Members area



Don't have a login?

Join us

Become a member

  • Connect with others through events, workshops, campaigns and our NEW online forum, Your Community
  • Discover information and insights in our resource hub and receive the latest updates via email
  • Access one-to-one support and tailored services which help reduce barriers for deaf children
Menu Open mobile desktop menu

Book review: How to Sign Halloween with Terry the Monkey

Written and illustrated by Joe Jacobs
Available from Amazon
Ages: 0–10

Reviewed by Alison, mum to William (8) and Harriet (6), who are both profoundly deaf, and Sadie (3), who is hearing.

Alison, William, Harriet and Sadie

"This book is an introduction to British Sign Language (BSL), based around the theme of Halloween. It’s a story about the traditions of Halloween night, interspersed with clear descriptions and pictures of relevant BSL signs. The illustrations are beautiful and it’s a lovely book to read and look at.

The book is very simple and easy to follow. The story is built around the signs rather than the signs fitting into a more exciting story. That’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable.

My deaf children are six and eight and are fluent in BSL. BSL has regional differences and so some of the signs in the book are different to the ones they have learned at school. They found this in part amusing and in part frustrating. For this reason I think this book is better suited to children earlier on in their BSL journey. My hearing three-year-old got a lot out of it and it was good to be able to connect the signs with an activity she understands.

I really loved the last page where it gives you hints and tips on what to do with your face and mouth when you’re signing. Facial expressions and lip patterns are such a massive part of using BSL and I think that’s often lost in early years books where you just see a picture and a description of how to move your hands.

In conclusion I think this is a very gentle introduction to BSL suited to pre-school children. Terry the Monkey is a very likeable character and I hope we see more of him!"