Sign Language ABC

Sign Language ABC

5.0 2
by Lora Heller

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A is for ASTRONAUT, B is for BIRD, and C is for CRAB. Bold and bright, hip and cool, this striking ABC book is like none other: each page teaches children the American Sign Language alphabet through a combination of letters, hand spelling, and adorable illustrations.


A is for ASTRONAUT, B is for BIRD, and C is for CRAB. Bold and bright, hip and cool, this striking ABC book is like none other: each page teaches children the American Sign Language alphabet through a combination of letters, hand spelling, and adorable illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this compact alphabet book and introduction to American Sign Language, Heller, who founded the New York City Baby Fingers sign language program, presents finger spelling as both a useful skill and a fun way to communicate with friends. Small hands, placed within inset circles, model how to spell letters A to Z, appearing alongside friendly cartoon characters that include a mermaid, robot, and whale. A final page includes a chart of all of the signs for quick reference. The inviting images and accessible format make this an encouraging primer on ASL. Ages 4–7. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Pre S-Gr 1—This basic alphabet book presents the American Sign Language Manual Alphabet. Each letter is accompanied by a simple sentence in English and a picture of an object or activity beginning with that letter. Many of the choices are standard fare ("B is for bird," "X is for xylophone"), but others surprise ("A is for astronaut," "M is for mermaid," "P is for pirate"). Close-up illustrations of hands in a variety of skin tones clearly show the manual letters. The illustrations are bright and have a computer-generated, cartoon feel. The bold style and simple, clean design make this book an ideal way to introduce the ASL alphabet to young children.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Kirkus Reviews
Clean, digital illustrations depict one word for each letter of the alphabet in sign language. For example, "F is for Fish" shows a boy catching a fish: The letter F is at the top of the page, and in a circle underneath is the hand sign with the simple sentence printed across the bottom. Most of the letter choices are common, with a few that are less so: J for Juggle; R for Robot; V for Vegetables; Y for Yo-yo. A one-page pictograph of all of the signs finishes the book. It all seems innocuous enough, but the total de-contextualization of the manual alphabet and sign language in general is breathtakingly irresponsible. The introduction, which is directed to child readers, entices children into the activity by promoting sign-language finger spelling as "your own secret language." "Imagine… spelling something to your brother or sister that your parents don't understand. You can--with sign language!" Nowhere is there a reference to American Sign Language as a major communication system for people who are deaf or any encouragement to use this skill with them. Other books do it better (with sensitivity): Handsigns, by Kathleen Fain (1993), and The Handmade Alphabet, by Laura Rankin (1991). (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

Sterling Children's Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

In her New York City Baby Fingers™ school, Lora Heller teaches infants to sign before they can speak. She has been featured in the the New York Times and is author of Sterling's Sign Language for Kids: A Fun and Easy Guide to American Sign Language and our Baby Fingers™ books, Hello, Goodbye; All Day Long; I Want; I'm Feeling; and Teaching Your Baby to Sign. Laura lives in New York, NY. Learn more about her at

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Sign Language ABC 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I"m thoroughly impressed by the delightful, colorful yet accessible approach to sign language. My kids, just two and five, who were just listening to books being read to them, were thrilled to spell words using American Sign Language. The two year old, of course, was doing more mimicry of his big brother, but that was a wonderful to see. It actually increased my older son's desire and ability to read. Perhaps it created an additional, physical connection to the alphabet. After all, writing requires much more sophisticated motor skills than shaping your hand. They've been playing ball and building blocks practically since they were born! Whatever the reason, I am thrilled with the results, not to mention that it was fun for me to learn all of the letters of American Sign Language. I also love to bring my nook everywhere, and now I can have my books and my kids' books in the same place!
Kelly_the_Garden_Teacher More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for my one year old signing son as soon as it came out and am very pleased I did. It's an excellent book for teaching the ABC's to small children whether or not you want to incorporate signing into your child's life. The artwork is silly and creative for ABC's. It's not your typical "A is for apple" stuff. The kid centered ideas in the front of the book (for using the sign language alphabet) are great. This would be a unique and exciting gift idea for best friends who are a little older- say kindergarten and elementary age- and would get a kick out of having a "secret" language and being able to "talk" in quiet places! I think the signs are easy to interpret and the book perfectly matches is purpose.