Sunday, August 13, 2017

Board book: First Words: Baby Signing

First Words Baby Signing. 2017. Scholastic. 18 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Mommy. Can you sign mommy? Spread out your hand and tap your chin with your thumb. Daddy. Can you sign daddy? Spread out your hand and tap your forehead with your thumb. Hello. Can you sign hello? Hold your hand by your head, with the fingers straight and the thumb across the palm. Now move your hand out and away from your body, and smile!

Premise/plot: What you should know about this one...a) it's a board book; b) it has adorable photographs of babies; c) when you lift the flap of the photograph an illustrated baby is revealed; d) the book includes a description of the sign. 

Words included: Mommy, Daddy, hello, bye-bye, baby, come, yes, no, down, up, stop, go, diaper, potty, door, book, cuddle, teddy, eat, drink, all gone, more, banana, cookie, again, play, hurt, yucky, I love you, help, hot, cold.

My thoughts: Can you learn sign language through a book? Maybe, maybe not. Are there better ways for parents to learn these thirty signs? Dare I say probably. I wish that Scholastic had included a DVD in this one. Other board books they've released throughout the years (pets, animals, fire station, etc.) have included DVDs. Why not this one where it makes the most sense? I do realize that there are different types of learners. But the illustrated picture does nothing to actually show you how the sign goes. In fact, in some cases it may lead you in the wrong direction. And reading a description may not be enough for some readers--parents. SEEING a sign demonstrated several times I think is a much better way to go. Before a baby--a toddler--learns the sign, first the parents have to know. It will be the parents showing the baby, working with the baby that will actually "teach" the baby sign language. A baby is not going to pick it up by hearing a description, of course!

I am sure there are many videos available to help parents. I have watched and enjoyed Baby Einstein My First Signs. (You can see bits of it on YouTube).

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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