My good friend gave me the best present today by sending me this picture with a heartwarming message, that made me cry with joy.
It made me so happy to see two grown men reading my English and Spanish children's books and enjoying the story. Jeanne's husband, who is a hearing person, is learning to sign to communicate easier with his friend.
Jeanne wrote in her email:
I thought you should see this picture. You will notice my husband, on the left, trying to learn how to sign. On the right of the picture is our friend Jimmy. He is profoundly deaf, but reads lips and we communicate very well. I was sitting across the table with Jimmy's wife, Lucy, who is deaf, but can hear some and can speak fairly well. I can vouch for the fact that there is so much more to communication than speaking. We all fully enjoyed the book you wrote and Jimmy and Lucy commended you for the Spanish version, which they say was excellent as well. Apparently there are subtle differences in the sign for Spanish. Anyway, I wanted you to have this picture. You have written a wonderful story, with a great message!
I meet a lot of wonderful people with some form of disability in my line of work as a nurse. It always saddens me when I see the difficulties their illness or condition cause and the ridicule and isolation they have to endure. I write fantasy novels, but I decided to publish these books for children about the hardship of hearing loss that is a vital part of good communication .
As a nurse, sadly, I come across a lot of people with deeply embedded preconception or prejudice about disability, skin color, gender, ancestry, and so on. It is very hard for an adult or especially for an older person to change how they relate to others.
However, if we can teach our children how to judge people by their personalities and actions instead of judging them just because they happened to be deaf, sitting in a wheelchair, have a different skin color or were born in a foreign county, we can raise a compassionate and unbiased next generation.
I hid an important message to children in these English and Spanish picture books, how to learn not to judge, bully or make fun of anyone just because they’re different. The life of any disabled person is no fun and living with a disability has many challenges, but we can learn to make their life easier and not harder.
Look, I Can Talk With My Fingers!
A little girl teaches her family and her friends how to relate to someone who is hearing impaired.
Mira, ipuedo hablar con los dedos!
Sandra enseña a su familia y amigos a comunicarse con personas con discapacidad auditiva.
Pages from the English book
My good friend, J.E. Rogers
My friend, Jeanne, is also a children's book author.
She is, very cleverly, without sounding educational, introducing Australian wildlife to children with amazingly well-developed characters and fascinating, adventure filled story-line in her anthropomorphic fantasy stories. She manages the perfect balance of plot, tension building and conclusion with moral messages to keep the reader entranced and engaged. Her stories also teach children about true friendship, tolerance, the importance of family and dedication to a good cause. I can highly recommend it to middle-grade children, but as an adult I really enjoyed her stories as well.
Visit her WEBSITE and read about her books and about the fasscinating Australian wildlife.