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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 currently holds 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. Her very first children’s book, Tomasito's Mother Comes to School/La mamá de Tomasito visita la escuela, was published as an ebook by Harvard University. 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.

Ellen is a new grandmother, the mother of two grown children, and lives with her husband in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Visit Ellen's website here. Photo by Mindaugas Sereiva.

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    Small Talk Books® A toddler and Daddy go shopping for a pet fish. On the way they find other fish, but those aren ’t fish to feed. Toddlers will love seeing different fish through holes in the pages. Daddy responds to the child ’s simple words with full sentences, adds more information and asks open-ended questions.

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    Small Talk Books® Mama, her toddler, and two stuffed bunnies turn a grocery store outing into an opportunity to talk, laugh, and learn a little math. As they fill their cart with items in quantities of one and two, Mama lets her baby hold them, connecting the familiar idea of one and two hands to concepts of one and two. This material is based upon work...

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    Small Talk Books® A young boy and his grandma are baking a cake together. Little ones will love experiencing the different steps in baking a cake: helping to find the supplies, measuring, and combining the ingredients and then frosting the cake. Speaking in short sentences, the little boy talks with his grandma as they work together. Download a fun math...

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    It is cleanup time, and Daddy and his little one are putting away books, blocks, teddy bears, and train cars, and preparing for dinner—all while having fun with math! As Daddy talks with his toddler, he uses spatial-relationship math words and phrases like up, down, inside, outside, next to, and under to reinforce his young learner’s understanding. When...

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    Small Talk Books® Baby has fun with Mama as she folds the clean laundry and dresses the baby. A sock is missing! When found and Baby is dressed, it’s time to play outside. Little ones will love seeing Baby getting dressed and finding the sock. Throughout the story Mama talks with Baby about what she and Baby are doing. Download a fun math activity sheet

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    Small Talk Books® When spunky preschooler Rosa decides to help out her busy mama, she enlists Grandpa’s help to put away the clean laundry. Download a fun math activity sheet

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