Jamaica Diaspora couple Publishes Sign Language-Based Children’s Book

In an effort to expose children to inspirational and motivational expressions from an early age, co-authors, Robert Elliot and Danielle Jeffrey-Elliot, have written a book titled ‘Zuri and Xavi Little Learners: A to Z – An Inspirational Alphabet Book’.

The couple says the idea for the book came after not finding sufficient positive content within the diaspora to which their children can relate.

“When my husband and I became parents, we felt it was important for our children to be exposed to positive content with characters that look like them, so we used the likeness of our children for the illustrations in the book,” says Jeffrey-Elliot in a recent interview with JIS News.

She adds, “It’s a little book of positivity – a gateway to knowledge, confidence and curiosity. It helps children to learn and review the letters of the alphabet, learn to sign letters A through Z and build vocabulary using words and images”.

As champions for inclusivity in their community, the couple added sign language illustrations of the alphabet as a way to promote baby signing.

“This offers infants and toddlers the ability to communicate before they learn to speak and it should make it easier for parents and baby,” she says.

Jeffrey-Elliot, in identifying one reason behind designing the book, says the objective is to provide children with an equal opportunity to learn and experience all that the world has to offer. She says, “Exposure and inclusion should not be measured based on geographic location, income or abilities.”

Another reason behind the book is to foster improved communication between abled and disabled children.

The couple of two boys; a one and two year old, states, “We have disabled family members, and we have no intention of hiding this fact from our children. We envision a world where the ‘able and the disabled can communicate with little to no barriers.”

The book, which took eight months to complete, was published in February.