Every parent knows the frustration of trying to satisfy the demands of an infant too young to communicate his or her thoughts. Now, a growing consensus of researchers agree that not only deaf children but also hearing children can benefit from early exposure to sign language, often learning such basic signs as “milk,” “mother,” and “change” as early as seven months. With this knowledge in mind, Kim Votry and Curt Waller have written and illustrated Baby’s First Signs and More Baby’s First Signs, two books designed to provide your infant with the means to articulate his or her fundamental desires.
Baby’s First Signs and More Baby’s First Signs are durable board books, lavishly colored in bright reds, blues, greens, and yellows sure to please your child’s eye. Each page features an illustration of a toddler signing a word as well as demonstrating what the sign is about. For example, on the “baby” page, the toddler makes the sign for “baby” by mimicking the cradling of a child in his arms while also smiling at his baby sister sitting beside him. The illustrations include both a diagram box that depicts exactly how to perform the sign and the English word in the top left corner, so that your child will learn English and sign language simultaneously. The books cover fundamental expressions such as “sleep,” “cold,” “eat,” and “hurt” as well as “rain,” “mommy,” “daddy,” and “car.”
“Signing is a beautifully tactile way for babies to learn about their world,” the authors write. “It acknowledges a baby’s natural abilities and provides a powerful tool for self-expression.” The Baby’s First Signs books are the ideal place to begin building your baby’s library.
Kim Votry teaches parents and educators how to use American Sign Language with hearing children in Edmonds, WA.
Curt Waller does freelance painting and digital illustration in Seattle, WA.