Review Detail

An Enchanting (ASL-friendly) Retelling
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
A delightful and adaptive take on a classic children’s tale. This picture book offers bright, stylized illustration and emphasized word choices to complement its purpose as an American Sign Language translation.

The book itself contains no signing or instructive images and could, in fact, be read as a standard children’s book. It takes a somewhat updated approach to an old story about a potential mother-in-law’s unrealistic expectations, highlighting the more pertinent attributes of a “true princess.” At the back of the book is a DVD meant to be played in tandem with the reading. The audio is a separate narration, allowing the female translator full focus in her lively presentation. (Alternate audio languages include Spanish, French, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Thai.) On the downside, the ASL teaching value is greatly reduced if the DVD were to be lost or damaged.

This particular version comes in at 26 pages, some of which are fairly dense with narrative—particularly in the middle--while a few hold only a single sentence. The resulting variability in pacing works well for the story. (The DVD playtime clocks in right at 10 minutes for the English version.) Given the length and word choices, I would generally recommend this book for children ages 4 to 8.
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