About the Holiday
It’s always a cause for celebration when a new book joins the Small Talk Books series family! The partnership of Ellen Mayer and Ying-Hwa Hu has created adorable books aimed at bringing joy and teachable moments to everyday chores and time spent with little ones. To see more books in the series, visit Star Bright Books.
Much thanks to Star Bright Books for sending me a copy of Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You! for review consideration. All opinions on the book are my own.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You!
¡Brilla, brilla, pañalito! / Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You!
Written by Ellen Mayer | Illustrated by Ying-Hwa Hu | Translated by Eida Del Risco
A little one “Oohs” while nestled in Mama’s arms, letting her know how uncomfortable they feel. With a sweet smile, Mama echoes her baby’s “Ooh-ooh!” and begins a reassuring conversation: “‘You want a clean diaper, don’t you?’” she says. She takes her baby to the changing table and turns the baby’s fretting into smiles and giggles as she lovingly talks, plays, and sings with her little one. As she gently cleans her baby’s bottom, Mom sings her own version of a favorite classic. “‘Twinkle, twinkle, diaper you–– / Clean your bottom, no more poo.’” Baby laughs and kicks her feet as Mama and the soothing wipes make everything better.
Engaging her baby with eye contact, smiles, and full-sentence descriptions of what she is doing, while mirroring baby’s facial expressions and sounds, Mama turns the frequent job of diapering into a fun bonding and learning experience for both. As she finishes up, she says, “‘Let’s close your diaper up—SNIP, SNUP. What a big smile, Baby. And I’m smiling too,’”
After Baby is all clean and freshly diapered, Mom takes a minute to share extra quality time with her precious little one – “‘Ready, Sweet Baby…? Here comes a tummy smooch!’” – and continue her song: “‘Twinkle, twinkle, diaper do– / Kiss on tummy, just for you.’” What does Baby have to say? A very satisfied, “‘OOOOOH!’” Then, as big sister peeks over the edge of the table, it’s time for cuddly pajamas and, finally, snuggling on the couch with family, a book, and a last twinkling verse.
A Note for Parents, Grandparents, and Caregivers by Dr. Betty Bardige, an expert on language and literacy development in young children, reveals the important connection between talking, singing, and playing with babies and their language learning. Bardige goes on to provide tips for interacting with your child and following their cues as well as for how to share this book with little ones.
Ellen Mayer’s newest addition to her Small Talk Books series is a charming story that little ones will eagerly respond to and which can help parents turn diaper time into a joyful experience full of opportunities for language and literacy development. Mayer’s clever take on the kid-favorite Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, is infectious and fun for adults to sing while reading with their baby and while diapering. Sweet endearments, playful words, and even a tummy kiss realistically reflect the loving relationship parents and caregivers share with their little ones.
Children love and respond positively to routine, and the frequency of diaper changing makes this one of babies’ first familiar experiences. Adding parental conversation, songs, smiles, and mirroring of the child’s sounds, expressions, and motions to the dedicated time diapering takes creates a rich educational environment for baby to listen to caregivers and begin the basic foundations of language learning.
In ¡Brilla, brilla, pañalito! / Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You! the story is charmingly translated into Spanish by Eida Del Risco. Spanish verses share two-page spreads with the English translation, providing a rich reading experience for native Spanish speakers, bilingual families, and those parents interested in teaching their children Spanish.
Mayer’s storytelling in Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You! as in all of the books in her series depicts realistic conversation that even the youngest babies will recognize while modeling words and simple, but meaningful sentences for adults to share with little ones. As readers grow, they will be happy to join in on the story by repeating the baby’s coos and actions. Sharing the book with toddlers who are not yet potty trained can give them an opportunity to explain to parents the steps of diaper changing—an exercise that strengthens body awareness, memory, vocabulary, sequencing awareness, and language skills.
