Pointy Three

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The Review

This E-Book tells the story of Pointy Three, a three-pronged fork who longs to find a sense of belonging. The story is 14 pages long, a quick and easy read. Each page consists of a few lines of text and has an accompanying illustration. A small video screen (this can be enlarged to view signs better or to aid people who are blind) is present on each page as well, usually in the upper right or left-hand corner. This is where the narrator signs the story. The video quality is clear and the narrator wears a solid-colored shirt, minimizing visual distractions.

This is a great resource for deaf kids who are beginner to fluent signers and for others including children and adults who are learning ASL. The level of vocabulary is pretty simple but the book contains a few advanced words such as “concave” and “hazardous”. One can use this book at home in a more informal context or in school as a learning resource. Either way, reading this book will provide children with a great amount of real-world knowledge (e.g., learning about different kinds of food and utensils).  

There’s also a message in there that the parents or teachers can discuss with the children especially if they are the only deaf child in family or in school. They may be different, but they are still special and there are others out there like them.  

There are many amazing features of this e-Book. For starters, it is an exemplary model of ASL grammar and thus teaches children how to better describe objects in sign language. The use of role shifting is also impressive. Pointy Three encounters new utensils throughout the story and engages in conversations with them, all of which include role shifts. Plenty of rhetorical questions and captivating facial expressions are interspersed throughout the narration, too. In addition, while the signing is certainly geared towards more advanced signers, beginning signers can rely on both the text and the video simultaneously. They can also replay the videos if they miss information the first time around or want to review new signs. Moreover, individuals can choose to ignore the text altogether if they really want to practice their receptive signing skills. Finally, Deaf kids who want to hone their reading skills can skip over the videos and just read the words. All of these options showcase the versatility of this E-Book.

This is a great e-book as it is, but should they want to create future versions, I might suggest a slight modification.  It would be nice if children had the option to see the definitions of unknown words in both English and ASL. For example, a synonym for “hazardous” is “dangerous,” but a Deaf child may not understand this word. If a video were displayed instead of a person signing the word “dangerous,” this would help.

Overall, this book does not disappoint. I highly recommend it for parents and teachers alike. Having some follow-up questions and activities paired with the book would help stimulate discussion. And use the multi-purpose aspect of the book to your advantage. Determine what you want the child to get out of the book and use it accordingly—for example, if you are using the book to improve the child’s receptive ASL abilities, use the videos alone. Conversely, if you are using it to improve the child’s reading skills, try turning off the videos.

More Information

  • Title: Pointy Three
  • Author or Lead Developer: Adam Stone
  • Signer(s): Lauren Ridloff
  • Illustrator/Animator: Joyce Hom
  • Year: 2012
  • Price: Free
  • Only on
  • Video only: http://aslized.org/journal/pointythree/
  • This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.