I’m visiting this week (as a “special guest”) at a Highlights Foundation workshop in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Last night at dinner, my former career as a sign language interpreter came up, and before I knew it, the ever-effusive Katie Davis—who could probably talk a cat into a long, leisurely bath—had convinced me to interpret her latest picture book, Little Chicken’s Big Day, into American Sign Language, while she read it — all in the name of World Read-Aloud Day 2012, which is being celebrated today, in fact.
I haven’t interpreted in—gulp—nearly eight years (with the wonderful exception of having the opportunity to interpret for Walter Dean Myers’ 2009 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture at the Alex Haley Farm in East Tennessee). This is far from a perfect interpretation. There are even mistakes. I feel like I should point this out to any deaf folks or interpreters watching. Did I mention it was very impromptu? It was also at the end of a long day, as you can tell from my shiny face and tired hair. (I’m hardly a vain person, but you know … Whew.)
And it was fun. May you enjoy reading aloud today, if you’re so inclined.
I hope to be back tomorrow with actual picture book art. Until then …