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Babies Build Toddlers: A Montessori Guide to Parenting the First 18 Months

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This eye-opening guide emphasizes the importance of the first eighteen months on the success of a child in toddlerhood and beyond.

Synopsis

Babies Build Toddlers is a unique parenting book with an innovative illustrative approach that makes child development information both accessible and actionable for everyday readers. Author, Mariana Bissonnette tells the powerful story of the child during their most essential stage of development: infancy.

The first 18 months lay a critical foundation for a child's future emotional, cognitive, physical, and social well-being. But this early time is often the most difficult for parents! Many find themselves in "survival mode" until toddlerhood, something that overlooks the incredible potential of this early time. Babies Build Toddlers offers readers a window into the intersection of development, education and parenting through clear developmental timelines (including movement, language, eating, sleeping, hygiene, and bonding), practical suggestions for how to support that development, and illustrations from a team of illustrators who celebrate the fullness of each parent's journey.

The first eighteen months of life is a critical time in human development. Though this period can be fatiguing and overwhelming, it is when a human “seed” spreads its roots, building a foundation that will lead to life as a successful toddler and beyond. Developmentally, children transition to new skills, begin perfecting those skills, and then become comfortable with those skills in a cycle that repeats even into adolescence and adulthood. Understanding these milestones helps caregivers see the big picture and remember that their child is learning independence, a skill that will benefit them throughout their lives.


Based heavily on the work of Maria Montessori, this book takes readers through a child’s early life, from infancy to toddlerhood. It is broken into five sections, each one highlighting a specific aspect of the growth of the human “seed.” Though it is nonfiction, this book is designed to be read straight through, as a novel might be. This flow allows readers to focus on the child first and then on the caregiver as the “gardener.” The text itself is presented in a formal, educational manner, and the design and illustrations add visual elements that solidify each concept.


A parent of two and Montessori educator herself, the author combines her personal experience and knowledge into a book that provides caregivers with the guidance and understanding to support their children’s development. Similar to the Montessori method, readers are given the opportunity to try and fail without judgement, which is something caregivers of all kinds need. This open-minded approach makes caregivers feel more confident at a time when they are feeling most vulnerable.


The design and layout of this book is consistent from chapter to chapter, including myriad images and ample white space to keep readers connected without feeling overwhelmed. Instead of being illustrated by only one person, a team of several women depict the lessons in this book, adding diverse and inclusive images to the text. The author draws readers’ attention to race and gender divides and, while white herself, raises awareness of authors, illustrators, and educators from a wide range of backgrounds.


An informative, inclusive, and accessible guide, this book supports caregivers in providing a strong start for their children to promote lifelong success.

Reviewed by

My career has focused on children’s literature, primarily, but I have a love for YA books, too. I began reviewing books in 2015, since which time I have had over 500 published reviews!

I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews like this upon request: https://youtu.be/9MQx-u_NFI8

Synopsis

Babies Build Toddlers is a unique parenting book with an innovative illustrative approach that makes child development information both accessible and actionable for everyday readers. Author, Mariana Bissonnette tells the powerful story of the child during their most essential stage of development: infancy.

The first 18 months lay a critical foundation for a child's future emotional, cognitive, physical, and social well-being. But this early time is often the most difficult for parents! Many find themselves in "survival mode" until toddlerhood, something that overlooks the incredible potential of this early time. Babies Build Toddlers offers readers a window into the intersection of development, education and parenting through clear developmental timelines (including movement, language, eating, sleeping, hygiene, and bonding), practical suggestions for how to support that development, and illustrations from a team of illustrators who celebrate the fullness of each parent's journey.

About the author

Mariana Bissonnette (she/her) is an early childhood educator with AMI Montessori teaching credentials for ages 0-6 and has extensive work with children and parents as a parenting coach through her community program, PEACE, where she has coached over 1200 families through infancy and beyond. view profile

Published on December 16, 2020

Published by

40000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Parenting & Families

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