Recently, I met with Sonya’s Teacher of the Deaf at a coffee shop near her school. We talked about ways to encourage self advocacy in the classroom. She took out this book from her bag and told me that she would love to read it to Sonya’s class for her next session.
In the story, a little boy named Freddie meets a fairy who has hearing loss. He is delighted to learn she will grant him every wish he has, but he soon realizes that because she can’t hear well, his wishes often come out wrong.
My favorite page is one I would like to print out and frame. When Freddie becomes frustrated that his wishes are not coming true, the Fairy Queen appears. She tells Freddie that before he wishes again, there are three rules he must learn: “Rule One: you mustn’t mumble. Rule Two: don’t turn away. The fairy needs to see your lips to read the words you say. Rule Three: don’t cover up your mouth. She can’t see through your hand! Obey these three gold rules, and then I’m sure she’ll understand.”
It’s a great lesson in kindness, embracing difference and in empathy — all without being overly sentimental or preachy.
Sonya’s teachers plans to use the book to help all of the children in Sonya’s class be more mindful about how they are speaking to one another, as it benefits everyone to communicate effectively.
I’ll be sure to report back following the book reading to let you know how it goes.