Sunday, October 31, 2010

Review (Idiot's Guide to Baby Sign language)

The Idiot's Guide to Baby Sign Language, Second Edition by Diane Ryan addresses all the issues that a parent making the choice to sign to their baby would want to know. Everything from how this will enhance your child's speaking skills not detract from their ability to use spoken English. She also addresses the importance of repetition and to encouraging all family members to learn some basic signs to facilitate the most dynamic communication environment for your little signer. I did find her tone to be a bit over the top, so much so that I felt that she was talking down to the reader throughout the first part of this book. However the information presented was/is solid.

My favorite parts of the book are in the later half where there is a sign dictionary that shows parents over 150 ASL signs and "home-made" gestures in a clear easy to read format. I love that she clearly delineates those signs that are true American Sign Language and those that she has felt it important to modify for easier clarification. As a sign language interpreter myself, I would personally recommend using the ASL sign when possible.

In the very back of the book are several appendices, my favorite of which is Appendix E. In this portion of the book you will see a Baby Sign Language Journal where you will see the most commonly used "baby signs" both pictorially represented and with a brief description. Below the description and next to each sign is also a place for you to jot down the date you introduced the sign, when your child mastered it and any additional notes--perhaps any variant of the sign that your child tends to use when communication that word or concept. I think this will serve as a great reminder to you of the progress your child made and will be fun to look at and reflect upon years down the road. But, more than that you can cut out or make copies of these pages to give to any caregiver, so that they can decipher and incorporate these signs when caring for your child.

All in all, it's a beneficial book and one that I'd recommend you have on hand for reference when looking to broaden the ways to effectively communicate with your new bundle of joy.

Want to win a copy for yourself? Enter below.


To Enter: (Please note bundling comments will only give you one entry to win. Please leave four separate comments to increase your chances of winning.) Please be sure to include your e-mail address in the following format (jane at gmail dot com) with your comments. Winners will be notified by e-mail. I will no longer be posting a separate "Winner" post.

1) What would be 5 signs that would help you to communicate better with your children?

2) Is there another "Idiot's Guide" book that you'd like to see done as a review/giveaway?

3) Copy and paste the following to Twitter or Facebook: "It's a full day of  Trick-or-Treating on Check it out!" And, then leave a note here letting me know that you have done so.

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Open to residents in the U.S. with a "street" mailing address. (No PO Boxes.)

Winner will be selected at random on November 4, 2010 at 11:59pm. Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize. If not claimed a new winner will be selected. Tell your friends, tell your family—spread the word. Good Luck!

[Disclosure: Alpha Books provided me a copy of The Idiot's Guide to Baby Sign Language for test/review purposes and agreed to provide a book to one lucky reader as well. The opinions expressed in this review are mine and mine alone and were in no way influenced by Alpha Books..]


  1. I would love to win this! It would be great to be able to communicate with little Gabriel earlier rather than later. :) Words like: hungry, milk, Mommy, Daddy, I love you, up, down, play... the list goes on and on.

    I don't really know any other Idiot's Guide books, so I can't really comment on that.

    Tweeted, following! :)

  2. 2 I don't really know any other Idiot's Guide books, so I can't really comment on that.

  3. 3 Tweeted!!/vannypants


    Winners have been selected and notified.


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