Sign of the Times

First Book of Sign Language cover

My First Book of
Sign Language

Submitter: The daycare I work at actually has a library! And the last time this collection was weeded was… never. So there were a lot of cases of books hanging on by a hope and a prayer but there were also books like this one. Good books teaching sign language can be hard to come by and this one is ok. Its pictures aren’t bad, the signs are ok for young kids but it was published in 1996. For hearing young children, it’s not that big of a deal that it’s out of date, but with modern technology being as it is and the fact that this isn’t a book you can really read to a kid, it went in the get rid of pile.

Holly: Maybe you would read it with the sibling of a hearing impaired child, to teach them sign language? I like the format with the pictures, and the words seem relevant to a child’s home and family life. It makes me wonder if more modern sign language books for kids do have technology words, like “C is for cell phone” and “I is for Internet”? Lol!

A is for Apple

B is for Baby

More helpful signs


  1. Has sign language evolved since the 90s? I suppose so long as the basics are the same, it’s okay. You don’t want to teach a kid an archaic version of a language that will just cause confusion.

  2. I had an art teacher who knew sign language because her father was deaf. She told us there wasn’t a sign for “computer” yet. That was back in the 80’s, so is there one now?

  3. I’m still a beginner at ASL, but I think these drawings aren’t great and are potentially wrong. I don’t know if it’s just changes in signs over the past 25 years or regional differences where I’ve been taking classes, but “boy” looks wrong (I’ve always seen it as your hand opening & closing in the formation shown at the forehead – not extending out). Sister/brother show index fingers together when I was taught pointing hands one on top of the other. And honestly, I don’t think ASL 101 classes teach the signs for “is” “are” or “am” at all. They aren’t used with frequency as far as I can tell, especially for beginners. I’d bet if you used them you’d confuse people more, based on ASL grammar.
    The idea of showing hand shapes for letters with other words with that letter isn’t that bad an idea for learning – but I would weed and find a better version for sure. It’s really hard to teach hand movements for signs in a book, and this one is misleading at best and potentially inaccurate/outdated.

  4. I just googled how to do the sign for computer, and it said to use your strong hand to form a letter C. “Strong hand”? Is that supposed to be your dominate hand or your right hand? I’m left-handed.

  5. Why does the description say 2004 when the submitter says it’s from 1996? Is this a reprint?

  6. I think it is a reprint. I was double checking the bibliographic and I probably looked at the wrong edition. The original copyright is 1996.

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