographs of special needs  children communicating in sign language at the end of the book greatly  enhances its authenticity and again allows the reader to make a real  emotional connection. I have shared this book with both neighbors and  relatives. They just can’t stop talking about Hand Talk."  – Susan Landberg