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With Me, Baby.

This story explores ways in which parents/caregivers can interact with their little ones through movement, reading, playing, etc.

Photo of Marni Fogelson
7 2

Written by

Read with me, baby,
every morning in bed.
A book on our laps
and pillows behind our heads.

Laugh with me, baby,
when we count all your toes,
and I give you kisses
on that sweet little nose.

Talk with me, baby,
and tell me what you see.
The blue circle is round,
that cloud is a chimpanzee.

Listen with me, baby,
for birds tweeting in the park,
the beep of cars, kids giggling,
a guitar played in the dark.

Play with me, baby.
Hide and Seek or Peek a Boo?
Let’s pull up some weeds for
our pot of clover stew.

Grow with me, baby.
Jump, run, play, stretch, and climb,
then swing and swing and swing
until it's dinnertime.

Eat with me, baby.
Water ice to cool us down,
soft, salty pretzels, hoagies,
and dumplings in Chinatown. 

Clap with me, baby.
while our favorite songs play.
Let’s sing our ABCs
as we scrub away the day.

Close your eyes now, baby.
One last book before sleep,
a goodnight lullaby,
then it's time to count sheep.

Dream with me, baby.
This whole city is for you.
Rest now, and when we wake up
we’ll live each day like it’s new.

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

This manuscript is meant to help/guide parents and caregivers into engaging and interacting regularly with their child. Talking, reading, playing, eating, singing: all of these forms of communication can help children bond with their caregivers, learn, grow, and explore the world.

Share your suggested book title

With Me, Baby

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Read with me, baby, every morning in bed. A book on our laps and pillows behind our heads. Laugh with me, baby, when we count all your toes, and I give you kisses on that sweet little nose. Talk with me, baby, and tell me what you see. The blue circle is round, that cloud is a chimpanzee. Listen with me, baby, for birds tweeting in the park, the beep of cars, kids giggling, a guitar played in the dark. Play with me, baby. Hide and Seek or Peek a Boo? Let’s pull up some weeds for our pot of clover stew. Grow with me, baby. Jump, run, play, stretch, and climb, then swing and swing and swing until it's dinnertime. Eat with me, baby. Water ice to cool us down, soft, salty pretzels, hoagies, and dumplings in Chinatown. Clap with me, baby. while our favorite songs play. Let’s sing our ABCs as we scrub away the day. Close your eyes now, baby. One last book before sleep, a goodnight lullaby, then it's time to count sheep. Dream with me, baby. This whole city is for you. Rest now, and when we wake up we’ll live each day like it’s new.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

This manuscript provides multiple opportunities for early childhood language development. Reading, singing, playing pretend, playing games, counting, learning songs, observing the world around us: these all are wonderful, simple ways to help children process the world around them and to learn how to use language to describe it. Reading to children is an especially effective way to build their language skills (as well as to bond and create routines and rituals around reading time) and can be done anywhere, but there are also plenty of opportunities in the city (at parks, various places to get food, etc) and at home (during bathtime, for example) that can support healthy language development.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I have lived in Philadelphia for over 13 years. Along with my family, I continue to love exploring this wonderful city.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

The book mentions some typical Philly/urban contexts, especially regarding favorite Philly foods as well as spending time in one of the city's many parks. I also left several of the "scenes" open for interpretation for an illustrator: "Talk with me, baby" could take place in a laundromat or perhaps at the children's museum (or even walking down the street or looking out a bus window), and any of the scenes at home could have a view of the urban landscape out of the window. An illustrator could obviously emphasize the urban/Philly aspect with both overt and nuanced depictions.

Location: Country

U.S.

Location: State or Department

Pennsylvania

Location: City

Philladelphia

Tell us more about you / your team

I'm a parent, writer, and the co-chair of a local literacy nonprofit that works to provide new, free, diverse books in children from low-income households throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. I am extremely excited about this initiative and know that there are so many parents/caregivers in our amazing city (and beyond) that could benefit from a book like this. Becoming a parent can be overwhelming! Parents/caregivers want their children to be happy, to learn, and to succeed, but not everyone instinctively knows the importance of communicating, reading, playing with kids (or even how to engage). I love the idea that this book could provide a way for families to bond and learn together.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

I love the illustrations of Jerry Pinkney, Kadir Nelson, R. Gregory Christie, Caroline Binch, Sophie Blackall. Although most of these images are from books for older children, they are still emotionally resonant, recognizable, and just plain gorgeous!

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

I have a published children's book called A Cello Named Pablo (https://www.amazon.com/Cello-Named-Pablo-Marni-Fogelson/dp/0999253107). I have also written/edited for a variety of media outlets including Domino, Inhabitots, and Inhabitat.

Do you have an agent?

  • Previously yes, currently no

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

Inspired by (1)

A Book Is For...

7 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Marni Fogelson  Welcome to the Challenge Community!
Your story is so beautifully balanced and complete. Love how it effortlessly weaves a child-caregiver interaction, learning elements, rhyme, and everything in the context of Philadelphia.
I don't have any particular suggestions to give to this beautiful story. For your final edits and tweaks, You can find some inspiration in the Featured Suggestion and Challenge Resources listed on the challenge Page.

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