The latest entries in the Scholastic Storybook Treasures series incorporate sign language in the read-along stories. The DVDs in this series were designed to “help children of all hearing abilities to gain literacy and pre-reading skills.” They teach early sign language skills in a format appropriate for preschool children. As in all the DVDs in the Storybook Treasures series, fun, colorful illustrations delight the eye as the story is told.
Scholastic Storybook Treasures – Goodnight Moon presents three stories: Goodnight Moon, A Creature was Stirring, and Gladys Goes Out to Lunch. Each is a reading of the original storybook with captions so children can read along, limited animation, and a sign language interpreter signing along with the reading.
Goodnight Moon is the classic bedtime story young children have loved for years. A Creature Was Stirring is the tale of a little boy who couldn’t sleep Christmas Eve—he was too excited—and how he bravely saved Santa’s sleigh. Gladys Goes Out to Lunch tells of a gorilla in the zoo who loved bananas until, one day, she smelled something delightful. Off she went in search of whatever it may be, finding that it wasn’t pizza, and it wasn’t fancy French food; it wasn’t even ice cream.
Scholastic Storybook Treasures – A Pocket for Corduroy offers the long-popular title story about the adventures of a stuffed bear that wanders off in search of a pocket while at the laundromat with his little girl owner. Two other stories on the subject of unlikely friendships are Blue Burt and Wiggles about two best friends who happen to be a bird and a worm that don’t want to let summer end, and Big Al about a very big, very lonely fish who wants to make friends, but the smaller fish are afraid of him until they learn what a valuable friend he can be.
All three stories on each DVD are appropriate for toddlers, beginning readers, and beginning signers, and are recommended for ages two through nine. Captions can be left on or turned off. Extras include vocabulary and quiz activities for each story and a demonstration of the ASL (American Sign Language) alphabet. Each vocabulary exercise demonstrates the proper sign for a variety of the words used in the related story; the quizzes test comprehension. The stories and activities are designed to support vocabulary, comprehension and fine motor skills.
There are two very good reasons why parents of hearing children should introduce them to ASL. One comes from Scholastic: “Studies have linked early sign language learning to improved fine motor skills, increased vocabulary [and] higher IQ scores.” The other is common sense: the more skills a child has, the more adaptable s/he is. This adaptability translates to increased opportunities. In addition to these two titles, available July 27, fall promises more treasure with the release of Five Little Monkeys. I can hardly wait!