Read to your baby before and after birth! The award-winning, critically acclaimed first member of the Belly Books Collection is inspired by studies showing that a rhythmic story read regularly during the last trimester soothes and stimulates your baby before and after birth. At the same time, the sweet verses and illustrations allow you to celebrate this time of joyful anticipation. Plus, this sturdy board book, made in the USA, is uniquely shaped to rest comfortably over your growing belly. It's the ultimate baby-shower gift! Winner of the Mom's Choice Gold Award, and Moonbeam Children's Book Award Gold Medal! Check out our video all about Belly Books at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw8f43eOxO0
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, now is the time to pick up a little something special to surprise the “moms” in your life. Whether your favorite lady is a mom-to-be or the woman whom you admire for her ultimate strength and beauty, there are plenty of new books from which to choose. To help you make the best selection, here are some remarkable titles available in stores and online now.
Can’t Wait to Show You: A Celebration of Moms to Be by Jacqueline Boyle and Susan Lupone Stonis is a belly book specifically designed to fit around a mom’s growing tummy. With rhythmic words and a repetitive storyline, the unborn baby can become accustomed to mom’s voice while absorbing language while in utero. After the baby is born, mom and infant can bond over the eye-catching colors and soothing words. This board book would also make a perfect shower gift.
Can’t Wait to Show You: A Celebration for Mothers-to-Be
by Jacqueline Boyle and Susan Lupone Stonis
“Exciting results from recent studies show the powerful effects of reading to babies in utero: a rhythmic, repetitive story read regularly during the last trimester will soothe your baby after he or she is born. It’s also been shown that sharing stories with pretern babies familiarizes them with the voices of their parents and other family members, and that babies can even absorb elements of language while in the womb. Such discoveries inspire the Belly Book Collection.”
“Hello in there, baby! I’m thinking of you
As you’re curled up inside me so small
Every joy we share
All my loving care
And I can’t wait to show you it all!”
Can’t Wait to Show You consists of one poem of 10 5-line stanzas. The poem begins with one stanza on the first spread, two stanzas on the second spread, and alternates from there until the final one stanza spread. The rhyming scheme notation is a-b-c-c-b. If not for the first line standing alone, the 5-line stanzas are close to the limerick form.
The authors base their book on the idea that in the last trimester, the child can hear the voices outside of the womb and can remember those voices. This familiarity helps the child relax, find a happy mood, and may help the child at birth. Singing the poem will intensify this, as newborns can recognize repeated songs, which also has a calming effect. The process of reading to their yet-to-be-born child also helps the parents’ transition into parenthood and enjoy the nine-month gestation period.
The poem is event centered. Parents anxious to meet their child is the on-going theme consistently stated in the fifth line.
“Oh, I can’t wait to show you the . . . “
In the second stanza, they cannot wait to show their child the light of the sun through rainbows, suncatchers, and sunbeams. In the final stanza, the parents cannot wait to show the child their love. The poem is easy to find a nice consistent rhythm by which to sing the verses or simply read them aloud with ease. The meter is consistently perfect.
One of the most interesting features of Can’t Wait to Show You is the book’s shape. The edges and corners curve making the rounded book smooth and perfect for a baby-belly. The book is designed to comfortably sit atop the pregnant woman’s belly and, later, the child, as she or he sit in mom or dad’s lap listening to the now familiar poem.
The illustrations are beautiful. Each new spread advances the age of the child from third-trimester to toddler and then flows full-circle back to a newborn on the final spread. The babies and toddlers are happy bundles of baby fat and smiles; images that will be irresistible to most. The pages are thick, perfect for children’s grips. The weight of the book as a whole should help it stay in the given belly position.
I love the poem Can’t Wait to Show You. Here is my favorite spread; the fourth spread:
“If you try some bananas and peaches
Lick the spoon so they don’t go to waste
For your birthday I’ll make
Chocolate angelfood cake
Oh, I can’t wait to show you the taste!
“Your blanky is warm, soft and snuggly
The splashy bath suds make you squeal
A kitten will purr
When you snuggle her fur
Oh, I can’t wait to show you the feel!”
The love of reading is acquired best when started early. Reading to your child in the womb is the best start, as long as reading to your child continues through the years. The beauty of the words and illustrations make Can’t Wait to Show You the perfect baby shower gift. It would also be a unique gift as unique as the poem inside the pages.
