Martine Groenveld's upcoming book, Mommy, Draw Stars on My Tummy is a breath of fresh air in the world of children's books. Not only does it introduce new poetry and rhymes to children, but also encourages the most intimate play time and connection opportunities between parent and child.
Groeneveld is a licensed massage therapist and certified infant massage instructor. She understands the healing power of touch and introduces it to parents in a natural manner. Each rhyme in the book is accompanied by a description of the strokes used for each, as well as the manner of touch to accompany each line. She adds further tips to most of the rhymes that will create new experiences every time they are shared.
Beautiful, calming illustrations by Brad Kunkle complement each rhyme, allowing for the book to be read while simply cuddling with a child, even without the touch and massage techniques. Reading aloud to children has been scientifically proven to benefit children's reading skills. Rhymes train the child's ear in phonemic awareness skills, which are essential to the reading process.
Groeneveld provides much information in the introduction about methods of massage and touch, as well as appropriate times to perform the activities with the children. She emphasizes following the lead of the child, such as directly touching skin or rubbing over clothing. At the end of the book, she provides a synopsis of studies that support the benefits of touch on a child's development, as well as a comprehensive list of resources for further information.
Though the title insinuates it is a book for mothers to share with their children, fathers, grandparents, siblings, and other caregivers can use it to create a deeper relationship with the child. It can be implemented as a natural part of the daily routine, to be used for several years. Let's hope Martine Groenveld is inspired to share more of her wisdom with families again, soon!
Buy Mommy, Draw Stars on My Tummy; Rhymes, Songs and Touch-Play Activities to Stay Connected
Andrea Coventry is a reviewer for BookPleasures.com