DANCING HANDS, The Story of Friendship in Filipino Sign Language

DANCING HANDS, The Story of Friendship in Filipino Sign Language written by Joanna Que and Charina Marquez, illustrated by Fran Alvarez, is the story of how two children become friends through Filipino sign language and simply the act of sharing, bonding, and learning how to communicate with each other.

This story is simple, and so sensitive and thoughtful. It is the celebration and teaching of Filipino sign language as an art form— its beauty and graceful gestures. The simple, graphic illustrations are just captivating and, just like the text, and the purpose of the book, are engaging, uncluttered, and readable. Communication— the little girls’ and their interlocking fingers reinforcing the different ways we learn to open up and share with one another.

The book begins with the story of two little girls and their journey to become friends. At the back is a very understandable and tremendously interesting explanation of what Filipino Sign Language is and the various different kinds of sign languages. I learned a great deal and had never before considered the diversity of Sign Languages and realized that their numbers are declining and could disappear if not appreciated and documented.

The end pages with the darling friends teaching how to sign words are spectacular!

I hope you enjoy this sweet story and learning about Filipino Sign Language as much as I did!

Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Jennifer is the illustrator and author of several acclaimed picture books. Most recently is Always by My Side, 'A Stuffie Story', which she wrote and illustrated. She also is both the author and illustrator of Playing Possum, and Blue Ethel. Jennifer illustrated Gondra’s Treasure, written by Newbery award winner Linda Sue Park. As well as, Sometimes You Fly, by Newbery medalist, Katherine Applegate. She illustrated Yaks Yak, Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park, The Inventor's Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, by Suzanne Slade, Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons, by Alice B. McGinty, and The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz.


  1. What a beautiful and important book! Thank you for sharing.

  2. How fascinating! My cousin was born deaf and that’s when we began to learn different types of sign language. Thanks Jen.

  3. This looks like a lovely story with wonderful illustrations! I’ve passed this link along to a good friend who for years was a state sign language translator for CT’s deaf and hearing-impaired residents.

  4. Oooo. I want to hold this book in my hands and study every page!

  5. Such a lovely book! It makes me want to learn sign language.

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