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  • Writer's pictureLeAnne Litka, Author Illustrator

Little Details: Features of My New Book

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

"What’s That Sound?" is designed to be used by parents at home in a manner similar to their child’s school day experience. Letter sounds and their location at the beginning, middle, or end of a word are visually represented flowing from left to right with a simple diagram.

The star, diamond, and circle are repeated throughout the book to allow little fingers to glide across the page and to feel the sounds as they say the word. The focus is on the silhouette with its corresponding letter sound. Unlike commonly used alphabet books, there is no extra print on the page to take the attention away from the idea of thinking about sound. After all, letters are silhouettes that represent sound. Practicing this way builds a bridge to understanding how letters are put together to make words. Throughout the book the refrain "What's That Name?" and "What's That Sound?" are repeated to build the idea that both are important.

Often, the first letters an emergent reader memorizes are S, M, A, and T. "What's That Sound?" also introduces them first. An entire page is dedicated to each, along with a pictorial description of the location of the sound using the diagram described above. "A" is shown located at the beginning of the word apple. "T" is in the beginning and middle of turtle. "S" is heard at the beginning, middle, and end of scissors. "M" is a surprise! It is my favorite page! You will have to look for it!

Children must learn to hear a letter's sound and the part of the word the sound is coming from. It is difficult to explain and hard for a little one to grasp in the beginning. I remember being completely perplexed about the alphabet activities we were doing in kindergarten. Once I was asked to produce a word that started with the /j/ sound. I sat while everyone looked at me. The teacher grew impatient and coaxed, "Jam, Jelly, Jar." I replied with, "Grape?" Everyone laughed.

I never forgot that moment. Eventually another teacher said just the right thing when I was finally ready to hear it:

"You know the sounds. Use the sounds not the names."

Vowels always require special attention. In "What's That Sound?" they are pictured with silhouettes for the short and long sound. Near the end of the book, they demand to be noticed! They actually STOP THE BUS! "What about us?" they ask! On subsequent readings, the young reader will know why the vowels are in a stop sign shape and the purpose of the two silhouettes.

"What's That Sound?" will provide the opportunity to learn the letter's names and corresponding sounds. It will give practice thinking about beginning, middle, and end. It will introduce the idea that some letters can represent more than one sound.

It will be available for order soon! Stand by!


LEANNE BAUMAN LITKA: Kansas illustrator and author with a passion for literacy and art. She creates cut-paper illustrations from handmade monoprints with creative color patterns. Maker of llama t-shirts, fairy doors, and other creative endeavors, her favorite thing is her morning studio time. LeAnne studied art and design at Kansas State University before beginning her own studio practice. She uses her art and writing both for personal enjoyment, and to create whimsical, one of a kind, resources for students, parents, and teachers.

A mother of four grown kids, she lives in the Kansas City area with her family and her Siberian husky. Look out for more books and ideas in her series of fun and inspiring resources.

Buy my book on Kindle or Nook. Coming soon... Paperback, Hardback, Audio and Braille versions.

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