Do you have a passion for speech, language and children’s literature?
When I was a child, one of my favorite activities was reading children’s books and writing stories. I also dreamed of publishing my own children’s book. As an adult—and speech-language pathologist—I still love children’s books and review them on my blog.
I also achieved my dream and published three children’s books so far!
There’s a natural connection for SLPs to write children’s books, and I’m excited to highlight some of these fun stories—many of which are often full of useful activities for children needing help with speech and language skills.
Many of our books focus on specific language goals such as articulation, communication, sequencing, retelling, answering “wh” questions, building vocabulary, improving literacy and auditory comprehension, interpreting emotions, commenting, and many more. Children’s books provide an excellent activity during sessions for incorporating and targeting specific goals.
Including these goals while also getting your own book published is a dream come true for many of us.
This list is just a sampling, so please add your favorite—or your own—SLP-authored children’s book in the comment section below.
These colorfully illustrated storybooks provide fun ways to teach children an abstract but essential idea: Their eyes, hands, brains and whole bodies communicate with people around them. The authors explore how two siblings, Leah and Luka, struggle to focus their brains and bodies during the school day. A peer helps explain how they need to use their eyes, hands, feet, heart, and brain to listen in group environments to learn and work as part of a group.
Sammy Goes to Speech by Marissa Siegel
Sammy wants to communicate but can’t, so he and his family go on a hunt to find his voice. After looking everywhere, they end up at an SLP’s office. The book includes tips and activities for parents and educators to encourage speech and language development. A portion of the proceeds goes to research on childhood communication disorders.
Oh No! by Laura Prestia
This first book of a series is intended for children who are just beginning to develop language. The book takes you through four different scenarios, each targeting early developing sounds. It focuses on common vocabulary words and uses repetitive two- to three-word phrases for practice.
Something to Say Series by Eden Molineux
The Something to Say collection promotes self-advocacy, understanding of speech and language differences, and conversation about embracing diversity. Characters’ strengths and interests are highlighted, while the reader gains an increased understanding of how to support communication.
Freddie returns with quite the conundrum! He keeps missing social cues, so he misunderstands what people mean, and then finds himself in a mess. Fortunately for our favorite fly, his dad and Principal Roachford teach him about connecting the communication dots, including voice tone, facial expressions and body language.
More adventures with Freddie offer other social skills insights, including Freddie the Fly: A Story about Learning to Listen and Freddie the Fly: Bee On, Buzz Off: A Story About Learning to Focus and Stay On Task.
How Katie Got her Voice by Patricia Mervine
Katie got a voice and a cool new nickname in this story of challenge, triumph and acceptance. Students and teachers at Cherry Street School all have nicknames celebrating their differences. But the new girl, Katie, is really different. She can’t walk. She can’t talk. So how can other students involve her in their activities? And how can they give her a nickname?
Mervine also wrote The Mouth with a Mind of Its Own, featuring Matthew, whose mouth has a mind of its own. His brain thinks one thing, but his mouth says another. Luckily, the school SLP helps him tame his wild mouth. And, she wrote There Was a Speech Teacher Who Swallowed Some Dice, about a wacky SLP who starts swallowing everything she needs to do speech-language treatment in her school! What could possibly happen?
Speech Class Rules by Ronda M. Wojcicki
Created with the vision of educating everyone about speech-language treatment, this book introduces the concept of treatment to children recently diagnosed, provides a story and characters that children already in treatment can relate to, and helps all parents, educators and children understand what speech and language disorders all are about.
What Are They Doing? by Molly McIntyre
Help a child improve speech and language concepts with this fun book of animals and actions. Or check out McIntyre’s Let’s Go to the Bear Parade. Big bears, little bears, pink bears and more! This book pairs early adjectives or qualities with delightful bears who go on parade. And try Moon Time Rhymes—the title speaks for itself!
Can You Drink a Dinosaur? by Cara Tambellini Danielson
Created by an SLP to get your child thinking and talking, this story teaches readers to answer yes/no questions, speak in sentences and think critically about scenarios. Easy-To-Say First Words: A Focus on Final Consonants, Danielson’s other storybook, is ideal for early talkers. The story encourages children to imitate easy-to-say one-syllable words with early-developing consonants, like bat, up, cake, hop, eat and more.
I Am Not Sleeping by Lavelle Carson
Children from pre-kindergarten through middle school can join you in singing this story to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?” while learning English and Spanish verbs. Interactive reading and words set to music are more effective in teaching languages.
Fruits; Vegetables; and Baby Actions 1 and 2, by Alpin Rezvani and Debbie Shiwbalak
These three books books encourage children and adults to label, comment, answer questions, describe and engage in conversation.
Our Brain and the Good Breathing Book by Dianne Lazar (co-written with Chris Bauman)
Full of colorful, fanciful and instructive images and text about how to breathe well, this book provides a good review and background as to why SLPs ask young patients to do various exercises and develop self-awareness to change behaviors.
Kindness Matters by Julie Thill-Stellman
Kindness does matter and this story teaches and models important social skills. We all need kindness in our lives.
Aiden Goes to Speech by Lisa Mortensen
This story follows a little boy whose speech difficulties cause him to struggle with feelings of confusion, frustration and even isolation, until he joins a fun class called speech.
Opposites; Actions; Sounds; Categories; and Colors by Yael Herszkopf Mayer
Mayer created a series of books to help children develop basic language skills. Readers learn colors, opposites, action words, letters and categories through repetition and association. The books are available in English and Spanish.
Billy Gets Talking, A Preschooler’s Journey Overcoming Childhood Apraxia of Speech by Mehreen S. Kakwan
Billy was a smart boy, but he felt frustrated because he had difficulty moving his lips, jaw and tongue to clearly say the words in his head. But Billy found his words with the help of his SLP and family.
Understanding Sam by Clarabelle van Niekerk and Liezl Venter
This heartwarming story tells of the challenges of living with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This firsthand view of the life of an undiagnosed child presents behaviors and characteristics common among children with ASD.
Talk With Me! The Big Book of Explanations by Teri Paterson
Using imitation of gestures, sounds, words and phrases, this book is designed to jump-start a child’s early brain and language development while promoting speech sound development,
And now, the books that fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming a children’s book author:
In “The Monkey Balloon,” Mimi and her father use their imaginations to take them on a journey of what-ifs, until they find what they are looking for. Then, in the sequel, Mimi’s Monkey Balloon floats off! Where has it gone? Where will Mimi find her lost balloon?
I wrote My Second Year of Kindergarten for children who repeat kindergarten. This books tells the story of Peter who discovers progress, support and triumph when repeating kindergarten.
Becca Eisenberg, MS, CCC-SLP, is an AAC consultant on the tech team at Westchester Institute for Human Development. She also teaches at Columbia University Teachers College, writes children’s books, and created a blog— Gravity Bread—for parents of children with special needs. Since 2001, she’s worked with children and adults with complex communication needs in a variety of settings, including schools, day habilitation programs, home care and clinics. Eisenberg is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication. firstname.lastname@example.org