Can’t Wait to Show You is not a novelty book. Nor is it just for mothers. Fathers can and should read to their baby; getting to know the one person who will wrap him around their finger for a lifetime. Can’t Wait to Show You is destined to become a family favorite that lasts many years, and then becomes a cherished heirloom passed down to succeeding generations.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Can't Wait to Show You by Jacqueline Boyle and Susan Lupone Stonis
It’s another day here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, the place that welcomes readers of all ages and from all stages of life. Speaking of life stages…
If you’ve been around the blog for some time, you’ve probably heard this story (or if you’ve read my “About Me” section); if not, allow me to enlighten you. When my dear old Mom was pregnant with yours truly, she loved nothing more than to pass her free time with a good book. Feet propped, warm drink (she lived up North), and some page filled fun. Sounds good right…or perhaps familiar. Just wait, I’m getting to it. From novels to encyclopedias, cereal boxes to newspapers, anything wordy was fair game…and she didn’t just read to herself; she read to me. That’s right. Even before I saw any glimpse of this world, I was hearing the splendors it held both of the fictitious and every day variety….plus building a love of learning AND reading that (thus far) will last a lifetime. Don’t believe it can happen? Oh, but it can! There are studies, research and the like to provide proof if you need; as for me, I’m proof enough to myself. ^_^
Now, how does all that tie into today? Well, I had an interesting review request come through for a board book (not unusual) that shared a story through words and pictures (not unusual) from a new series entitled Belly Books. (< - That’s the unusual part!) Just what ARE Belly Books you ask? Great question! Great question indeed. Belly Books are stories meant to be shared both BEFORE and AFTER the birth of a little one. They come in a sturdy board book format for less wear initially, and then later on to survive the handlings from tiny little fingers that like to touch, feel, and tear (oops!). The book itself is even SHAPED with the expectant mother in mind as there is a “U” cut out on the bottom so as to be able to rest the book on their belly as they read; afterwards, it can serve as a reminder of those joy-filled times as well as create a natural reading circle for both Mom and kiddo. It’s really quite ingenious!
The first installment in the series, I now have the pleasure of introducing to you. Ready? Set? Here we go! Today’s book of choice is….
Can’t Wait to Show You:
A Celebration for Mothers-to-be
Written & Illustrated by
Jacqueline Boyle and Susan Lupone Stonis
The story is sweet and simple, sharing all the things that the Mom-to-be can’t wait to experience with her little one. It helps to verbalize the love she feels for them now and will continue to show upon their arrival. The illustrations allow adult readers the chance to “ooh” and “aah” over their cuteness while the colorful palette used will enchant the eyes of wee ones once they get a hold of it…not to mention inspire them to act out some of what’s depicted once they can splash in the tub or bang on pots and pans. ^_^
In short, it’s a new (to me at least) take on the classic storybook for wee ones and soon-to-be ones that dear old Mom can enjoy too! It allows the joys of reading to be shared at the earliest stages while encouraging the skills continued growth. Recommended for all mothers and mothers-to-be in your life; can we say perfect baby shower gift? Yep, I think I just did.
Special thanks to Susan and Jacqueline of The Reading Womb for the review copy and the chance to bring this amazing series to you. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as the Belly Books series, be sure to stop by the official site, like them on Facebook, or pin them on Pinterest. To discover more on the research and news on the benefits of reading to babies in utero, pay a visit to The Reading Wombblog…your comprehensive online resource. This title is available now, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or online retailer of your choosing.
Read to the Belly
By Delana Stewart
As an education consultant and mother, I have always been a huge advocate of reading to children. Books have been a part of my children’s lives since the time I brought them home from the hospital. My father, also a huge advocate for getting kids to read, always kept my children’s bookshelves well stocked.During my pregnancies, I had heard about talking to and singing to your unborn child. It never occurred to me the possible benefits of reading to my unborn children.Susan Lupone Stonis and Jacqueline Boyle, inspired by recent research on the topic of reading to the baby bump, created a series of books called Belly Books. According to their website, “. . . a rhythmic, repetitive story read regularly during the last trimester soothes and stimulates your baby before and after he or she is born.” In exchange for an honest review, they recently sent me their book:Can’t Wait to Show You: A Celebration for Mothers-to-BeThis colorful, rhyming board book is creatively shaped to fit over an expecting mother’s expanding belly. Now that I am a new grandma, I can encourage my children to begin reading to my grandchildren before their arrival into the world. I enjoyed reading this book and can imagine the joy a mom and dad can experience introducing the book to their child after the baby is born as well. What a fun book for an older sibling to see as he/she sits next to mom while the story is being read to the brother or sister in the belly.If you want to learn more about in utero reading, check out the authors’ blog:http://thereadingwomb.wordpress.com/You can also find the book on Amazon.com.Reading to the belly (as in a mom reading to her womb) can even lead into a different kind of reading to the belly …
By Ruth Thompson
Most children enjoy being read to. They enjoy being taken into a whole new world of imagination, and they enjoy the bond being shared between them and their parents, grandparents, or other loved ones.
