Sweet story of acceptance (and lots of pink)

Summary:

As Almigal introduces us to her friends, she shares something unique about them. Like her friend Penelope, Almigal wears a hearing aid. But sometimes she still gets sad because of things she can't hear: like the birds outside her window, or the music in ballet class, or (worst of all) her parent's saying "we love you" when they tuck her in. When Almigal gets a cochlear implant, her world changes. She can hear everything she was missing, but she has new responsibilities, too. She forgot to take it off before swimming, and trying to put it on her dog (who ran off with it in his mouth). She's learned her lesson and is feeling very lucky to be her.


Parent Perspective:
Kids who face physical challenges will appreciate Almigal's story. In very broad terms, the story explains the process of getting a cochlear implant, but the heart of the story is Almigal's experiences and emotions. I loved that right off the bat she introduces her friends and how they each have something unique about them. Some are physical (glasses, hearing loss), others are skills (speaking Spanish), but all are inclusive. Almigal also helps readers understand the limitations of her hearing aids and the sense of "isolation" that came with that.

Frankly, I wish the author would have stuck with "Ali," but that is a truly minor nit. Children will easily see themselves and their peers in this story. It doesn't seem like the story is available anymore, which saddens me. This is a nice contribution to children's books within the genre of acceptance and inclusion.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers seeking books that star children with disabilities will rejoice at Let's Hear It For Almigal. The illustrations are wonderful and the story lets Almigal's "every kid" shine through, even as she is educating us about hearing loss and cochlear implants.

Content Awareness Factors:

None.


Type of Book:
A young deaf girl narrates this story that shows how we each are unique, no matter what our ability.
Educational Themes:

This is a story about acceptance and friendship. Children who have never struggled with hearing loss may not fully appreciate Almigal's joy. There are easy ways to replicate hearing loss with earplugs and headsets. By waling in her shoes, young readers have the opportunity not only to gain understanding, but compassion and empathy, too.

Reading Level:
unknown
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
4 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Most definitely borrow. If you have a child who has physical challenges or is deaf, you will want to buy this book. Rare is the story that features a children like them.

Title Let's Hear It for Almigal
Author Wendy Kupfer
Publisher Handfinger Press © 2012
Illustrators Tammie Lyon
ISBN 9780983829409
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.99
Genres Family, Life Lessons, Specially Abled | Special Needs
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