Bookworm Babies

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Contact: Kimberly Aulenback & Dawn Tringas

Seven Years Press



Read. Converse. Nurture. Impact.

Parents today know what educators have known for decades: there are enormous brain benefits associated with simply reading aloud from birth. They also know that reading should involve more than opening a book, pronouncing the words, and closing the book, but few have been taught how to truly unlock the unique power within the pages of a story.

BOOKWORM BABIES: Read. Converse. Nurture. Impact. (Seven Years Press / May 2018 / $14.70) is poised to become the predominant parenting handbook for reading and conversing about books. Written for parents by teachers, it applies The Bookworm Babies Method — a nurturing and empowering strategy for enhancing the benefits of book-sharing through conversation starters —  to 20 popular book titles. Parents who seek to maximize the formation of neural connections during reading and bonding time will be guided to move beyond the words on the page and extrapolate embedded concepts related to math, science, language, art, music, and critical thinking.

Cultivating behaviors of conversational literacy from infancy ensures that babies develop a proficiency for reading that will permeate all aspects of growth, development, and life-experience. There is so much more to book-sharing than reading, and children, beginning in infancy, benefit most from this knowledge.

As veteran teachers and educational consultants, Aulenback and Tringas know that sharing books with children is one of the easiest ways to raise a child to be a critical thinker. At a time when attention is being given to the accessibility of high-quality preschools to solve achievement and opportunity gaps, Bookworm Babies, a parenting handbook, has value as an easily implementable and sustainable conversational model that can be utilized early and often, by all families, regardless of education or socio-economic status. 

Kimberly Zimmer Aulenback, M.Ed., earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism at Boston University, and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education at Lesley University. A veteran teacher, she is experienced in Reading Readiness and Recovery, Guided Reading, Leveled Literacy Intervention, Non-verbal Communication, Technology Integration, and Holistic Curriculum Development, in which connections are made to all subjects through reading. Mrs. Aulenback lives just outside Boston with her husband, a daughter, who is an avid reader, and a son, who enjoys his books and hers.

Dawn Ohanian Tringas, M.Ed., graduated from The University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Education. She completed her thesis on ‘Early Reading Instruction Across Cultures’ in both America and in England. She taught in a classroom for over a decade, and as an educational consultant, aided in the development and launch of integrated literacy programs, worked with publishing houses on educational material, wrote technology-based curriculum, and collaborated with businesses to present research and user friendly material to parents, teachers, and students. Mrs. Tringas resides in Boston with her husband and two book-loving children.

Bookworm Babies: Read. Converse. Nurture. Impact.

By Kimberly Zimmer Aulenback and Dawn Ohanian Tringas

Seven Years Press · May 2018 · Paperback $14.70 · 248 pages 

ISBN-10: 0692713999 · ISBN-13: 978-0692713990 

Kindle $9.99 · ASN B07D56LCX4



Authors: BOOKWORM BABIES: Read. Converse. Nurture. Impact.

Tell us about Bookworm Babies.

Most parents pick up a book and read to their child. Teachers pick up a book, read with their child, and then engage in conversations. The difference in methods is profound. 

Bookworm Babies: Read. Converse. Nurture. Impact. brings conversational book-sharing knowledge, which teachers already possess, to parents. In fact, Bookworm Babies is the first step-by-step read-aloud handbook written solely for parents and caregivers. Each chapter offers rich conversation starters for one of 20 popular book titles that parents and caregivers have likely seen before. Bookworm Babies includes conversation starters for children with, and without, verbal language skills.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, one of our 20 book titles, offers parents nine conversation starters. Try the excerpt below when you next read this story with a child.

Use If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to: 

Consider the Concept of Cause and Effect 

Teachers often use books to illustrate basic scientific concepts. Help your child understand the concept of cause and effect in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. As you read, explain why the mouse keeps asking for something new each time the boy gives him an item. For example, on the two-page spread where the mouse asks for a straw, 

you might say: 

Look at the mouse. He is very small. The glass of milk the boy gives to the mouse is too big. If the mouse tried to tip the glass in order to drink the milk, what would happen? Yes, it would cause the milk to spill. That is why the mouse asks for a straw. Now that the mouse has a straw, what effect will that have? Yes, he will be able to drink the milk. Look, the mouse finished eating the cookie and drinking the milk. His mouth is dirty. This causes the mouse to ask for a napkin. What do you think he will do with the napkin? Yes, he will clean his face.” 

Excerpt from Bookworm Babies

Why is a teacher’s perspective important for parents?

Ask any group of educators, or literacy researchers, and they will tell you that cultivating behaviors of literacy from infancy ensures that children develop a proficiency for language and reading behaviors that will permeate all aspects of growth, development, and life experience. They will also tell you that pointing out details of text and conversing about stories is the easiest and most effective way to teach early critical thinking skills and build a foundation for knowledge and connections. Teachers spend years studying early literacy, and applying that learning when raising their own children. As educators ourselves, we felt it was past time to share this knowledge with all parents and caregivers.

“Remember, children’s experiences are limited to their environment. As you read, the words and pictures within the pages of a book are, quite literally, new worlds for your little one. Every book shared, and every conversation had, makes a deposit into your child’s experience and background knowledge bank. Your little one will be able to draw on these investments for the rest of his or her life.”                  

— Excerpt from Bookworm Babies


Why are you so passionate about conversational book-sharing?

Exposure to books, coupled with conversing about stories, is the simplest, most effective, and most enjoyable way to develop and stimulate a child’s very young mind, while laying the foundation for success later in life. The simple truth is that children who have been read with from birth have an educational advantage over their peers. 

We firmly believe that if every new parent or caregiver had access to books, and understood the ease and value of conversational book-sharing early and often, the breadth of improvement documented in formal education would be statistically significant.


If you had to pick one excerpt from Bookworm Babies for parents to read, what would it be?

“The simple truth is that reading aloud and talking about books are two of the simplest, most effective, and most enjoyable ways to positively affect all aspects of a child’s early intellectual growth and development, regardless of environmental factors. Babies who are read with from birth have already been exposed to concepts related to science, engineering, math, art, and language by the time they enter school. Additionally, they have activated early and vital critical-thinking skills, such as predicting and pretending, and early literacy skills, such as letter and word recognition. This essential learning and nurturing, stemming from both the reading and the conversations inspired by books, is paramount to a child’s future success.”  

 Excerpt from Bookworm Babies

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