Welcome Wednesday: Special Strengths with Travis D. Peterson

Author: Travis D Peterson

Genre: Children’s Picture Books

Book: Ada and the Helpers

Ada is a friendly fox with cochlear implants who loves to dance. On her way to a talent show, she helps other creatures with special needs see past their challenges to find their strengths. But can her new friends help Ada with her stage fright? #childrensbooks #PB #kidlit

Special Strengths

Interview by Jenny Fulton

Travis D. Peterson is an American graphic designer and children’s book author who grew up in North Carolina but later moved with his wife to her hometown in Norway. He is also a father to a couple of brave kids, one of whom wears bilateral cochlear implants. His debut book is a children’s book that focuses on special needs and helping others.

Ada and the Helpers was inspired by Peterson’s 3-year-old daughter, Esther, who is deaf and has cochlear implants.

“She’s a small girl with a huge personality, and she’s currently learning two spoken languages and two sign languages!” Travis enthused.

Something many people don’t often realize is that almost every country has its own sign language. So, Esther is learning four languages at the same time: English, American Sign Language (ASL), Norwegian, and Norwegian sign language. I’m impressed.

“How did writing this book change or impact you?” I asked.

“I think all parents of a child with a disability grieve that news in different ways. For me, it was a strong desire to create something that could encourage and benefit other families in similar situations.”

In addition to teaching the American Sign Language alphabet, Ada and the Helpers brings awareness to disabilities and the importance of inclusion. It teaches kids that even though we may have areas in which we struggle, we also have strengths. And finally, it encourages children to know that everyone can and should help others.

“What do you hope readers come away with after reading your book?” I asked.

“I hope they come away with a stronger awareness that even those with special needs have strengths, and that they gain a desire to learn ASL.”

Ada and the Helpers is available for purchase at www.launchmissioncreative.com/shop or on Amazon.

“But I do recommend the hardcover for the reversible dust jacket.” Peterson noted.


Because the dust jacket doubles as an ASL alphabet poster. That’s in addition to these great educational features inside the book.

  • 14 words spelled out using the full ASL alphabet in diverse hand signs
  • Introduces three of the Ling Sounds: “oo”, “ee”, & “ss”.

Purchase the Book

Book Blurb for Ada and the Helpers

“Be bold! Be brave! Let you be you… and let’s help others, too!”

Ada and the Helpers is about a friendly fox who loves to dance, but also happens to be deaf and has cochlear implants that help her to hear. On her way to a talent show one day, Ada meets a few other woodland creatures that have special needs of their own. She helps each of them to see past their challenges and find their natural, God-given strengths. But can her new friends help Ada “break” her stage fright before the big show?

Connect with Travis

One comment

  1. I LOVE this topic and this interview AND this book! I am a former library media specialist in an elementary school and recognize the importance of this story… and I am enthralled by the cover! BRAVO!!! And thank you, Jenny, for sharing this blog!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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