Project Description


Can You Hear a Rainbow?

The Story of a Deaf Boy Named Chris, A Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Learning Book

by Jamee Riggio Heelan
illustrated by Nicola Simmonds

“Does a rainbow make a noise?” a deaf child asks a hearing friend. “No,” he is told. “Some things don’t need a noise. A rainbow is just the same for you and me.”

When Chris was a baby, his parents realized that he didn’t notice the dog barking or a door slamming. Through a series of tests, doctors determined that he was deaf. In this intriguing, reassuring book, Chris tells young readers about what it is like to be deaf and describes typical events in his life and the ways he has adjusted to his hearing loss. With the assistance of hearing aids, Chris is able to hear vibrations, loud noises, and some other sounds. With sign language, speech therapy, and an interpreter, Chris’ days are much like those of hearing children, filled with classes, soccer games, and children’s theater.

Accompanied by Simmonds’ vivid and energetic multimedia paintings, Heelan’s text explores the world of a real child and answers the questions many children may have about hearing loss.

Hardcover: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-268-2
Total Pages: 32
Size: 9 5/8 x 9 5/8
Language: English
Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 60627
AR Reading Level: 3.9
AR Points: 0.5

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: N
F&P Grade: 3

Reading Counts
Reading Counts Level: 3.8
Reading Counts Points: 2


“…a rather interesting effect…accurate…and the format is appealing.” ―School Library Journal

“…The original and attractive design as well as the unusual illustrations, which combine photographs and drawings, help make this an appealing book for all ages…” ―Good News Toronto online


Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities ―IBBY Documentation Centre of Books for Disabled Young People 2002

Children’s Crown Gallery Award (nominee) ―National Christian School Association 2004-2005

Young Hoosier Book Award (nominee, picture book) ―Association for Indiana Media Educators 2005-2006

Meet the Author

Jamee Riggio Heelan holds a BS in occupational therapy from the University of Kansas. She is the coordinator of the Children’s Amputee Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Her work is dedicated to treating children and educating others about childhood disabilities. She lives in Illinois.

Meet the Illustrator

Nicola Simmonds holds a BA Honors in Visual Communications from the University of Brighton. She has been involved in the design and production of children’s books for the past decade, both in England and the United States. She lives in Georgia.