Our 10 Favorite Children’s Books Featuring Hearing Loss, Deaf Culture, and Sign Language

Children's books featuring hearing loss and deaf culture

Did you know that this week is the International Week of Deaf People? The weeklong celebration focuses on Deaf history and community as well as signed languages around the world. If you’ve ever considered learning more about sign language or Deaf culture, this week is the time to do it! To get you started, here are some of our favorite books for kids, featuring hearing loss, Deaf culture, and sign language! 

  1. Freddie and the Fairy  by Julia Donaldson and Karen George
    This is a sweet story and a great introduction to hearing loss. It features a little boy who helps save a fairy, who then offers to grant him some wishes…only she can’t hear him very well! Throughout the story, Freddie learns how to communicate with the fairy by speaking clearly and looking at her. Use this book to talk with your child about how there are many kinds of hearing loss! Some people might speak and others might sign.

  2. Sign About book series by Anthony Lewis
    This is a toddler-friendly series that includes multiple board books with different themes that you can learn signs for, such as signs for playtime or signs for mealtime. The books include illustrations and descriptions of how to make each sign in the book, as well as a guide to ASL handshapes on the back for reference. They are great for introducing toddlers to signs and practicing them together!

  3. The Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language by The Editors of Gallaudet University Press (Author), Jean M. Gordon, Debbie Tilley (Illustrator), Peggy Swartzel Lott (Illustrator), Daniel Renner (Illustrator), Rob Hills (Illustrator)
    If you have an older child who is interested in ASL and is a bit more independent, this is the book for you! A colorful dictionary made for kids five and up; it also links to a child-friendly video website where they can view videos of other children demonstrating the signs. It gives a brief introduction to fingerspelling, types of signs, and movements for signs. I love that in addition to the sign, it gives synonyms for which the same sign may be used.

  4. Bessie Needs Hearing Aids by Jenna Harmke and Toby Mikle
    This book is about a sweet bunny who goes to her first day of school, only to find out she can’t hear her classmates. It talks about going to a doctor and finding out she needs hearing aids and being able to hear her friends after she gets them. This book would help introduce the idea of hearing aids to an older sibling or child who is getting their first pair of hearing aids or asking questions about a classmate who has them.

  5. Ranvir Cannot Hear by Genevieve Yusuf and Shermain Philip
    This is a great book about acceptance! In this book, Ranvir the elephant sets out to find his hearing. Along the way, he meets a whole host of friends who can’t do things that others can…but they come to realize that they all have their own special skills regardless of any difficulties. The book features both the American Sign Language and British Sign Language alphabets on the back cover.

  6. Dad and Me in the Morning by Patricia Lakin and Robert G. Steele
    This one is a lesson in mindfulness, with a dose of hearing loss sprinkled in there! Jacob has an unspecified hearing loss, but uses signs and reads lips. The story follows Jacob and his father relaxing in nature before watching the sunrise.

  7. Mila Gets Her Super Ears by Ashley Machovec and Megan Jansen
    This is a great book for introducing the steps of what happens with hearing loss. You and your child can join Mila and her family as her hearing loss is identified and she uses hearing aids and eventually gets a cochlear implant. If you have a young child with hearing loss, this book is wonderful for helping siblings understand the process and what they are doing to help.

  8. All the Ways I Hear You by Stephanie Marrufo and Priscila Soares
    This is a sweet, inclusive book for kids! Follow along with Sy as he introduces all of his friends, who use a variety of different hearing technology and communication styles. The book features everything from ASL to AAC devices and can be used to teach kids inclusivity for those with hearing and communication differences. It also includes a helpful glossary of terms for different types of devices.

  9. Rally Caps by  Stephen J. and Jodi Michelle Cutler
    For older kids, check out Rally Caps! While the story is not about hearing loss, it features a deaf character who uses a cochlear implant. Luca serves as a positive role model for teens, and helps them see that hearing loss doesn’t need to slow them down!

  10. The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais
    For teens, this book follows Maya as she moves halfway across the country and switches from a Deaf school to a mainstream hearing school. The book touches on a variety of Deaf issues, like interpreters, speech reading, signing, and discrimination—and gets bonus points for depicting signed ASL using ASL grammar. 

However you choose to celebrate International Week of Deaf People, remember that it’s important for your child to continue to develop their speech, language, and listening skills! Reach out to us at Clubhouse for a free screening or evaluation if you have concerns about your child!

Written by Kate Gilliat M.S., CCC-SLP

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