Hands and Hearts
by Donna Jo Napoli
illustrated by Amy Bates
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2014. picture book
As a mother and daughter play on a beach, they use sign language to describe what they are doing and seeing. On one side of each two page spread is a watercolor illustration of the two at the beach, and on the other is a diagram showing how to sign one of the things from the picture. The watercolor illustrations capture the feeling of a quiet beach in summer. In some of the pictures the mother or daughter seems to be signing the featured word, but in others the two are just having fun. Bate's diagrams of the hand signs are clear and easy to follow. Napoli and Bates successfully teach a few words in sign language, and convey the idea that being able to sign is a wonderful way to communicate.