This is a beautifully illustrated book about a mother and daughter at the beach who sign to each other while they play and swim. There is no indication of which character is deaf; instead, the author emphasizes the close bond between the mother and daughter. The reader thus realizes how parents and their children can have fun regardless of whether they are hearing or deaf.
On each page, a word is printed in red and its corresponding sign is in black and white. All fifteen signs are conceptually related to a fun day at the beach. While the message and illustrations are beautiful, the illustrated signs are static with unclear motion indicators. The book would be more user-friendly if they were in color and consistently featured the daughter. The book ends with a “Dear Reader” note that further explains the beauty of sign language and how people can learn it.
Hands & Hearts is best for recreational or thematic reading. For example, families can use it when discussing beach trips or the upcoming summer season. For children with no knowledge of sign language, this book is a great preview.
In a Nutshell:
- Beautiful illustrations
- Primarily English-based
- 15 illustrated ASL signs
- Informative “Dear Reader” note
- Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers Books
- Author/Lead Developer: Donna Jo Napoli
- Illustrator: Amy Bates
- Year: 2014
- Hardcover Book & E-Book
- Illustrated sign language