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My First Signs (Baby Signing) Board book – March 31, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 171 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

PreS. Recent publicity about the benefits of teaching a few words of American Sign Language to all babies and toddlers has encouraged many parents to try it. This large-format board book offers a practical, enjoyable resource for teaching both hearing and deaf children the hand signs for common words. Each page shows four or five toddlers illustrating signs for well-chosen words or concepts--for example, "eat," "more," "out /outside," "sorry," and "good." In many of the pictures, the child has a simple prop, such as a toy car or a bathtub, that helps clarify the idea. Standard American Sign Language hand signs and appropriate facial expressions are used in the pictures. Washed with warm colors, the winsome art portrays a racially diverse cast of rotund toddlers doing everyday things, making this an appealing choice, even without any thought of teaching youngsters to sign. A line in small type at the bottom of each page offers adult readers a practical tip for teaching kids to use signs. Well designed for the purpose and great fun for babies and toddlers. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Signing guide to 40 key words. Childlike lovable illustrated characters depict the signs throughout this large board book. A helpful description on hand shapes and movements accompanies each sign. Under 5 Magazine When babies cry, you don't always know what they want - but they may be able to tell you. Babies can coordinate their hand muscles long before they can speak and, if they learn simple signs, they're able to convey their needs from as early as eight months. It's a system called 'baby signing', and it's been popular in the US for years. It can also help your child to speak earlier and use a larger vocabulary. And as it's based on British Sign Language, you're learning a lifelong skill. Parents and babies can learn at classes (visit www.totstalkinghands.co.uk) or through books such as 'My First Signs', GBP4.99, a dictionary of simple words, and 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star', one of four Sign & Sing-Along books by Annie Kubler. For more information visit www.childs-play.com SHE magazine For those who would like to give it [Baby Signing] a try in the privacy of their own home, 'My First Signs' is the perfect answer. This is a beautifully illustrated dictionary of over 40 key signs to teach your baby. Not only does it clearly demonstrate the gestures but also uses adorable illustrations that are pleasant to look at. The book is a large glossy board format so it's easy to prop up in front of you and your child. Each picture is accompanied by simple instructions on how to make the sign. The signs are based around British Sign Language as this is the standard sign language used by baby signers, it's important that baby signs can be understood by others. It is felt that children as young as eight months can be taught to sign and the book also suggests teaching a few signs to any additional carers that your child may come into contact with, such as a childminder or babysitter, and even older siblings. At just GBP4.99 this book is not a huge investment and may avoid tempers fraying in those early years. Harpenden and District NCT Newsletter If this book had been available when I looked into the issue [of baby signing] the first time, I would not have hesitated to buy it. I intend to try and use it for baby number two when I consider that he/she is old enough to be able to communicate using signs. The book is produced in a board format so there are no pages to rip. It is bright and colourful, perfect for sitting down and looking through with children. There are excellent illustrations of babies which clearly show them making the action of the sign, but there is also a small written description of the sign in case you are not 100% sure of the action being demonstrated. At the very bottom of the page there is one line which provides a handy hint for the parent, such as only introducing three or four signs to start with and which ones are likely to be most successful. There is no long spiel in it about the background of baby signing, which most of us would happily admit that we don't need to read. The book is really simple to use, just ten minutes of flicking through the book, reading the hints on starting to sign and then learning the first couple of signs yourself is all it takes. Eastleigh & District NCT When asked to review a book about baby signing I was filled with trepidation! The usual textbooks (I use the term loosely) are quite uninspiring and mostly aimed at the parent or carer and not the child. On seeing 'My First Signs' I was pleasantly surprised, it is in colour (my previous experience of signing books being dreary and in black and white). It is illustrated with cartoon-like pictures that really appeal to children and adults alike. The little text there is explains how to perform the sign in an easy manner. The book is designed to be read with your child, not just as a reference. Emily and I had great fun looking at it together. I read out the signs and she showed me them, appearing to look at the pictures and copy what she saw. The signs she didn't know, she grasped quickly by copying the pictures. I particularly like the fact that each picture is a full scene e.g. bathtime, so that we can talk about each picture and use the appropriate sign. Although it doesn't have a comprehensive list of signs it does contain the common ones for everyday use such as milk, food, more and drink. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in starting to sign with their baby and those who have been signing for a while. I just wish that we had obtained a copy at the start of our signing days! -- Julia Gilbert Romsey & District NCT Newsletter These are absolutely gorgeous - a must for any new parent. We only got as far as 'eat', 'drink', 'more' and 'finished' with Amy (now 3) - if only we'd had these lovely books we'd still be signing today! The robust board format with wipe clean pages will stand up to lots of reading and exploration by parents and babies alike. The illustrations are bright, clear and quite enchanting - not only will Mum and Dad be able to learn the signs quickly and easily, but the characters are very engaging for small minds. My First Signs runs through all the early signs centred around food and drink, then moves on through subjects like bath and bedtime, playtime, outdoor fun, behaviour and health ending very sweetly on 'I Love You'. You will probably find that some of the signs come naturally - like the pointy ears for 'rabbit' or the charades mime for 'book' - but some are less obvious, but incredibly useful - like 'ill' and 'medicine'. Alongside the individual signs, you are also reminded of how to teach each of them to your baby and given encouragement not to worry if they creatively adapt signs for their own benefit! So long as you both know what the sign means, that's all that matters! The nursery rhyme Sign & Sing-Along quartet offers you the chance to expand your signing vocabulary through song. Most of us instinctively use hand signals through 'Twinkle, Twinkle' or 'Incey Wincey', but here they are taken a little further, signing the words and concepts rather than just the twinkly stars and finger diamonds. These are beautifully crafted books that are sure to become long-standing family favourites - and they also offer a wonderful start to your baby's communication skills. Byfleet and District NCT Newsletter Babies communicate in gestures long before they learn to talk, so baby signing is a great way to communicate with your baby. Babies from as young as seven months can 'talk' to you through signs and this book is an excellent introduction. A well-presented board book, this contains signs for over 40 key words. Lovely illustrations of babies make this a most attractive book to share with your baby, while learning the signs. The signs are based on British Sign Language and are suitable for deaf and hearing children; they are also Makaton compatible. Each colourful page has useful tips along the bottom.There are lots more signing books published by Child's Play, so there are plenty of opportunities to extend this early learning. Parents In Touch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: Baby - 3 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 1
  • Series: Baby Signing
  • Board book: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Childs Play Intl Ltd (March 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904550398
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904550396
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Board book Verified Purchase
After reading the reviews that this book was based on BSL - I doubled checked all the words with online dictionaries - in both ASL and BSL. All the words in this book are based on ASL. There are a few that are more basic than the original sign - but this is to enable your baby to learn. Remember -this is for BABIES.