Ying-Hwa Hu’s bright illustrations, sprinkled with silver stars that glitter on the page, will delight little readers. Her clean lines and soothing color palette create a pleasing backdrop to familiar details that give adults plenty to point out and name while reading. The centerpiece of each page is the relationship between mother and child and reflects actions, such as making eye and physical contact, that enhance a child’s learning and self-confidence. Hu’s adorable baby giggles and belly laughs as Mama smiles and talks lovingly while changing and then cuddling her little one. The appearance of the baby’s big sister (perhaps still using diapers herself, or recently transitioned to underwear), makes this a book that will appeal to a wide range of ages. The final spread of the baby’s family reading and cuddling together is heartwarming.
A delightful book for parents and caregivers to share with babies and toddlers, Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You! makes a sparkling baby shower or new baby gift as well as a perfect addition to home, daycare, preschool, and public library board book and parenting collections. The book will also appeal to older children who have babies in the family or enjoy playing with their dolls.
Ages Birth – 3
Star Bright Books, 2020 | ISBN 978-1595728937 (English edition) | ISBN 978-1595728944 (Spanish/English bilingual edition)
About the Author
Ellen Mayer is a writer with a background in early childhood and parent education. She has worked as a researcher at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, studying family engagement in children’s learning. She has also worked as an early literacy home visitor with a diverse community of families, supporting young children in early language development through book sharing and play. Ellen held a writing fellowship for Math Picture Book Authors, from the Heising-Simons Foundation, and is a visiting author with the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative of the Somerville, MA Public Schools. Ellen writes her children’s books to entertain and educate both children and the adults who read to them. She holds an M.Phil. in Sociology from Columbia University. You can connect with Ellen Mayer on her website.
About the Illustrator
Ying-Hwa Hu is an award-winning illustrator. Her work has been exhibited at the Bologna Book Fair and The Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two children. You can connect with Ying-Hwa Hu on her website.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You! Book Birthday Activity
Twinkle, Twinkle Star Mobile Craft
A mobile hanging over a baby’s crib or diaper-changing table engages little ones with its movement, colors, and shapes. With this craft, you can create a twinkly mobile for your baby!
- Printable Star Templates: 2- and 3-inch Stars | Variety of Star Sizes
- Wooden flat floral frame with eight holes around the rim, available at craft stores. Alternatively, an embroidery hoop or wire floral frame can be used.
- White 1/8-inch by 10-yard ribbon, or color of your choice
- 2 or 3 Yellow adhesive foam glitter sheets. (You will need 3 stars to make each 3D star on the mobile.)
- 2 or 3 Silver adhesive foam glitter sheets. (You will need 3 stars to make each 3D star on the mobile.)
- Medium sized wooden or plastic beads
- Small to medium size metal, wood, or sturdy plastic ring for the hanger (optional)
- Print and cut out star templates
- Decide on a pattern for your stars and how many stars of each color you will need. (You will need 3 stars to make each 3D star on the mobile.)
- Trace stars onto yellow and silver foam
- Cut out stars
- Cut 8 varying lengths of ribbon, including 16 to 19 inches for gathering above the rim and tying at the top
To Make Hanger and Prepare Ribbons
- Feed ribbon through each hole in the frame, pulling through 16 to 19 inches (or amount desired)
- Gather ribbon together at top, loop, and tie a knot to make a hanger. If desired, tie and knot ribbon around a metal, wood, or sturdy plastic ring to make the hanger.
- To keep rim in place, feed a bead onto the ribbon up to the bottom of the frame. Tie a knot in the ribbon to secure the bead against the rim
To Make 3D Stars
- Pick three foam stars and fold them in half lengthwise to create a crease
- Remove the paper backing
- Choose two stars and while keeping the creases in place, match and stick together one arm, one leg, and half of the top point of two stars
- Carefully position the ribbon down the middle of the two stars, and while keeping the creases in place, add the third star. You will match and stick together the left arm and leg of this last star to the left-hand star and the right arm and leg to the right-hand star. Push together in the middle to maintain the creases all around the star.
To Make Flat Stars
- Take two foam stars and remove the paper backing
- Lay the ribbon down the middle of one star
- Attach the second star on top
Repeat with each star, staggering them along the ribbons by color and size
Hang your mobile!
You can find Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You! at these booksellers
You can find ¡Brilla, brilla, pañalito! / Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You! at these booksellers
Picture Book Review