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14.02.2021 | By Paul Simpson

What the Jackdaw Saw

Posted in News

Dear Life & Deaf supporters

As you see below, there will be a broadcast on 25 February (4pm on The Gruffalo Facebook page Julia Donaldson and Friends) of the story book What the Jackdaw Saw, published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2015 and originally accompanied by a CD Rom featuring a spoken version and a BSL version (with a slightly different twist).

What the Jackdaw Saw was the result of a collaboration, eight years ago, between The Life & Deaf Association and Julia Donaldson, Children’s Laureate at the time, who said how much she’d like to involve herself in developing stories for and with deaf children. We arranged a day long workshop with a group of Greenwich deaf students, who already had the title and germ of a story, and Julia, who with skill, humour and sensitivity guided them through the process of writing a book, celebrating their fascinating ideas, drawings and creativity.

During lockdown, Julia has continued to write new stories or revisit familiar ones and is including What the Jackdaw Saw in her current series. We are thrilled that the book will have another outing. Macmillan Children’s Books are working closely with us to ensure the programme will be as accessible as possible for oral and signing students, their families and friends and we hope you will wish to support your children to watch and enjoy it.

What the Jackdaw Saw focuses on issues around deafness and communication, with a lovely twist, set within a delightful story which appeals to all, young or old, deaf or hearing. It is beautifully illustrated by Nick Sharratt, who also worked closely with us to include sensitive depictions of children (and animals!) with hearings aids / cochlear implants, using different communication styles.

Should you wish to purchase a copy of the book (sadly the version with the CD Rom is no longer in print) it is available via the usual channels. You can order a signed and dedicated copy of all Julia Donaldson titles from her local independent bookshop, Steyning Bookshop.

Please join us on Thursday 25 February at 4pm GMT for the Julia Donaldson and Friends broadcast of What the Jackdaw Saw! The episode will be fully signed in BSL with subtitles, there will be a performance from the original book launch and Nick Sharratt will be there to do some drawing too. We hope that you can tune in! The broadcast will continue to be available after this date should you wish to rewatch it or share it with others.

Warm Regards,
The Life & Deaf Team

The Life & Deaf projects use poetry and the arts to help deaf children explore their identities and develop communication skills and emotional literacy; our overall aim is to improve the mental health of future generations of deaf people.