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ASHA Partners With Language Development Expert on New Children’s Book | NEWS-Line for Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists

ASHA Partners With Language Development Expert on New Children’s Book


The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) announced the release of its third children’s book, An Alphabet Pet Parade in Topsy-Turvy Town, Population 26. Written by ASHA member Judith E. Torres, MA, CCC-SLP, the book follows a young girl on her journey to find her perfect pet at the Topsy-Turvy Alphabet Pet Parade—based on a real-life annual Children’s Pet Parade (Desfile de los Niños) held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the author’s hometown.

The captivating alphabet book, written by Torres and illustrated by Christiane Engel, finds Zoe Z. Zany and her grandpa, Yulee Y. Young, at the parade—where Zoe is smitten with a mischievous black-and-white critter that creates an increasing amount of chaos. The critter’s antics scatter the unusual townspeople and their unconventional pets all over Topsy-Turvy Town.

During her career, Torres co-founded and directed a nonprofit that developed programs for Latinx youth and a speech pathology department at a hospital. For this book, she drew on her experience working with children as a speech-language pathologist, English-as-a-second-language educator, and reading specialist in conceiving of—and writing—this story.

“I feel so fortunate to have had a career working with children,” said Torres. “I became interested in writing picture books because I have always used them in my instruction to build language and literacy skills. Books are available at every reading level and highlight a wide variety of interests. Because children’s literature has become so much more inclusive, diverse, and sophisticated, it creates opportunities for every child to find characters they resonate with, and most importantly, to develop a love of reading. If done well, reading with children is inherently an inviting and engaging activity. In the hands of a skilled reader, reading with children becomes an exceptional teaching tool.”

Her book can be used by parents and caregivers, SLPs, educators, and librarians to teach concepts such as letter names and sounds, animals and occupations, opposites, verbs, rhyming words, story prediction, and more. It comes with supplemental materials and instructional suggestions to help extend the child’s learning, including a glossary of animals and sample questions about the story.

Although alphabet-based books are common in children’s literature, numerous aspects of An Alphabet Parade in Topsy-Turvy Town, Population 26 help set it apart, Torres explains. “The book plays with language in a unique way—for example, teaching opposites through the names of the townspeople. Dolores D. Doolittle is always busy as a bee, and Kirby K. Kind is the rudest citizen in Topsy-Turvy.”

She adds: “At its core, the book is about community—and the many different types of people that make up a community. I am extremely proud that the book represents diversity, different cultures, and people of all abilities.”

The book, intended for children ages 3–7 years, is published by ASHA Press—the publishing imprint of ASHA. It is available for sale on ASHA’s website and on Amazon. More information about the author can be found at www.judithetorres.com.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 218,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders. http://www.asha.org/

Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

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