StoryTime with Signs and Ryhmes Review


Issue: October 1, 2009

The Big Blue Bowl: Sign Language for Food.

Prochovnic, Dawn Babb (Author) , Bauer, Stephanie (Illustrator)

Sep 2009. 32 p. ABDO/Magic Wagon, library edition, $18.95. (9781602706682).

Children who are interested in learning sign language will find the Story Time with Signs & Rhymes series an intriguing place to start. Rather than just offering the letters and some examples of American Sign Language (although that is included), the main selling point here is how the story becomes a vehicle for the signs. This title, which focuses on food words, contains a variation of the familiar Little Red Hen tale; only here the other animals help a hen fill her bowl with various foodstuffs before helping her eat it.

The book begins with the alphabet handshapes, followed by the story, which has one featured word in boldface; that’s the word that is demonstrated on the opposite page. At first glance, the word may not seem all that easy to form from the pictured inset, but happily, an appended two-page spread gives more detailed instructions on how to make the word, as well as the reasoning behind the sign. The pleasing, thickly colored artwork is well above that found in many series books, and even without the sign-language hook, kids will enjoy the repetition and rhyme of the tale. “Fun Facts” and “Signing Activities” neatly close this well-thought-out book.

— Ilene Cooper