Inner Child is an original Artsy Reader Girl feature, where I take a moment to highlight a cute book for kids! I love children's books. Hey, I started out on them! They are the foundation of my love of reading. When I need a smile, or a quick dose of the "good old days", I never hesitate to crack open a picture book and feed my inner child.
Author: Wendy Kupfer
Illustrator: Tammie Lyon
Release Date: April 16, 2012
Publisher: Handfinger Press
Buy it Here: Amazon (Used copies available Amazon Marketplace.) or Here for brand new copies from the book's website.
Add It: Goodreads
This fun and original picture book introduces Almigal, a spunky little girl with hearing loss who is now determined to hear every single sound in the universe thanks to her new cotton candy pink cochlear implants. These sounds include a baby's funny giggle, the robin's chirps outside the window, the soft song played during ballet class, and especially her best friend Chloe's teeny-tiny voice. But most of all, Almigal wants to hear her parents whisper to her when they tuck her into bed every night. Almigal's spirit will have both children and parents alike rooting for her, while the story delivers a positive message about accepting and celebrating differences.
This book is pretty darling. From what I could tell, the illustrations are gorgeous. I read this on my Kindle, so all the illustrations were tiny and in grey and white, but I could see that the lines were soft, the images whimsical, and from the cover, I can tell that the colors are vibrant and girly.
Let's Hear it for Almigal does a great job at explaining that every person is different in their own way. Some speak Spanish, some have little voices, some wear glasses, some have twin sisters, and some are deaf like Almigal. Almigal embraces the fact that she is deaf, and needs hearing aides. She loves being different, and even changed her name from Ali to Almigal, because nobody else has that name. What a great heroine to look up to. Even at my age, I feel weird if I'm different. Embrace it! It's empowering. Still, though, being different can make you sad sometimes. Almigal struggles with this, making her relatable for almost every child out there.
This book also teaches responsibility. Almigal's cochlear implants are expensive, and she is taught that they must be taken care of. The same idea goes for children who get glasses for the first time.
Finally, it teaches children that being deaf is not a problem. In fact, it's kind of cool because you get special little implements that help you hear. And they come in all different colors. Again, this goes for anything: glasses, braces, casts, wheelchairs, etc. Even though the book focuses on a deaf child, the example can be applied to any situation where a child is different.
I definitely enjoyed this story, and think it would be great for children who deal with deafness, whether it be with themselves, a family member, a friend, or a classmate. Moreover, it teaches children that being different is cool. And you know what? Sometimes we adults need to remember that, too. I can just see myself reading this book to a class of mine, and then listing out all the cool ways people are different. Some role-playing might even be fun.