Hands and Hearts by Donna Jo Napoli

I came across a really beautiful children’s picture book recently and felt I had to share it.

Titled “Hands and Hearts” and written by Donna Jo Napoli, it is a simple book that introduces 15 words in American Sign Language.

I had learnt the ASL alphabet as a teen, and it is just something that you never forget.

So it was lovely to read this and have some familiarity well up.

The illustrations by Amy Bates are one of the most beautiful I have ever seen in a picture book.

Simple lines, soothing yet evocative colours, that paint a picture of all that is lovely in nature and the indescribable bond between mother and child.

I think it is an important book, as it introduces all children to the fact that some of us have special needs, and that they can still communicate very effectively through sign language.  And that all of us can learn simple sign language to bridge the sound barrier.

I thought this ties in well with what we read of Helen Keller in Brad Meltzer’s picture book on her, and also draws us one step closer to encouraging our children to be aware that we have to intentionally build an inclusive society.


You can find it under the “Junior Lending Picture Book” section of almost all NLB branches, under “English NAP”

(ISBN) 1419710222


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  2 comments for “Hands and Hearts by Donna Jo Napoli

  1. October 16, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Looks like a lovely book! I’m going to try finding it on Book Depository, since I don’t have access to our wonderful NLB at the moment. Thanks for sharing!

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