Paws Signs Stories
Video Review by Amber & Chris Wixtrom © 2000
Paws Signs Stories
CD-ROM and Storybooks in American Sign Language and English (Ages 3-7)
System Requirements: Windows 95, 98, and NT; Pentium 166 MHz; 4X CD-ROM
by Angela M. Bednarczyk, Ph.D. and Corinne K. Jensema, Ph.D.
Illustrated by David Hsu
Reviewed by Amber Wixtrom (age 12) with comments by Chris Wixtrom
Institute for Disabilities Research and Training,Inc.
2424 University Blvd. West
Silver Spring, Maryland 20902
Paws Signs Stories is great for children! It uses ASL and voice to teach deaf and hearing kids reading and sign. Kids read five interesting stories and play 15 fun games. The story titles are: I Like Many Things; And I Walked Some More; I Love My Car; Time to Wash; I Can Play Outside. Each story has three games that go with it. Children can choose signing, talking, or signing-with-talking as they read the stories. One glitch - which may be related to my computer, rather than the program - was that sometimes when I clicked "voice and sign," only the voice came on. Overall, though, the program worked smoothly and it was fun to watch the signing. I observed hearing children, ages five and six, playing the games and reading the stories. They learned lots of new signs and enjoyed doing the activities together. Cute artwork and bright colors enhance the fun. Our family and friends loved this program, and so will yours!
Comments from Chris:
A puppy playing in the yard, a child going to the zoo, and the excitement of a car wash are stories with appeal to children. New readers are drawn in as simple sentences grow word-by-word, page-by-page. Deaf illustrator, David Hsu, imaginatively creates a car wash with mechanical arms and hands to do the scrubbing. Children in the pictures wave to the reader, point to the stars, and proudly hold up their work. These features are true to the culture from which signed languages emerge. They represent "eye-contact" with the reader, emphasize "getting a good look" at something, and focus on hands as powerful and effective. Print, picture and sign are intertwined to win children's enthusiasm for this playful program.