BOARD BOOK Ages 0-3 / Helen Oxenbury, Candlewick Press
From the most widely loved of artists comes a reissue of a board book to help very young children explore their worlds. In I HEAR, a baby listens to a bird sing, a dog bark, and a watch tick. Full of character and humor, this charming book forms a winsome introduction to the senses.
I Listen: A Book about Hearing, Understanding, and Connecting
BOARD BOOK Ages 2-4 / Cheri Meiners, Free Spirit Publishing
Listening is a critical communication skill that builds a child’s attention span and leads to understanding. This simple but powerful board book helps toddlers see why listening is important, understand what it means to be a good listener, and recognize how listening benefits everyone. At home and at school, a little girl discovers wonderful sounds, kind words, new things to learn, and a sense of belonging. “When I really listen, I feel like I matter to someone. I show people they’re important to me.” Includes tips and information for teachers, parents, and caregivers and downloadable bonus activities.
A Bear Hug at Bedtime
PICTURE BOOK Ages 3-7 / Jana Novotny-Hunter, Child’s Play
This is a delightful picture book with appealing illustrations and a gentle story about the power of the imagination and the fun of play. Featuring a highly inclusive cast of characters, including an extended, mixed race family and a protagonist who uses a hearing aid.
Mellie and her Cochlear Implants
FREE ONLINE PDF Ages 3-6 / (available for free in PDF)
Mellie and Her Cochlear Implants is a colorful book about Mellie, a young elephant, and her family. It tells the story of the family’s journey from the discovery that Mellie is deaf, through the process of cochlear implant candidacy, surgery, fitting, and use of her cochlear implants.
Freddie and the Fairy
PICTURE BOOK Age 3+ / Julia Donaldson, PAN Macmillan
Freddie found a fairy, tangled in a tree. Freddie is desperate for a pet, so when he rescues Bessie-Belle and she offers to grant his wishes he knows just what to ask for. The only problem is that Bessie-Belle can’t hear very well, and Freddie tends to mumble. Whatever can they do? Luckily the Fairy Queen is on hand to explain. . . A delightful tale full of rhyme and wit, with a subtle message about hearing impairments. Julia Donaldson said Freddie and the Fairy received a positive response from parents and their deaf children, who were excited to see a character like themselves wearing a hearing aid.
What the Jackdaw Saw
PICTURE BOOK Age 3+ / Julia Donaldson, PAN Macmillan
Poor jackdaw is about to fly into trouble — will he learn to read the animals’ signs in time? The jackdaw wants all his friends to come to his party, but when he calls out his invitation the animals just touch their heads. Why won’t they answer? And what do their actions mean? Luckily a brown owl can help him with the puzzle! This book about sign language features Julia Donaldson’s famously wonderful rhymes and a catchy chorus. It was created by Julia in collaboration with a group of children from the charity Life and Deaf (www.lifeanddeaf.co.uk) which helps deaf children to explore their identities through poetry, film, performance and art.
PICTURE BOOK Ages 3-8 / Gloria Roth Lowell, Magination Press
Lacey is a very happy dog but feels a little displaced when baby Elana comes home. When Lacey tries to teach Elana to bark, she soon realizes that Elana can’t hear. Lacey vows to become the best “big sister” in the world, in addition to becoming Elana’s ears.
I Am Deaf
Ages 4-7 / Jennifer Moore-Mallinos, B.E.S. Publishing
Lana is 10 years old and she is deaf. In this story, she describes what it’s like to be deaf and she talks about some of the things she uses to help her learn at school and communicate with her teachers and friends. This book describes challenges that hearing-impaired children face, and how one child overcomes them to live a normal, happy life.
Some Kids are Deaf
Ages 4-8 / Lola M. Schaefer, Capstone Press
Some people are deaf. What does that mean? Using simple, engaging text and full-color photos, readers learn what deafness is, how it can be caused, and what daily life is like for someone who can’t hear. This book includes a video, which launches via a 4D app.
Let’s Hear it for Almigal
Ages 5-7 / Wendy Kupfer, Handfinger Press
This fun and original picture book introduces Almigal, a spunky little girl with hearing loss who is now determined to hear every single sound in the universe thanks to her new cotton candy pink cochlear implants. These sounds include a baby’s funny giggle, the robin’s chirps outside the window, the soft song played during ballet class, and especially her best friend Chloe’s teeny-tiny voice. But most of all, Almigal wants to hear her parents whisper to her when they tuck her into bed every night. Almigal’s spirit will have both children and parents alike rooting for her, while the story delivers a positive message about accepting and celebrating differences.
Kami and the Yaks
NOVEL Ages 5-8 / Andrea Stenn Stryer, Bay Otter Press
Just before the start of a new trek in the Himalaya Mountains of Nepal, a Sherpa family discovers that their yaks are missing. Young Kami, anxious to help his brother and father maintain their livelihood, sets off by himself to find the wandering herd. A spunky deaf child who is unable to speak, Kami attempts to summon the yaks with his shrill whistle. Failing to rout them, he hustles up the steep mountainside to search the yaks’ favorite grazing spots. On the way he encounters the rumblings of a fierce storm which quickly becomes more threatening. Surmounting his fear of being alone amid treacherous lightning and hail, Kami uses his heightened sense of observation to finally locate the yaks. Reunited with their animals, the astonished family is once again able to transport their gear and guide the mountain climbers into the majestic terrain.
