Monday, December 12, 2016

I Have a Voice Review

I Have a Voice!
by Joni Klein-Higger and Flora Zaken-Greenberg, Ph.D.
illustrated by Eileen Goldenberg

“I Have a Voice!” by Joni Klein-Higger and Flora Zaken-Greenberg, Ph.D, illustrated by Eileen Goldenberg, is an important book for children and families of children with “selective mutism,” an anxiety disorder that affects children’s ability to speak. In this picture book, Jamie is anxious about speaking to strangers and worried about starting kindergarten.

Jamie’s mother takes Jamie to work with Dr. Faye, a “feelings” doctor. Dr. Faye helps Jamie learn ways to communicate with signs, gestures, a feelings poster, puppets, singing, and talking to Sophie, her doll. Dr. Faye also gives Jamie a pink string to remind her that Jamie has a beautiful voice and can speak. When Jamie starts kindergarten, she makes a new friend, Emma, to share being kindergarteners together!

Eileen Goldenberg’s illustrations are sweet, colorful, and add to the careful unfolding of Jamie’s story. I especially like that Ms. Goldenberg adds diversity in depicting the children in the story. Her characters’ facial expressions and the thoroughness in the artwork perfectly complement Ms. Klein-Higger and Dr. Zaken-Greenberg’s story.

This picture book is highly recommended for parents, teachers, school libraries, doctor and therapist’s offices to help families who are struggling with selective mutism and other anxiety disorders. There are questions with answers as a resource to help families at the back of the book.

Reviewed by:
Penelope Anne Cole
Multi-Award Winning Author of Magical Matthew, Magical Mea,
Magical Mea Goes to School, Magical Max and Magical Mickey, and
Magical Max and Magical Mickey’s Big Surprise
In and Out, All ‘Round About – Opposite Friends
What’s for Dinner? and ¿Q vamos a comer?:
For Halloween: Ten Little Tricksters and Diez pequeños bromistas
New:  My Grandma and Me Coloring Book

I have a voice, Joni Klein-Higger, Flora Zaken-Greenberg, Ph.D., Jamie, Emma, selective mutism, anxiety disorders, help, resources, therapy, talking