Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book Review: Words by the Handful – Four Stories to Help You and Your Baby Communicate



Words by the Handful – Four Stories to Help You and Your Baby Communicate
By: Mimi Brian Vance
Illustrated by: Rosemarie Gillen
Published by: bright sky press   Date:   2010
ISBN:  978-1-933979-73-1
Price:  $9.95 per book, $29.95 boxed set
Ages: 0-3years
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Kris Quinn Christopherson

Synopsis:  Baby Ellis is hungry, but he can’t talk, and neither can his friends BB the Black Bear and Ducky – except, that is, to each other.  What can they do?  They say it with sign language.  Ellis lets his hands do the talking, and soon all their bellies are full.  This series of concept/picture books teaches American Sign Language (ASL) to babies and their families through interactive and entertaining stories.  Each story weaves four to five signs into an engaging children’s tale.  The Words by the Handful stories let parents and children learn sign language together through an activity that is both enjoyable and inherently beneficial: reading together. 


Overall thoughts:  I taught my son the signs for “more”, “thank you” and “please” when he was a toddler, and found it valuable.  I wish these cheerful books had been available then.  The rhyming stories are charming with bright and pleasing illustrations. Each sign taught in the board books are clear, and are performed by a character that the child can easily relate to – BB the Black Bear teaches the sign for bath in three steps.

Out of the four books included in the box set, I feel that Milk and More is the most useful in giving children tools to communicate when they want milk or want more of something.  The other books are quite clever and do give children communication tools, but in my opinion, the sign for bunny or boat are fun but maybe not as functional in daily interactions with parents.  All four books are sturdy for little hands, and are sure to be enjoyed over and over again. 

            www.mimivance.com
            www.brightskypress.com

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