Wendy Kupfer’s new picture book, Let’s Hear It for Almigal, is the story of a happy little girl who feels unlucky because she can’t hear everything she wants to hear due to hearing loss.

As the mother of a child born with "severe to profound" hearing loss, author Kupfer was inspired to write Let’s Hear It for Almigal when she became frustrated with the lack of characters wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants in children’s books.

"I was working with the University of Miami Cochlear Implant Center," she explains in the press release. "I felt strongly about the need for these children to see hearing aids and implants in the media, both to boost their self-esteem and to educate their friends."

Kupfer, a former financial services executive, said she has worked closely with Thomas Balkany, MD, a cochlear implant surgeon and chair of the University of Miami Department of Otolaryngology.

In the book, Almigal feels lucky most of the time. She has lots of friends, and each one is different. But she’s unhappy when she can’t hear a baby’s giggle, or the music in ballet class, or her parents saying, "I love you." By the end, she finds a satisfying solution.

Almigal and her friends are portrayed in colorful art by award-winning illustrator Tammie Lyon, whose books have won the Retailers Choice Award and have been chosen as Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books.

By showing Almigal’s life as a confident little girl, Kupfer hopes that the book will be a resource for teachers, parents, and caregivers who would like to start a conversation or lesson about hearing loss and other disabilities.

SOURCE: Wendy Kupfer