218. “Moses Goes to the Circus” by Issac Millman

Today’s book brings children to two different worlds. One is a glamorous, snazzy and loud world of Circus. The other one is a quiet and enigmatic world of a little boy, Moses. Moses is like every other boy, except he can’t hear. He uses sign language for communication. Thanks to the sign language interpreter in the circus, he can enjoy the performance as well as the rest of the audience.  And what a show it is: wild animals, acrobats, clowns! Thanks to Isaac Millman’s story and pictures, not only can the readers participate in the experience, but they can also learn how to talk about it in the American Sign Language. The book provides signing instructions.

I have to honestly admit, that as much as I love learning languages, I am quite ignorant about the sign language. I am more verbal than dexterous, for one, and I never met anyone who signs. As a young mom, however, I noticed that  many educators and  parents promote the sign language as the first means of communication for babies. It is supposed to help them to express themselves without frustration. Personally, and as a linguist, I don’t support this theory. I think that signing can often delay the speaking skills, and the parents so eager to talk to their children will have to wait even longer. But I do agree that signing provides children with extra stimulation and helps to enhance coordination and fine motor skills.


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