Character Building by Gerard Featherstone

A few years ago, finding a fun picture book about a deaf child with a cochlear implant proved to be difficult – so much so that we published our own series called My Brother John. We did it for our hearing daughter and our son, who is deaf and uses a CI, following our visit to the John Tracy Clinic (JTC) in Los Angeles. The JTC Summer School focuses on the whole family and had a specialist sibling programme and it was that element of the programme that was our inspiration to develop the children’s book My Brother John. The first book has been successful, not only was it featured in The Times, but was sold around the world as far a field as Australia and South Africa.

Now over 3 years on, My Brother John has grown up. We now are into our second edition and we have added a few pages of explanation about hearing aids and cochlear implants – there are book marks, mugs and merchandise to support the development, with over 500 followers on twitter and a Facebook page. What’s more surprising is that it has been translated into Spanish and Mi hermano Juan is the latest step on our journey. It was translated by two sisters in the USA and we know it has already made some impact on the Hispanic community in the LA. Mi hermano Juan, written from the sibling’s perspective, subtly informs about the cochlear implants in a fun way. The book is available in the UK and through The Ear Foundation.

It was always our intention to make the whole publishing project more personal and after some research with parents we discovered that many parents with deaf children want others to understand about their child and their needs. The result of this has been the setting up of a new web service called Experience Books. It enables parents and/or professionals (teachers of the deaf, audiologists) to sit down and work through a series of questions online that address their child’s needs on a basic level that others can understand. Users can create a character with hearing equipment, including CIs in different colours and they can personalise text to specify the content of a full colour A4 sized book. This allows it to be shared and read and makes it difficult to hide so teachers should be able to use it at circle times. There are girl and boy versions with many different character options.Books about children with cochlear implants and hearing aids

Whilst the end result was intended to be a printed book to explain all about the son or daughter or pupil – we have lots of comments explaining that just by completing the process with the child gives the opportunity to discuss the child’s issues and we know this is having a positive effect. Translations are the next planned step if there is any interest from mainland Europe.

We are now asked to develop CI illustrations and create characters with CIs. Having a child who is deaf has been character building in more ways than we could have imagined.

 
Book information – published by Squeeze Marketing Ltd

My brother John
Author: Joanne Zellweger
Illustrator: Andy Elliott
ISBN: 978-1906671037
PRICE:£5.99

http://www.mybrotherjohn.co.uk

John Gets ready for school
Author: Joanne Zellweger
Illustrator: Andy Elliott
ISBN: 978-1906671013
PRICE: £4.99

 

Mi hermano Juan
Author: Joanne Zellweger
Illustrator: Andy Elliott
ISBN: 978-1906671020
PRICE: £4.99

Experience Books
http://www.experiencebooks.co.uk
Price £14.99
Created by Gerard Featherstone

Welcome to Experience Books

Quote

Experience Books

Welcome to Experience Books.

“I wanted to tell others about my son’s hearing loss, his communication needs, his equipment and how others could just make things easier for him. Experience Books aims to make sure that a deaf child can be represented in a book that is all about them.” Gerard, Creator of Experience Books.