Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to sign language. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about sign language.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about sign language, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Mystery of the brass-bound trunk to popular sellers like Show Me a Sign to some of our favorite hidden gems like The William Hoy Story.
We hope this list of kids books about sign language can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder—eventually earning a position on a professional team. But his struggle was far from over. In addition to the prejudice Hoy faced, he could not hear the umpires’ calls. One day he asked the umpire to use hand signals: strike, ball, out. That day he not only got on base but also changed the way the game was played forever. William “Dummy” Hoy became one of the greatest and most beloved players of his time!
Early one morning, a young boy wakes to the light of his alarm clock. He puts on his hearing aids and clothes, then goes to wake his father. Together they brave the cold as they walk down the dirt road that leads to the beach. Lakin’s understated story reminds readers that sometimes the best way to communicate doesn’t involve words, while Steele’s watercolor illustrations show that beauty is never far away.
At six months or so baby knows what she wants, but just can’t say it yet. Until now. Baby sign language is a proven bridge between baby talk and first English, and here’s the clearest way to learn it. With pull tabs that demonstrate exactly how to make each sign, My First Baby Signs teaches parents and babies eight essential words: “all done,” “milk,” “eat,” “more,” “thank you,” “bath,” “help,” and “bed.” Just pull the tab, point to the moving sign, and say the word. Your baby will be signing in no time.
Baby sign language makes it easy to communicate with your child, and Nita makes it fun! Nita’s First Signs teaches ten essential signs for every parent and child to know, including eat, more, hungry, milk, all done, ball, play, love, please, and thank you. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context, and repetition throughout each story makes them easy to practice. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference. Baby sign language collections aren’t complete without Nita!
Sign language makes it easy to communicate with your child, and Nita makes it fun! The second book in the Little Hands Signing series (which introduced the bestselling Nita’s First Signs), Nita’s Day teaches ten new and essential ASL signs for every parent and child to know: wake up, change, clothes, eat, potty, go, play, bath, book, and bed. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference. No signing book collection is complete without Nita!
ABC Baby Signs - ABC Baby Signs is a charming third installment in Christiane Engel’s illustrated ABC for Me series, following in the footsteps of ABC Yoga and ABC Love. ABC Baby Signs features twenty-six of the most common, simple baby signs, such as “all done,” “more,” and “please,” to teach babies and toddlers basic ways to communicate with their hands before they can verbalize their needs. This title features one sign per letter of the alphabet, a cute rhyming story, adorable illustrations, and sweet, illustrated demonstrations. Kids and their parents will love learning baby signs together!
Show Me a Sign - Deaf author and librarian Ann Clare LeZotte weaves a riveting Own Voices story inspired by the true history of a thriving deaf community on Martha's Vineyard in the early 19th century.
Baby Signs: A Baby-Sized Introduction to Speaking with Sign Language - Long before they're able to talk, babies have a whole lot to say! Widen their world with this delightful modern classic--a must-have for growing families and a perfect baby shower or new-baby gift.
Mystery of the brass-bound trunk - From the moment Nancy Drew boards an ocean liner leaving for New York, she becomes involved in a new and dangerous mystery. A man on the pier gestures to someone on board in sign language. BEWARE OF NANCY DREW AND NE, he signals. Who is NE? Can it be Nelda Detweiler, a young woman who shares a cabin with Nancy, Bess, and George? Mystery and intrigue follow the girls across the ocean; but with her usual ingenuity Nancy solves the mystery and defeats her enemies before the ship reaches New York.
A mother and daughter spend a sunny day at the beach together where they swim, dance, build sandcastles, and, most importantly, communicate. But their communication is not spoken; rather, it is created by loving hands that use American Sign Language. Readers will learn how to sign 15 words using American Sign Language with the help of sidebars that are both instructive and playful. And the beautifully illustrated beach scenes will appeal both to the deaf community and to hearing parents and children, who will enjoy this gentle introduction to some basic words in ASL. Hands & Hearts is a picture book unlike any other, revealing the special bond between mother and child.
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