Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blog Tour (Review): Let's Hear it for Almigal by Wendy Kupfer

This fun and original picture book introduces Almigal, a spunky little girl with hearing loss who is now determined to hear every single sound in the universe thanks to her new cotton candy pink cochlear implants. These sounds include a baby's funny giggle, the robin's chirps outside the window, the soft song played during ballet class, and especially her best friend Chloe's teeny-tiny voice. But most of all, Almigal wants to hear her parents whisper to her when they tuck her into bed every night. Almigal's spirit will have both children and parents alike rooting for her, while the story delivers a positive message about accepting and celebrating differences.

Title: Let's Hear It For Almigal
Author: Wendy Kupfer, Tammie Lyon (Illus.)
Publisher: Handfinger Press
Release Date: April 16, 2012
Acquired via: JKS Communications

When Let's Hear It For Almigal arrived in the mail from JKS Communications, my five year old daughter immediately snatched it up and ran to her bedroom to look at the book. Since I received the book for reviewing purposes, I had to negotiate with Bug (my daughter) in order to have a turn with the book. The end result - I got a turn to read the book, but I had to read it aloud to her. Being as it is a children's book, I think reading it in this manner was best for the review.

The Writing of Let's Hear It For Almigal is great for children who are still being read to. (Some of the words are a little too big, and the book itself is a bit too long, in my opinion, for beginning or intermediate readers.) However, the "read to me" age will really enjoy the book. Wendy Kupfer introduces Almigal, a little girl with hearing loss who wears hearing aids in a way that children can easily relate to her. She is shown to be a completely normal little girl well before any mention of her disability is made. Almigal's struggles and mishaps are portrayed in a light and funny way that doesn't make anyone feel sorry for her. I think children will identify with Almigal's ability to get in trouble and the triumphs she makes throughout the book. 5/5 Stars

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that it was the Illustrations* that drew Bug to the book. Tammie Lyon illustrates the Eloise series, and the pictures for Let's Hear It For Almigal are no less engaging. There is one picture in particular that Bug really liked, which showed how say "I love you" in sign language. The book is bright, colorful, and perfect for keeping the attention of an easily distracted child.5/5 Stars

Since my Attention Span is not really an issue, I'm going to base this part on Bug's reaction to the book. She is a very active child who is constantly looking for something to do or trouble to start. However, as soon as I opened the pages of the picture book, she was enraptured. Bug did not move from my side until I finished reading the story. Once we were through with the book, she immediately returned to her regularly programmed shenanigans. 5/5 Stars

The Pacing of the story was fairly typical for a children's book. Being as I'm not exactly sure how a children's book should be paced, I'm going to skip rating this portion.

The Extra Magic of Let's Hear It For Almigal for me was that my daughter was not asking me why Almigal was different. Usually, if Bug sees someone with a hearing aid, a cane, or who just looks different, she is interrogating me as to why that person is that way. With Almigal, she only saw another happy little girl who had lots of friends, cute puppies, and did not always do what she was supposed to. 5/5 Stars

This is easily my favorite children's book that I have read in 2012, and I think it will be a fantastic book for all children - especially little girls. I think it has just enough information to make children more aware of hearing loss in other individuals their own age, but not so much that it bores or scares them. Let's Hear It For Almigal will be a great addition to any library, be it public, classroom, or home.

Total Rating: 5/5 Stars

Buy Your Copy Today! Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Fishpond
Be sure to add it to your TBR list on Goodreads!

*I substituted Illustrations for World-Building because it was such an integral part of this book. If I begin to review more picture books, I will come up with a more efficient set of review points.

About the Author

Wendy Kupfer knows Almigal’s story well. Doctors diagnosed her daughter Ali at the age of 10 months with a profound hearing loss and predicted she would never speak, but the doctors underestimated this unbeatable mother-daughter team. Wendy ’s dedication and drive, paired with Ali’s hard work and determination, produced one spunky, confident “chatterbox” and two passionate advocates for the deaf and hard of hearing. You can keep up with Wendy and Almigal on their Website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

About the Illustrator

Tammie Lyon is the award winning illustrator of numerous picture books for children. She is known for her work on the Eloise series for Simon and Schuster as well as her new series, Katie Woo, published by Stonearch Books. Two of her more recent titles, My Pup and Bugs in My Hair?!, were listed in the "Top 100 Best Children's Books" by the Bank Street College of Education. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where she loves to spend the days in her studio with her dogs Gus and Dudly.

Tammie's first written and illustrated title, Olive and Snowflake, has been released by Marshall Cavendish.

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for free through JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.


  1. I received a review e-copy from NetGalley. A great book! I agree with your ratings and will definitely add it to my library. My only concern, as I stated in my post is the response from the Deaf. This book seems more focused on "fixing" deafness with cochlear implants.

    For Wendy Kupfer and her daughter, they had the right circumstances for success with getting cochlear implants. And the book was perfect to represent this. Very cute story with illustrations and I love the ending.

    But with most of the children I teach, they hate having to wear their hearing aids or implants. It's important that parents of deaf children don't assume getting cochlear implants is the automatic right choice.

    I'd love to see a children's book focused more on accepting deafness without "trying to fix them" and enjoying the beautiful Deaf culture and language accessible to them. That's a book I'd love to have my students read.

    But for the hearing students, this is a great book to teach them to accept my kids who wear hearing aids and cochlear implants at school and on the playground.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Kris. My daughter is five, so this was a great starting point for her to learn about children that are deaf or have hearing loss. I'm sure all of your points are very valid, and thank you for all of the wonderful work that you do. :-)


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!