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 Parenting Press®

Baby and I Can Play
and Fun with Toddlers

by Karen Hendrickson

illustrated by Marina Megale

Reviews and Comments

NOTE: Baby and I Can Play and Fun with Toddlers was originally published as two books which were later combined. Some of the reviews are of the separate books.

Baby and I Can Play and Fun with Toddlers is just the thing for the young child whose home has recently been blessed with the addition of a baby. Author Karen Hendrickson and illustrator Marina Megale show children specific activities that they can enjoy with babies and toddlers. The appended notes to parents provide valuable suggestions for getting the best use of the work. This well designed book from Parenting Press respects the feelings of all age groups and celebrates family life. PS-Gr. 2
Library Lane, 1993
All children have their own special needs; those with younger siblings face the additional challenges of relating to the rapidly changing moods and interests of toddlers. This sensitive, well-written book speaks to these "older" children with sympathetic warmth, and respects the feelings of all age-groups while celebrating the fun of playing with little brothers and sisters. Suggested activities include playing with water, hide-and-seek, and making music with pots and pans.
     [Fun With Toddler's] special ingredient is a reminder that toddlers are in an oppositional and provocative developmental stage. Strategies for getting along with these volatile little people are provided. Because toddlers can playfully grab and unintentionally destroy carefully constructed block buildings, "build houses and things you don't want knocked down when you're alone or with an older friend" and "try saying 'no' and walking away when your toddler hurts you" are among the invaluable tips to exasperated older siblings.
     It is gratifying to find that the suggestions offered are appropriate for toddlers. The prevalent focus on direct rote teaching is absent here, and many of the ideas will be useful to parents, caregivers and babysitters, as well as older children in the 4 to 10 age range. The text can be read easily by most 7-year-olds, yet avoids sounding stilted or over simplified.
     The black-and-white illustrations are wonderfully coordinated with the text, further enhancing a child's pleasure in recognizing settings he/she can identify with. These sketches depict a racial mix of children and adults (with the surprising exception of men) relating to each other in natural, realistic situations.
     Karen Hendrickson clearly knows young children. She draws upon her experience and training as a mother of two, teacher of special education preschoolers, and social workers. Her "Notes to Parents" section at the end of the book recommending ways they can use it most effectively is an additional bonus for those seeking more concrete help.
Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, 1986
Many youngsters have baby siblings; but too few titles teach how a child can enjoy her baby brother or sister. Hendrickson's slim but important titles will help this process, exploring the correct ways to play with babies and how youngsters can cope with a baby's unique needs.
     BABY AND I CAN PLAY not only explores the positive attributes of having a young brother or sister; it addresses a child's realistic moments of wanting their younger siblings to disappear.
     Marina Megale illustrates a plot which explores a baby's actions, how an older sibling can successfully enjoy them, and what can be done to alleviate those times in which baby seems to be demanding and receiving too much family attention. The realistic and positive views of a baby's effect upon family relationships makes this an important guide for siblings. Notes to parents at the back of the book provide discussion guidelines.
     FUN WITH TODDLERS continues the focus begun in the baby guide, showing how youngsters with little brothers or sisters can respond to a toddler's unique demands and needs. As with the baby book, the younger sibling is described in terms of "your toddler", giving the young reader a sense of connection to his sibling. Some easy and typical activities such as circle games or drawing lessons are outlined, while the older child is taught how deal with jealousy and anger against the youngster sibling.
     As in the previous title, Megale's illustrations of children of different ethnic groups lend a realistic tone to the important lessons of this book.
The Midwest Book Review
This book [Baby And I Can Play] is addressed to pre-schoolers with a younger sibling. In simple language, it provides developmental information about babies and gives siblings specific suggestions on how and what do play with infants and toddlers.
     By inserting questions to the sibling throughout the text, Karen Hendrickson helps the child discover at what stage his or her baby is. Notes to parents at the back of the book guide adults on how to help pre-schoolers follow the book's many practical suggestions.
     Hendrickson does not shy away from the negative feelings pre-schoolers can have toward younger siblings. Instead, as in the situation of play, she gives concrete advice on how children can deal with their feelings and how they can enlist their parents' help.
     Baby And I Can Play is illustrated with expressive black-and-white drawings. It would be a useful and lovely addition to any school library or child's home bookshelf.
Noelle Sickels, The Wet Set Gazette, 1987
How many times have we heard an adult say to a child "Be gentle with the baby?" More time than we can count, I'm sure. Rarely though, do we see or hear an adult show a child exactly how to play with a baby. We fall short on offering children the information they need in order to better interact with babies.
     Karen Hendrickson of Tukwila, Washington is sensitive to this need. She has written a book called "Baby and I can play" which provides activities for older children to play with babies. For example, she writes "Your baby will let you know when she wants to touch what you show her by waving her hands. Dangle toys close to her hands while she hits at them. Think of things that will move when your baby hits them: a rag doll, a scarf or a balloon on a very short string."
     Hendrickson also gives developmental information about babies which a preschooler can easily understand. "Babies change as they grow. They like different toys and games at different ages. Very little babies learn by seeing and sharing people and things close to them."
     The mother of two children, Hendrickson addresses youngsters' feelings and offers suggestions on how to deal with them. "Sometimes it seems like Mom and Dad don't have enought time for you now. One of the hardest things for big kids to do is to share their mom and dad. Tell your mom when you need some time alone with her. She can plan a special time for you to be together."
     Lastly, she follows the story with ways for parents to expand on some of the concepts presented. While offering additional information and comments, she encourages parents and children to contribute their own ideas as they relate to the specific needs and temperament of their family situation.
     "Baby and I can play" is an excellent resource for siblings, babysitters, caregivers, or anyone around older children and babies. The book is attractively illustrated by Marina Megale who simple drawings capture the depth and variety of childhood emotion.
     Hendrickson has worked as special education teacher for preschools, as a social worker in the public school systems and holds a masters degree in social work from the University of Michigan.
Jo Ann Gergosian, The Times Records (Brunswick, ME), 1985
Parenting Press is currently offering a new addition to their "Getting Along Together" series.
     The second book to be published in the series, "Fun With Toddlers" shows children how to play appropriately with younger siblings. Instead of merely telling youngsters to play nicely, author Karen Hendrickson offers specific activities older children can do with toddlers.
     As with the first book in the series, "Fun With Toddlers" includes developmental information that young children can understand. Hendrickson writes: "Toddlers are not very good at being careful . . ." and "Toddlers sometimes hit or pull hair instead of using words to say how they feel."
     Hendrickson, a parent, teacher and social worker, gives children concrete ways of dealing with conflicts. "Try saying NO and walking away when your toddler hurts you," she suggests. She also offers fun activities for older and younger children to enjoy together. "Circle games are fun for toddlers. Try 'Ring Around the Rosy' or 'Motor Boat'," she writes.
     The book also includes notes to parents on how to expand on the ideas presented in the story. Drawings are attractively and sensitively done by artist Marina Megale, who has also illustrated the Parenting Press "Problem-Solving" series.
Jo Ann Gergosian, The Times Records (Brunswick, ME), 1985
Link to book description

Useful for 2–9 years
54 pages
$3.95 paperback
$17.95 library

Book Description

Out of Print

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Last updated June 16, 2014