Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Product Review: Fun with Abby & Alyssa books

We have a great review to announce!

Check out the new Fun With Abby and Alyssa book series written by Grandpa Don. 

Grandpa Don decided to write these series of books when he longed to find a way to communicate with his two granddaughters, Abby and Alyssa. Abby is 3 years old and is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Alyssa is 7 years old and has global developmental delays. Both girls are hearing but Grandpa Don saw the value of sign language to provide them with an enriched language experience. 

Grandpa Don geared his books toward early communicators and readers. He created 6 books, each with their own theme (e.g. zoo, home, school, etc.). Each sign is described and illustrated by Alyssa or Abby in the book. 

What I love:

  • the child focus (so many signing books are focused on infants right now that it's refreshing to see something for the next age group)
  • the text and pictorial description of how to sign each sign
  • the "What" questions allows for great processing skills development and language expansion. Moreover, if the child reading the book has a language processing delay or impairment, she or he will still be able to answer the question because of the visual prompt (the answer right there on the bottom of the page -- see the picture for the example - the question is asked and the picture of the lion is presented to assist in answering the question.  Now I know others may not think that much into it but being a speech therapist I truly appreciate it.
What I wondered about ...

  • When I read it to my daughter, I confirmed my thought it's not for young toddlers (which is fine because it's target audience is explicitly described on their site). But when I was reading it I found myself saying "Abby said ..." or "Alyssa said .." and pointing to the girls on the page because it's not there in the text. But Grandpa Don does have the quote bubbles coming out so it's obvious to me who's talking (but not to my young daughter). It's very minor, I know, but it's just my comment. It actually allows for joint referencing and good conversation building for the target audience children- which is actually a great thing!
  • I wondered about other possible future medias or the next steps for Abby and Alyssa. Grandpa Don confirmed, via email, that there are future prospects for other media and future steps for Abby and Alyssa series. (That made me happy!)
Fun With Abby and Alyssa website is nicely laid out and provides free ABC and number downloads. Check out their site!

These books are a great tool for young readers. The descriptive lay out of the signs allow for educational signing growth for both mommy and daddy and the child reading it!

Go check out Grandpa Don's site and his great book! A+ from HearMyHands. 

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