Picture Books About American Sign Language and Deaf Culture

The following resources are ones that I personally recommend and are not a comprehensive list of available resources on this topic.

A to Z Sign With Me: Sign Language for the Alphabet by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2012: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

Baby’s First Signs by Kim Votry. Gallaudet University Press, 2001; More Baby’s First Signs by Kim Votry. Gallaudet University Press, 2003; Out for a Walk by Kim Votry. Gallaudet University Press, 2003; A Book of Colors by Kim Votry. Gallaudet University Press, 2003: Simple board books that introduces basic signs.

Best Day in Room A: Sign Language for School Activities (Story Time With Signs & Rhymes) by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2009: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

Big Blue Bowl: Sign Language for Food (Story Time With Signs & Rhymes) by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2000: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

Dad, Jackie, and Me by Myron Uhlberg and Colin Bootman. Peachtree, 2005: A hearing boy and his deaf father bond over their shared love of baseball and Jackie Robinson in 1947 Brooklyn.

Famous Fenton Has a Farm: Sign Language for Farm Animals (Story Time with Signs & Rhymes) by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2009: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

Four Seasons! Five Senses(Story Time With Signs & Rhymes) by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2012: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

The Handmade Alphabet by Laura Rankin.  Dial, 1991: To celebrate the expressiveness of ASL, artist Laura Rankin presents her striking interpretation of the manual alphabet. Here, the hand that signs “V” holds a valentine, “I” points to delicate icicles, and “O” dangles a shining ornament.

The Handmade Counting Book by Laura Rankin.  Dial, 1998: Pairs American Sign Language signs for the numbers 1-20, 25, 50, 75, and 100 with beautifully drawn objects.

Hands and Hearts by Donna Jo Napoli. Abrams, 2014: On the surface, this is a simple, lyrical tale of mother and daughter spending a day at the beach, but every bit of it is built around the things their hands do: waving hello to the waves, digging in the sand, making a tent, and even being “Yak yak hands/yak yak fingers/telling as we run/out the gate down the path.”  It’s a subtle reference to mother and child signing, and indeed, each page is accompanied by illustrations teaching a relevant sign such as RUN, WATER, or SUN.

Handsigns: A Sign Language Alphabet by Kathleen Fain.  Chronicle, 1993: A clever book demonstrating the manual alphabet.

Handy Stories to Read and Sign by Donna Jo Napoli and Doreen DeLuca. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 2009. Simple seasonal stories designed for children whose first language is ASL.

Hip, Hip, Hooray! It’s Family Day!: Sign Language for Family (Story Time with Signs & Rhymes) by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2012: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

Let’s Eat by Tina Jo Breindel. DawnSign Press, 2005: A simple board book introducing food signs.

Let’s Sign: Every Baby’s Guide to Communicating with Grownups by Kelly Ault and Leo Landry. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2005: A trio of simple stories featuring basic signs.

Moses Goes to the Circus by Isaac Millman. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003. Moses Goes to a Concert by Isaac Millman. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1998. Moses Sees a Play by Isaac Millman. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004. Moses Goes to School by Isaac Millman. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000: These inventive picture books feature Moses, who is Deaf, and teach some basic signs along with information about schools for the deaf and intercultural communication.

My First Signs by Annie Kubler.  Child’s Play, 2005: A board book featuring basic signs.

My Heart Glow: Alice Cogswell, Thomas Gallaudet, and the Birth of American Sign Language by Emily Arnold McCully. Hyperion, 2008: The story of the first school for the deaf in the United States from the point of view of Alice Cogswell, the young deaf girl who inspired Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet’s trek to Europe to learn how to teach deaf children.

The Nest Where I Like to Rest: Sign Language for Animals (Story Time with Signs & Rhymes) by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2009: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

Nita’s First Signs by Kathy MacMillan. Familius, 2018; Nita’s Day by Kathy MacMillan. Familius, 2018 : Simple board book stories about Nita, a young child who communicates with her family using ASL. The pages slide open to teach 10 basic ASL signs in each book.

The Printer by Myron Uhlberg and Ted Papoulas. Peachtree, 2003: This unique picture book presents the tale of a deaf printer who, through the use of American Sign Language, is able to communicate with other deaf printers over the roar of the printing presses, and save their hearing counterparts from a fire.

See the Colors: Sign Language for Colors (Story Time With Signs & Rhymes) by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2010: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

Sign and Singalong: Baa, Baa Black Sheep by Annie Kubler. Auburn, ME: Child’s Play, 2004; Sign and Singalong: Itsy Bitsy Spider by Annie Kubler. Auburn, ME: Child’s Play, 2004; Sign and Singalong: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear by Annie Kubler. Auburn, ME: Child’s Play, 2004; Sign and Singalong: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Annie Kubler. Auburn, ME: Child’s Play, 2004: Bright board books featuring favorite rhymes and songs accompanied by signs.

Sign Language ABC by Lora Heller. Sterling, 2012: A simple introduction to the American manual alphabet.

Silly Sue: Sign Language for Actions (Story Time With Signs & Rhymes) by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2009: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

Simple Signs by Cindy Wheeler. Viking, 1995; More Simple Signs by Cindy Wheeler. Viking, 1998: Simple picture books that introduce basic signs for children.

So Many Feelings: Sign Language for Feelings and Emotions (Story Time with Signs & Rhymes) by by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2012: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

The Sound of All Things by Myron Uhlberg and Ted Papoulas. Peachtree, 2016: This autobiographical story follows a hearing boy and his deaf parents on a trip to Coney Island in the 1930s.

Victory Week by Walter P. Kelley and Tony Landon McGregor. Deaf Life Press, 1998: A child’s-eye view of the March 1988 “Deaf President Now” protest.

Watch Me Go: Sign Language for Vehicles (Story Time with Signs & Rhymes) by Dawn Babb Prochovnic. Magic Wagon, 2009: This series introduces basic ASL vocabulary through bright, rhyming stories.

The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game by Nancy Churnin and Jez Tuya. Whitman, 2016: William Ellsworth Hoy has long been a hero of the Deaf community – a record-setting baseball player who played for multiple National League teams and changed the way that baseball was played. Churnin’s approachable text and Tuya’s expressive illustrations take readers along with William’s struggles to be taken seriously by the hearing world. Read an interview with the author at https://wp.me/p36SRC-gD