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World News

First Christmas ‘SuperBook’ animation released in British Sign Language

by Ros Mayfield

An animated version of The First Christmas has been produced in British Sign Language, for the first time.

The cartoon series 'SuperBook', was originally created by Christian Disney artists, for the American Christian network CBN. But until now no version existed for the deaf community. 

CBN's UK Director Alisa Latty-Alleyne wanted to try and change that:

“Our vision and mission at Superbook is that every child gets the ability to hear the gospel in their own language.”

SuperBook is an animated series of cartoons, which sees two children, Joy and Chris who live in a futuristic version of the modern day, but travel through time to see Bible stories as they’re happening.  Together with their robot friend Gizmo, they are transported, through the ‘SuperBook’ portal.  Each time, Alisa says, “they learn a valuable faith based lesson, before being teleported back to their moral dilemma to fix it.”

SuperBook has already been translated into multiple languages, but Alisa said she felt God telling her to do something different. “It struck me that deaf children won't be able to hear it, and blind children won't be able to see it.”

“Every child everywhere means exactly that with all abilities and disabilities.”

Alisa says a lot of research was done on the original animations, to make sure the details of the stories were accurate: “the architecture, the clothes that would be worn during those times - a lot of attention to detail was taken with it.”

The British Sign Language version of ‘The First Christmas’ episode is the first Superbook episode ever to have a signed version as well.  Alisa’s hoping to get more episodes completed over the next few months, as well as an episode to help visually impaired people too.

“The next step stage for us is Easter, we are working to create a comic book in Braille of the Easter story. 

“We've learned as we've grown with Superbook journey is that it actually connects with children, teenagers, and adults. So it really is just the ability to have anybody be able to hear the gospel in a language or in a way that really works and connects and communicates to them.”

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