CHARACTERS Û Helen Kellers Best Friend Belle

Holly M. Barry Ç 1 CHARACTERS

CHARACTERS Û Helen Kellers Best Friend Belle Ï Many know the story of Helen Keller's journey to learn to communicate And many have heard of Anne Sullivan the brilliant teacher who helped Helen understand But have you ever heard about Belle the dog In this new picture book biography of Helen Keller's early life readers are introduced to Ant teacher who helped Helen understand But have you ever heard about Belle the dog In this new picture book biograph. The endnotes contain the fingerspelling signs for each letter of the alphabet and the rest of this picture book biography tells the story of Helen Keller's early years and the changes that occurred once Anne Sullivan came to work with her It's a softened version of the familiar story but with the added twist of including her fondness for dogs particularly one name Belle While I liked the portions about Belle especially how Helen tried to teach Belle how to fingerspell and greeted her dog once she returned from Boston there is too little provided here about Belle and those other dogs The last pages provide information about Helen and the other dogs in her life which made me curious to learn their stories too In some of the illustrations such as on the title page Belle seems long legged and skinny and the proportions for the dog seem a bit odd


Y of Helen Keller's early life readers are introduced to her beloved dog Belle who is with Helen every step of the wa. An excellent read aloud to secondary students before reading the Miracle Worker and anytime for all ages Helen Keller cherished her dogs for their companionship loyalty and love My dog friends seem to understand my limitations I love their affectionate ways Their warm tender and playful friendships are so comforting to me Helen had many dogs and was photographed many times in her life with her beloved companions

FREE READ Helen Kellers Best Friend Belle

Helen Kellers Best Friend BelleMany know the story of Helen Keller's journey to learn to communicate And many have heard of Anne Sullivan the brilli. From my review on DiverseKidsBooksorgYou’ve heard of Helen Keller but do you know Belle Helen Keller’s Best Friend Belle by Holly M Barry is a furry tale tail about Helen’s adventures with her childhood friend an old setter named Belle This children’s book is basically a diluted version of Arthur Penn’s 1962 biopic The Miracle Worker The readers are introduced to Helen at birth and uickly learn that an illness leaves her completely deaf and blind before she reaches her 2nd birthday From that point on her world is filled with soundless darkness that only her dogs can comfort her in for the next few yearsTo visually explain this gloomy situation the illustrator depicts Helen’s world with dim watercolor drawings Then when her teacher Anne Sullivan is introduced a vibrant light punctures the darkened illustrations thereby brightening Helen’s world This visual theme of a brightening world continues for Helen throughout the book So we follow Helen on her journey as Anne fails miserably at teaching Helen how to finger spell in the palm of her hand Until one day Helen finally starts to grasp what all of the hand signals Anne’s been force feeding her mean—from doll to water and yes even puppiesFrom that point on Helen’s world is so bright on the page that it’s practically glowing She even decides to teach this language American Sign Language to one of her closest four legged companions Belle by spelling the words in her paw While Belle never did uite figure it out she sure did love the attention Helen and Belle continue to explore Helen’s new world together They learn words explore the woods and just enjoy each other’s company But before long Helen must leave Belle behind and attend a special school for the deaf where she eventually learns how to speak using her voiceIt’s a breakthrough moment for Helen that’s filled with so much joy that she can hardly wait to express herself to her best friend in the world Despite that sentiment the story ends abruptly—and you may not even realize it—when Helen returns home and calls for Belle for the first time ever after relearning to speak It’s clearly meant to be a heartwarming moment in story land but you and your child are likely to be left confused since the climactic moment is buried on a page that isn’t even the last page in the bookIn fact two mini biographies with children’s illustrations to add to the confusion are included immediately after Helen and Belle’s story further throwing off the tone of the book While it’s nice to offer additional background on an historical character the placement in this picture book is just completely off To avoid confusing the actual ending make sure you read the book for the first time alone so you can adjust your tone and tempo when reading aloud to your childSo in actuality my favorite part of this book isn’t found within the story itself but rather on its covers the illustrations of the American Sign Language finger spellings aka American Manual Alphabet To me this offers the strongest enrichment in the book The ASL illustrations provide parents with a fun opportunity to teach their children how to manually spell simple words mentioned in the book such as D O G or B E L L E for exampleOverall the book shares a nice albeit slightly rushed story of how Helen’s dogs especially Belle helped her with her disability They were the silent support system she needed—furry shoulders to cry on when no one else seemed to understand what she was going through