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American Annals of the Deaf

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The Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language

Video dictionary is now available at
This replaces the DVD formerly found in the book.

The Editors of Gallaudet University Press
Jean M. Gordon, ASL Consultant

Color Illustrations by Debbie Tilley
Sign Illustrations by Peggy Swartzel Lott,
Rob Hills, and Daniel W. Renner

October 2014

Reviews: School Library Journal (starred), Booklist, University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries (2015 “Best of the Best”)
  $39.95 (t) hardcover

Winner, First Place, Washington Publishers Book Design and Effectiveness Show

From School Library Journal

This long-anticipated and colorfully designed reference work is the first comprehensive American Sign Language dictionary for children published to date. It boasts more than 1,000 signs and includes a searchable DVD, which features young native signers demonstrating each sign and 150 of the practice sentences. Each entry takes up a third of a page and includes the word in bold red. Arranged alphabetically, the words are searchable with a thumb guide and represent a combination of sight words, familiar words, and words relating to animals, major holidays, sports, and school. An important aspect for both Deaf and hearing students are the synonyms listed directly underneath many entries. Since one sign stands for a variety of synonyms, this will help learners develop vocabulary. For example, under the term fake, readers will find the words imposter, pseudo, artificial, and counterfeit. A watercolor illustration humorously depicts the word and is accompanied by a corresponding sentence. The signs are clearly illustrated in black-and-white line drawings of children. The hands and forearms are in bold, resulting in a very clear picture of how to form the sign. Tips about ASL and Deaf culture and etiquette take the place of a word now and then in “Now You Know” boxes. The comprehensive introduction relays important information about ASL, including regional differences, and explains the arrows used to depict the motions of the signs. Highly recommended.

The Editors of Gallaudet University Press have produced more than 60 titles and DVDs on signed languages.

Jean M. Gordon is an ASL Diagnostician in the Department of ASL Diagnostic and Evaluation Services (ASL-DES) at Gallaudet University.

ISBN 978-1-56368-631-3
8½ x 11, 392 pages, 1,048 sign illustrations, 1,048 full-color illustrations, index
$39.95 (t)