Susan Lupone Stonis and Jacqueline Boyle believe the benefits of being read to can have a positive affect on a child while still in the womb. And they have written and illustrated an innovative picture book specifically designed for a mother to read to her unborn baby.
“The idea was inspired by recent research that shows that babies in-utero who are read a rhythmic repetitive story during the third trimester of pregnancy can actually remember and be soothed by that story after birth,” said Stonis, a Scituate resident.
Their book, “Can’t Wait to Show You,” was released on March 1 and is the first title in the Belly Books Collection — durable board books made in the U.S. for the expectant mother to read to her baby in the womb.
Belly Books are inspired by a wealth of recent scientific evidence showing the powerful influence of reading to babies in-utero.
Stonis said it has become clear that babies can already hear, recognize and remember elements of language in the third trimester of pregnancy.
“The fun part for the expectant mother is that her voice will also become familiar to her baby even before birth, so she can actively bond with the listening baby,” she said.
A mother of three and stepmother to two, Stonis has been an elementary school teacher for the Sandwich Public Schools for almost 20 years, with five of those years in the role of a literacy teacher. She currently teaches fourth grade.
Boyle’s family is from Scituate, where she lived as a child, and members of her family are still in town. She has worked as a copyeditor and proofreader for many years while she pursued various creative endeavors, including fiction writing, oil painting and drawing.
“Can’t Wait to Show You” is their first published book.
Stonis said the inspiration to write the book came when she was immersed in training through Literacy Collaborative at Lesley College while preparing for her role as a literacy teacher.
“I had always known the importance of reading to children, but didn’t truly understand the power of exposing children to literacy and language as early as possible,” she said.
Through her studies and experiences at that time she said she became convinced that reading is the key to successful and happy children.
“For years I had seen the difference between kids who loved reading and those for whom reading was a chore, but didn’t quite understand what it was that caused these differences,” she said.
She said she saw a news story about how babies in the womb heard, learned and remembered language.
“I had an a-ha moment,” she said. “I called Jackie with the idea of creating a story read by a mother to her baby in the womb, remembering how I felt when I was pregnant, and how I was anxious to bond with my baby.”
Boyle said that initially she didn’t understand why parents would need this when they could read any children’s book to the baby before birth.
“Then (Stonis) explained the emotional experience we could create for the pregnant mother by voicing all the dreams she has about sharing life with her new baby, and I saw that this book would be something really really special. We started brainstorming, and the fun hasn’t stopped.”
Friends for over 38 years, Stonis and Boyle have worked on many creative projects together over the years.
“When we were kids it was crafts, drawing, songs, and poems,” Stonis said. “Actually, that is kind of what this book is; it’s a grown-up version of what we’ve been doing our whole lives.”
She said the unique shape of the book — a curved shape that wraps around the baby bump, and then around the newborn, came to them almost immediately, and would encourage snuggling and close family time.
“Expectant mothers love the bright illustrations and sweet text, which helps them to envision all the wonderful experiences they’ll share with their baby,” she said. “Grandmothers are big fans, too. And the book has become a popular baby shower gift.”
Both women feel reading is more important to children than ever.
“With all the electronic media that are now a part of children’s and even babies’ play and learning time, there’s a real need to balance it out with traditional books,” Stonis said. “If you’re a reader, you know the joy of getting lost in a book.”
They said they hope that if a family discovers the joys of family story time, even before the baby is born, real books will become more appealing to kids than their electronic counterparts.
“We specifically designed our board book to be fun to hold, look at, and listen to,” Stonis said. “A multisensory experience with no batteries required.”
The biggest challenge with this book, according to Boyle, was the four years they spent trying to catch the interest of literary agents and publishers in the hopes of having their book produced through the traditional channels.
“We think the idea was just a bit ahead of its time,” she said.