The sign for 'bed/sleep' is only really for 'bed', but the sign for sleep might be too difficult for babies at first, so 'bed' can be used, as in, 'Time for bed.' 'Let's go to bed.'
The sign for 'sick' is simplified - usually that sign would be done with both hands -one on the forehead and one on the stomach. This can always be added later once the baby knows what the sign means. Or she can begin to say 'sick/head' 'sick/stomach'.
Lastly - the sign for 'dog' is correct. Patting the leg is a popular, widely used generalization of the term. The original sign is very difficult as far as young learners are concerned - but can be taught later. You will read that the 'patting the leg' is common and most people know it.
Once again - this is for BABIES. There are 43 words with adorable and riveting pictures depicting babies doing each sign, sometimes with a prop to further illustrate -which youngsters learn well from. They are basics to speak to your baby and eventually have them speak back to you.. A great book for babies to toddlers.
Oh - it is a large board book - about 11"x11". Nice for kids to hold. But not something you tuck into your purse. ;)
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Format: Board book
I'm an occupational therapist and I absolutely loved using this book with my daughter. We used it from the age of 6 months to 17 months,when my daughter started to use more verbal language. I've read the other reviews and they state that the book is BSL, which I didn't even realize (not being a speech language pathologist, I'm not exposed to sign language as much). The book was great for what I think it's intended to be. It seems to be appropriate for infants to toddlers that are learning sign language as a precursor to verbal language. The children that would benefit from it won't communicate with other people who use standard ASL and won't use sign language as their main form of communication. My daughter learned approximately 20-25 signs to communicate to me things that she wanted and it cut down on a lot of frustration. I also noticed that if the word that she wanted to communicate wasn't in the book or wasn't something that I taught her, she would make up a sign...she even made up a sign for The Wiggles. This book is great for an infant/toddler because the pages are cardboard (they won't tear), the pictures are age appropriate for a baby, and it's easy to understand. I've seen several baby sign language books and none were appropriate to sit down and look at with a baby. This book was actually the first book that my daughter wanted to "read" before she went to bed, because she could "read" it. Again, a wonderful book for a infant/toddler who isn't going to use sign language as their main form of communication. My daughter is now 20 months old and has been talking for awhile and I really contribute it to her use of sign language prior to verbal language. Even if there's not a word that your baby wants to communicate in the book, just make it up. You're the only one that is probably going to use it with them...they won't be using the signs for long anyhow.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
My children and I love the illustrations and size of this big board book, but were disappointed upon receiving it and noting the signs were based on BSL (British Sign Lanugage) not ASL (American Sign Language). Although many signs were similar, there were also quite a few that were different. We're in close contact w/many deaf friends, so its not acceptable for us to learn BSL, when we're trying to learn ASL. I wish that I had known in advance regarding the translation.
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By BreAn on November 1, 2007
Format: Board book
I think this is a great starter book if you just want to teach your baby basic signs.
I am hard of hearing and use ASL every day with my baby, husband and friends. I received this book as a gift and its been fun for my daughter to look at (Plus, it has tips on the bottom of each page of how and when to teach your baby. example: "Repetition is very important. Use every opportunity to sign. Be patient and don't get frustrated. This should be fun!"). I am puzzled at the review about it being BSL, because I didn't see any BSL signs in there. Perhaps there are two versions, but all the signs in my book are ASL (I know, I double checked, ha). But it IS meant to be for babies, basic and simple. Its for the basic point of giving you the ability to communicate with your child. Even when they start signing they'll start doing it their way. But YOU will understand what they are saying and that is whats important. It may not even look like the real sign for a while, but they'll get it eventually. Its great to avoid the frustration of not understanding what my daughter wants, because she knows some of these basic signs.
If you want to continue teaching your baby signing, or want a book that teaches more than just basic baby signs ( and it is very centered around ASL), I'd recommend: "Sign With Your Baby" by Joseph Garcia.
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By B. Lang on September 20, 2005
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I bought several titles for my nine month old. This one did not have as many signs in it as the other ones but I love that it is hard back. I leave it with my daughter's other toys and she flips thru it by herself. I work with her on the signs in the other books too but I don't trust her anywhere near them. If you are wanting a book for your child to be hands on with, this is it. I will warn you though, the book is large in size.
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