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Ling Ling Bird Seen and Heard
Written and Illustrated by Tanya Saunders
Larger-than-life Ling Ling Bird forms an unlikely bond with tiny wee Chickadee in this uplifting tale of discovery, friendship and acceptance. While Chickadee gains a fascinating insight into the world of her dazzling new buddy who is deaf, Ling Ling Bird learns that being different does not prevent him forming special friendships. Amazing things are possible with a can-do attitude!
This 30-page picture book with full color illustrations throughout, is written for older children and early readers (6-8 years). In the author’s personal experience, this is the age when deaf children and their school friends really start to show an interest in the workings of their cochlear implants / hearing aids. The story encourages deaf children to aim for the stars, while acknowledging the hard work it takes to learn to listen and speak. The book uses ambitious language, which makes it ideal for family reading and for younger listeners to learn some of the terminology associated with hearing loss and hearing technology.
Answering many questions about life with cochlear implants (‘magic ears’), highlighting both challenges and opportunities, this inspiring book will help friends, families and teachers of deaf children to better support and understand their tough but rewarding journey into the hearing, speaking world. By championing such a fun character with hearing loss like Ling Ling Bird, who is undeterred by his disability, it is hoped this delightful tale will help deaf children around the world to build their self-esteem, pride in who they are and a strong sense of personal identity.
ABOUT LING LING BIRD: This unstoppable, cochlear implant-wearing bird is on a mission to inspire deaf children to dream big, and to help more people understand both the ongoing challenges faced by – and incredible opportunities open to – deaf children today. He describes the hours of speech & language therapy, dedication and focus needed to learn to listen and speak, while sending out a strong message that all the hard work will be worth it in the end.
Ling Ling Bird is named after the six ‘Ling Sounds’, which roughly represent all the frequencies used in speech (mm / oo / ah / ee / sh / ss). Ling Ling Bird is proud of his cochlear implants and loves talking about them, explaining how they work and describing what it feels like to wear them…which is just as well, because the ever-curious Chickadee is full of questions! As bold and brassy as his vibrant rainbow colors, Ling Ling Bird thinks that being a bit different is great fun. Nonetheless, he has a few lessons to learn about how to curb his over-exuberant behavior! So Chickadee gains new awareness and understanding, while Ling Ling Bird learns valuable lessons of friendship and acceptance.
Chickadee may well introduce her new friend in the same way that he is featured on the book cover:
Meet Ling Ling Bird! Despite his profound hearing loss, he’s not sad and he’s not cross.
He has magic ears that help him to hear.
He’s proud of his individuality and bright, exuberant personality.
Inspired by auditory verbal therapy, which teaches deaf children with cochlear implants and hearing aids to listen and speak, this book acknowledges that there are many different approaches to deaf communication (including sign language, listening and spoken language, total communication). The author fully respects that there is no categorically right or wrong approach; which option to pursue is a deeply personal choice for each and every family based on their own values, aspirations and what works best for them.
Brief excerpt from the book:
“I’ve overcome my initial apprehension, thanks to this incredible invention,” answered Ling Ling Bird, pointing to his head. “Now I have no worries and no fears because I have my magic ears!”
The author is grateful for the advice and support of the Auditory Verbal UK (AVUK) team.
Book Details: Softcover. 30 pages. For ages 6-8.
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