Millman, I. (2004). Moses Sees A Play. New York: Frances Foster Books.
This story was positive, fun, and inspiring. There are so many features of this book to love: the message, the resources provided, and the friendship formed between Moses and a student who just moved to the United States. This story was about Moses, who is deaf, attending a special school. All of the students, and his teacher are deaf or hard of hearing. One day, actors from the Little Theatre of the Deaf came to perform the play Cinderella. Throughout the entire story, the characters in the story use sign language to communicate. However, when Moses is introduced to Manuel. He doesn’t know English or sign language. Moses communicates with Manuel using body gestures, but also taught him sign language along the way. By the end of the story, Moses made a new friend. At no point in this story does Moses think negatively about his deafness nor does anyone bully him. It may help that Moses is going to a school strictly for the deaf, but it’s always refreshing to read a story that does not contain bullying.
I loved the Millman included on almost every page an example of the sign language Moses and his fellow classmates were using (examples have been included on the next post). I think this is incredibly valuable when reading the story aloud because we can follow Moses’ lead and learn sign language as a class. I think this story is appropriate for younger grades, like first or second. Sign language is valuable to learn, and I think it was genius for Millman to include examples of sign language because the teacher can model an example, and the students can repeat what the teacher said through sign language.
The illustrations help tell the story. We see the excitement that children have to go see this play on Cinderella. They also get to go back to create their own reenactment of the play. The illustrations also help form the friendship Moses and Manuel created. Each picture shows their growth in their relationship. This book had a powerful message, but also included incredible resources on nearly every page! Picture book: Characters with Disabilities; JL.