A Screaming Kind of Day
PICTURE BOOK Ages 6-10 / Rachna Gilmore, Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Scully, a young hearing-impaired girl, wants to play outside in the rain, away from her brother Leo and her busy mother. She loves to feel the sensation of the rain running over her face. After escaping briefly to the wet green trees outside, she is grounded and not allowed to leave the house for a day. As evening approaches, Scully and her mother are able to share a special moment together watching the stars.
The Sound of All Things
PICTURE BOOK Ages 6-10 / Myron Uhlberg, Peachtree Publishing Company
An autobiographical account of author Myron Uhlberg and his journey with loving parents who were both deaf. The story elements reveal a day in the life of a young hearing boy and his deaf parents in Coney Island Brooklyn years ago. The detailed illustrations engage the reader and vividly capture the setting, plot and character development as this Brooklyn family takes an outing to Coney Island. Uhlberg’s father longs to know about how everything sounds, and he does his best to interpret the noisy surroundings through sign language but finds it difficult. The story is full of figurative language such as metaphor and simile and has strong themes and ideas around living two lives: one deaf and one hearing and the importance of love, family and communication. The ultimate solution for Uhlberg came with a visit to the library. Here he found the power of words and books which ultimately gave him the ability to give his father the experience of sound through his ears.
Kylie Gets A Cochlear Implant
PICTURE BOOK Ages 7-12 /Marilyn C. Rose, Strategic Book Group
Kylie Gets a Cochlear Implant is the heartwarming story of a little girl who loses her hearing and is heartbroken about the things she believes she can no longer do. Kylie loves to dance, but fears that without hearing the music, she won’t be able to feel the beat or the rhythm. She is very sad until she hears about a way to overcome her hearing loss. See what happens when Kylie undergoes a cochlear implant, which is a surgically implanted device that can help her hear sound and music. In fact, cochlear implants can be so successful that they are often called bionic ears Written by a teacher who works with deaf children, this story shows insight into what these brave children face.
Jessi’s Secret Language
NOVEL Ages 8-12 / Ann M. Martin, Scholastic
Jessi knows a secret language! She learned it from Matt Braddock, the BSC’s newest charge. Matt’s been deaf since birth, and he uses sign language to speak. Since Jessi is Matt’s baby-sitter, she’s been using sign language, too.
Soon all the kids in Stoneybrook want to learn to sign … which keeps the Baby-sitters busy. Jessi’s the busiest of all: she is working on another secret just for Matt. Will she be able to keep the secret and pull off her special event?
Now Hear This: Harper Soars with her Magic Ears
PICTURE BOOK Ages 8 -12 / Valli Gideons, Gatekeeper Press
When a child is diagnosed with hearing loss, it is overwhelming. The future can feel uncertain and parents might worry whether their child will thrive. Harper’s real-life story allows readers to follow her journey, providing both parents and children who are facing any kind of diagnosis a much-needed dose of encouragement. Through Harper’s navigation of hearing loss, kids can imagine what is possible. Understanding and awareness are key to feeling included, and the community around a child with hearing loss is critical. This story shares ways people in a deaf or hard of hearing child’s life can better support them. Harper’s witty approach to storytelling resonates with young readers and will surely inspire the people who love and support them.
NOVEL Ages 8 -12 / Stephen J. Cutler, PublishAmerica
A humorous, fun-filled baseball and camp story. Ten-year-old Jordan is injured in an unfortunate and frightening accident while trying out for the Little League Travel team. Recovery is difficult. At summer camp he struggles to conquer his anxiety and fear to return to his beloved game of baseball. He forms a friendship with a deaf Italian boy, Luca, who wears a cochlear implant. Luca’s compelling positive nothing-is-impossible attitude, along with the inspiration he draws from his idol, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., gives Jordan the courage to return to baseball with a passion. Find out what happens as Rally Caps are raised in the bottom of the final inning in the biggest game of Jordan’s life. Boys and girls alike will enjoy this touching story of persevering through difficult times.
GRAPHIC NOVEL Ages 8 -12 / Cece Bell, Harry N. Abrams
Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here, she’s different. She’s sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.
Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom but anywhere her teacher is in the school—in the hallway… in the teacher’s lounge… in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different . . . and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?
NOVEL Ages 9-12 / Debby Waldman, Orca Book Publishers
Addy has worn hearing aids for as long as she can remember. Her mother tells her this makes her special, but now that Addy’s in grade six, she wants to be special for what she’s done. When Addy joins the school running club to keep her best friend, Lucy, company, she discovers she is a gifted runner. Lucy isn’t, which is problematic. Further troubles surface when Addy gets paired on a school project with Sierra, a smart, self-assured new classmate who wears a cochlear implant. Addy is surprised to discover hearing loss is all they have in common—and a shared disability is not enough of a foundation for a friendship. True friends support each other, even if they have different passions and dreams. More importantly, Addy comes to understand that she is defined by more than her hearing loss. She has the power to choose how people will see her, and she does.