Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.


This is a great book for young children of all ages. Babies and toddlers enjoy the bold colours and animal shapes. Beginning readers quickly pick up on the pattern of the book and are often able to predict what animal comes next after only a short time. The rhythm of the question and answer pattern of this book is shown in the way Simone moves as she signs the story. She really looks like she is enjoying the story!

It is important to choose books that both you and your child enjoy because children pick up on our body language. It can be difficult to get excited about a story when you’ve read it over and over again. But with this repetition, your child is gaining a deeper understanding of the book and the reading process in general. One of the key principles for reading with your deaf child offered by the Le Clerc Centre’s Shared Reading Project is to “translate stories using American Sign Language.”

From research with deaf parents and their children, it is clear that using ASL to read stories is most engaging for deaf children. The first step is to keep them interested and since they are also aware of our comfort level that may mean only reading a few pages at a time. With repeated readings deaf children will build their understanding of both ASL and English.