Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baby Signs-Book Reviews

I hate computers. For whatever reason my lovely fingers clicked on the publish post button before I had even written a thing. Oh La.

Anyways- I'm here to review three books about Baby Signs. Two are about teaching your child signs and the other book is a children's book. We'll start with the children's book.

Baby Signs: A Baby-sized introduction to speaking with sign language pictures by Joy Allen
This book teaches children thirteen baby signs complete with pictures of a baby using them. There are a few issues with this book. First off, the sign for "dog" that the book uses is not an ASL sign. Secondly, I'm having trouble understand if the word for "sleepy" could be the same as the word for "bed:. I'm not all that familiar with ASL to know if it's the same word because the book uses the ASL word for "bed" and says it's "sleepy". Now I know "to sleep" is a different sign. And they didn't use that one. If you're not worried about the book showing a few screwy signs, than this book is for you. Otherwise substitute the correct ASL word for "dog" when reading the book. The picture could be interpreted as such even though the sign explanation says otherwise. Babies won't know the difference.

Sign Language for Babies and Toddler by Christopher Brown and John Clements
This book is a great starter reference book for parents. It shows colors, numbers, letters, some food, some animals, mommy, daddy, basics of every day baby hood, and explains how you can use the basic words to make simple phrases like "where's daddy" although the words "home", or "house" or "work" aren't included. So you can ask the question but can't answer it with this reference. I also don't like the explanation for the sign. The word "where" for example is confusing to me. If it hadn't been for the next book I would have not completed the sign correctly. The word "where" is like shaking a finger at someone. So don't confuse your child by saying "no" and shaking a finger. That's another sign. (side note: I can't wait to see someone say "no" and shake their finger at HB. He's going to think that their trying to say "where" and get all confused).

The next book I would love to own and stumbled upon in the library. It's a more complete version of signs for babies and strictly uses ASL (where's the other book suggests that you can modify signs). It also explains that some words that have two different meanings in the English language but are one word have different signs for each of the meanings in ASL and some synonyms in English only have one ASL sign. This book is Teach your Tot to Sign: the Parent's Guide to American Sign Language by Stacy A. Thompson. I highly recommend this book if you want to start working on sign language.

HB and I have been working on baby signs. We've only covered "Mommy" "Daddy" and "HB" and the phrases "Where's Mommy/Daddy/HB" with the response "here,there, and work." He really pays attention to the signs since it's a visual sign with the auditory word. I'm betting that as soon as his brain develops more and he has more coordination he'll be able to ask for people. That's when I'll add more signs. For now this is sufficient.


  1. Interesting... we only did a few signs w/ Kalila. May do more this time, not sure... is a good idea though.

  2. My Ob recommended it and we worked on a few signs at the day care. But if the parents aren't doing them at home, the child learns very few signs. So I'm not sure how helpful they will be. Although I've heard many stories. Including one about a fussy toddler who was tired. They were in the car and the mom asked what was wrong and the toddler signed "home" and she told him that that's where they were going. And immediately he settled down.

    I do other signs here and there. Like today I did the sign used for clapping hands. HB hasn't got that coordination yet and it's also appropriate for times when he needs to be quite (like looking at books during Mass or other formal occasions).


I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!