They ended up publishing the book themselves, and enjoyed the creative collaboration, which brought together all of their various talents, some they said they never knew they had, including illustrating the book.
Stonis said the response that they’ve received from the public validates their feelings that the book is something special.
Both she and Boyle believe that by starting a family reading routine early, the mom and the dad-to-be are laying the earliest foundation for literacy and language.
“We hope to give expectant mothers a profoundly touching experience, first when they focus on all the joys they’ll share with the coming baby, and later when they watch their newborn listen wide-eyed to the familiar words. And we hope our books inspire families to embrace a literacy routine right from the start, one that continues to encourage family bonding and shared story time all throughout the child’s lifetime.
“We hope to give expectant mothers a profoundly touching experience, first when they focus on all the joys they’ll share with the coming baby, and later when they watch their newborn listen wide-eyed to the familiar words,” Stonis said. “And we hope our books inspire families to embrace a literacy routine right from the start, one that continues to encourage family bonding and shared story time all throughout the child’s lifetime.”
An entire collection of Belly Books written for expectant fathers, grandparents, siblings, and other loved ones who want to share in the process of bonding with the baby-to-be is in the works, Stonis said.
Please check out the televised Fox News Boston interview with Susan and Jacqueline.
By Reporter JOANNE BRIANA-GARTNER
It’s never too early to read to your baby. That’s the message Sandwich teacher Susan Lupone Stonis and her co-author, Jacqueline Boyle of Gloucester, are sending to mothers- and fathers-to-be with the release of their first book, “Can’t Wait to Show You.”
Subtitled “A Celebration for Mothers-to-Be,” the book is the first title in the Belly Books Collection, durable board books made in the USA, expressly designed for the expectant mother to read to her baby in the womb.
“Can’t Wait to Show You” is the first published book for both Ms. Stonis and Ms. Boyle but the duo have several more manuscripts written and ready to illustrate and add to the Belly Books Collection, Ms. Stonis said.
The book and the collection were inspired by the wealth of recent scientific evidence showing the powerful effects of reading to babies in utero.
“The benefits of in utero reading for family bonding and the fostering of future literacy are profound,” said Ms. Stonis. “Establishing a regular story time routine even before birth allows parents to make an early connection with their baby while practicing the art of reading aloud.”
It has become clear that babies can already hear, recognize and remember elements of language in the third trimester of pregnancy. Perhaps the most exciting news for the mother-to-be is that her baby will have learned her unique voice by the time he or she born.
Research also shows that babies who are read a repetitive and rhythmic story before birth are actually soothed and calmed by the same story after birth. This immediate effect of in utero reading can be of huge emotional and practical value to new parents.
Ms. Stonis said that reactions to the book have ranged from surprise to intrigue. “People are eager to start sharing the book with their expected baby,” said Ms. Stonis “One of the reactions we hear most often is ‘What a perfect baby shower gift!’ ”
A distinctive feature of “Can’t Wait to Show You” is its unique belly curve shape, designed to rest comfortably over the baby bump. The father-to-be, whose voice may also be recognized by the baby in the womb, can snuggle close and share in the Belly Book experience. Once the baby is born, the familiar story, read by familiar voices, soothes and fascinates the newborn as the book now encircles him or her in a colorfully engaging experience.
The rhythms and rhymes, read aloud before and after birth, will become familiar to the baby and enhance his or her language development, laying the earliest foundation for literacy.
Upcoming titles in the Belly Books Collection will allow fathers, grandparents, and even siblings to bond with the expected baby.
Ms. Stonis and Ms. Boyle have been best friends since they were students together at Sandwich Junior-Senior High School. Avid readers and literacy champions, the two created and maintain a blog, “The Reading Womb,” which is the only comprehensive online resource for information on reading to babies before birth. Along with topical posts, it features links to news and research and an accompanying podcast.
Ms. Stonis and Ms. Boyle collaborated on both the story and the illustrations for “Can’t Wait to Show You.” “We didn’t really know we were illustrators until necessity inspired us,” said Ms. Stonis, “then we found we were an amazing team and each brought unique skills to the project. We had a lot of fun and are so proud of the results.”
“Can’t Wait to Show You” is available for sale at Titcomb’s Books in East Sandwich and through Amazon.com. Ms. Stonis and Ms. Boyle will be at Titcomb’s for a book signing on May 10. Prior to the signing they will give a talk titled “Reading to your Baby—It’s Never too Early!”