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From Listening to Stories to Telling Stories

Children at Children’s Hearing Foundation Voice Their First Animated Picture Book

By Children’s Hearing Foundation

Children with hearing loss are born with a unique sense of hearing, much like everyone is born with their own distinct qualities. The Children’s Hearing Foundation (CHF) believes that only by accepting one’s differences, and respecting these differences in others, can one lead a limitless life. To show others the importance of recognizing and respecting each other’s differences, CHF joined hands with children who are deaf and hard of hearing to narrate “The Secret Inside the Red Box”, an adventurous story told through an animated picture book that illustrates how imperfection is, in truth, perfection.

Children with Hearing Loss Voice an Animation for their First Time!

The story of the “The Secret Inside the Red Box” follows the journey of a deaf bear and a bespectacled monkey in search of the red box. Despite their different personalities and characteristics, they face numerous challenges and come to realize that their imperfections are, in fact, the most perfect arrangement.

Another child, Yanli, voices the lively, smart, and somewhat impatient spectacled monkey, bringing the character to life with a vibrant tone.

For the children at CHF, entering the recording studio to voice animated characters was a remarkable experience. Due to their hearing loss, these children understand the value of sound and naturally express the joy of hearing their own voices. One child, Fei Fei (pictured above), who plays the leading role of the little bear, shared, “I love the bear in the story the most because he, like me, wears hearing aids, and I love hearing my own voice because it sounds really nice.”

“This story allows children with hearing loss to draw strength from their imperfections. It also teaches children the importance of listening with their hearts to what’s important,” expressed a mother of a child with hearing loss after watching the story.

Not only for children with hearing loss, but all young ones can follow the story of the little bear and the bespectacled monkey to discover their own strengths and learn the concept of self-acceptance and respect for differences.

Bringing Animation into the Classroom

The animated picture book “The Secret Inside the Red Box” has received enthusiastic feedback from teachers in schools, becoming a teaching resource. One primary school teacher shared their teaching experience with us:

After watching the animated picture book “The Secret Inside the Red Box,” the teacher engaged the entire class in a discussion about the story’s content, allowing the children to contemplate the challenges that people with hearing loss might encounter.

Teacher: Did you notice anything different about the voices in the animated video?

“They don’t sound like adults!”
“They sound a bit fuzzy, like children’s voices!”

Teacher: Yes, they are children’s voices, and they are like the little bear. When they were born, they could not hear very well, so they needed ‘hearing aids’ to help them hear clearly.

Teacher: Let’s think about what inconveniences the little bear might face in daily life due to not being able to hear.

“He won’t hear his mom calling him to eat.”
“He won’t hear car horns, which is dangerous.”
“He won’t hear the teacher saying we have to wear uniforms today, and he might wear the wrong clothes.”

Teacher: So, how can we help the little bear?

“I will help the little bear find his hearing aids, and I won’t let anyone bully him!”
“If the little bear can’t hear clearly, I’ll repeat what I say!”

Teacher: That’s great. Everyone has differences, and we should help each other and get along.

The Children’s Hearing Foundation believes that understanding imperfection as perfection is more important than striving for a perfect life. Children with hearing loss have achieved this, and now they are sharing the message that “imperfection is perfection” with more people through their voices!

Watch the animated picture book “The Secret Inside the Red Box” online:

*Editor’s note: The story is produced in Mandarin with English subtitles.

About The Children’s Hearing Foundation

The Children’s Hearing Foundation was founded by Ms. Joanna Nichols and her husband, Mr. Kenny Cheng, in December 1996. It is dedicated to early intervention of hearing loss and helps children with hearing loss in the Mandarin-Chinese speaking world learn to listen and speak. So far, the Children’s Hearing Foundation has accompanied more than 5,000 children with hearing loss and their families. The CHF collaborates with the families to promote social awareness on “listen carefully and speak thoughtfully” to create a communication-friendly environment.

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