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Explaining Deafness: Concept Books For Children

By caroline | April 7, 2008

Explaining hearing-devices to children (a deaf child, siblings, family, friends or peers) can be a challenge in making sure everyone understands the facts.

Concept books are a good way to explain to all children (deaf children, too) the specific frustrations and issues deaf children can experience.

Understanding is increased, with the deaf child realising others are also in their position, and hearing children becoming aware of what’s involved.

Try these concept book titles. Many are available only on but it’s worth sourcing an online stockist in your country to contain costs.

Hearing Aids:

* “A Birthday For Ben” (by Kate Gaynor, artwork by Karen Quirke, 2009) All kids aged 4 to 8. Story of a boy with hearing-aids, who has a birthday party and how his mother includes everyone.

Oliver Gets Hearing Aids (Maureen Cassidy Riski & Nikolas Klakow, 2001) For deaf & hearing children aged 4+. Key concepts: why hearing-aids are needed, what they do, explaining deafness with humour.

* Cosmo Gets An Ear (Gary Clemente, Modern Signs PR, 1994). Ages 4 to 9. Concepts: audiologist visits, hearing-aids, explaining H-As to others.

* A Button in Her Ear (Ada Bassett Litchfield, Albert Whitman & Co, 1986). Ages 6 to 10. Key concepts: what hearing-aids do, why they’re needed.

Cochlear Implants:

*Let’s Hear It For Almigal (Handfinger Press, 2012, US). Ages 5 to 9. Key concepts: a little girl with pink bilateral implants, and how she enjoys life.

*Sophie’s Tales (2008, US).  Key concepts: a Malti-poo dog with cochlear implants, what CIs are and how they work, resources for schools/educators.

My Brother John (Joanne Zellweger, Squeeze Marketing, 2008). Ages 4-7. Concepts: a sibling with a cochlear implant, what CIs are & how they work.

Abby Gets A Cochlear Implant (Maureen Cassidy Riski, 2008, US). Ages 5 to 10. Key concepts: purple hearing-aids, progressive hearing loss, hearing tests, cochlear implants and listening practice with children.

Hear is Veronica (Ability Books, USA) Key concepts: what cochlear implants are and how they work.

FM Systems:

* Samantha’s Fun Hearing-Aid and FM Book (Samantha Brownlie, 7-year-old author/illustrator, 2011). Ages 5 to 10. Concepts: hearing-aids, FM, classroom independence, personal FM management & trouble-shooting.

* Oliver Gets FM (Maureen Cassidy Riski & Nikolas Klakow, 2010). Ages 5 to 10. Concepts: hearing-aids, FM systems, explaining both to classmates.

Ear Tubes and Grommets:

* Chris Gets Ear Tubes (Betty Pace, Gallaudet University Press). Ages 5 to 10. Concepts: how ear infections impact hearing & how surgery helps.

Hearing Dogs:

* Elana’s Ears (Glora Roth Rowell, Karen Stormer Brooks, 2000). Kids aged 5-9. Key concepts: a new baby arriving, hearing, deafness, hearing dogs

Buttons: The Dog Who Was More Than a Friend (Linda Yeatman, 1986). Kids aged 6-9.Key concepts: a dog is trained to help a family where the mother and son are both deaf.

* Sound Friendships: The Story of Willa & Her Hearing Dog (Elizabeth Yates, BJU Press, 1992). Kids aged 10+Key concepts: the friendship between a hearing dog and her deaf owner, the dog’s training and unique role.


* “A Birthday For Ben” (Kate Gaynor, artwork Karen Quirke, 2009) All kids, 4 to 8. Key concepts: hearing aids, lip-reading, sign language, deafness.

I’m The Boss of My Hearing Loss (Cool Gal, 2004). Ages 5-9. Concepts: hearing-loss, self-advocacy, changing other peoples’ perceptions, deafness.

Can You Hear A Rainbow? A Deaf Boy Named Chris (Jamee Riggio Heelan, Chicago Learning Books, 2002) Ages 5-10. Key concepts: hearing aids, sign language, lip-reading, visual cues instead of hearing.

I’m Deaf and It’s Okay (Lorraine Aseltine, Albert Whitman & Co, 1986). Ages 4-9. Key concepts: a boy adjusting to being deaf, ambiguity about hearing aids  – then successful mentoring by a teenage deaf youth.

If you know of a book we missed, why not email us,

Topics: Hearing Matters, Irish Deaf Kids | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Explaining Deafness: Concept Books For Children”

  1. FOL Says:
    April 9th, 2008 at 12:04 am

    I had no idea such books were out there. Thanks for the info! Are there any about Hearing Dogs? As I sometimes visit schools to talk about my Hearing Dog and a book would be a nice touch.

  2. caroline Says:
    April 9th, 2008 at 7:01 am

    Here are two good books about Hearing Dogs:

    * Buttons: The Dog Who Was More Than a Friend (by Linda Yeatman, Barrons Educational Series) for younger children

    * Sound Friendships: The Story of Willa & Her Hearing Dog (Elizabeth Yates, BJU Press) for older children & young adults

    Several biographies & paperbacks about Hearing Dogs and their owners are also available if you’re interested.

  3. Caroline Says:
    August 12th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Here’s an addition to the list! The new IDK concept book about deafness, “A Birthday For Ben”, is now available for all children aged 4 to 8 years old. Details of the story about a deaf boy are available at or from the Special Stories website.

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