Welcome to the land of once upon a time – a blog devoted to showing parents how to guide young children in learning and emergent literacy through children’s books.

As a mom with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, I know that the process of learning and school readiness begins long before children ever step foot in a preschool.  When my daughter was born I made a commitment to reading to her daily, and teaching her important age-appropriate skills with the help of the wonderful world of children’s books. 

I started this blog in January of 2011 because I often meet moms (and nannies, daddies, and grandparents, too) at the playground, at the library, or just about anywhere who are eager to learn simple methods that they can use with their little ones to help them gain skills in early literacy or other developmental areas.  And so, I started the "land of once upon a time" to share my knowledge with parents like you.

This blog is a personal story of the books I read with my children, and how we learn together.  But, beyond that, you will find:

  • children’s book recommendations and reviews
  • information on early literacy skills
  • information on early child development
  • book-based activities & crafts
  • strategies to help your child learn
  • tips for creating a “baby bookworm” (or, fostering a love of learning and books)

Why the focus on EMERGENT literacy?

Because early experiences matter, and CAN make a difference in your child’s life.  So, don’t hesitate.  Pick up a book with your newborn, infant, or toddler – today.  Not sure exactly how to begin?  Check out my how to series for some information on reading with newborns, infants, and active toddlers.  You can also find some information on the importance of providing your child with access to books.

I hope our story inspires you to help your child create his or her own tale of becoming a “baby bookworm” in the “land of once upon a time”.

Thanks for visiting!

Marissa has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and is an early learning consultant. She specializes in learning, emergent literacy, and cognition in children ages 5 and under. Before becoming a mom to two baby bookworms, she was an early childhood teacher and director. She also spent time working in New York City where she evaluated charter school students on various educational assessments in a one-on-one setting, and provided consultation to teachers and administrators regarding the academic progress of students and effectiveness of programs. Her research and writings have appeared in peer-reviewed journals, books, and various media outlets. Currently she presents workshops for parents on an array of learning topics and conducts story times for young children. 

You can read more about Marissa and the Land of Once Upon a Time on the Philadelphia Social Media Moms website.

Marissa's daughter is a preschooler whose favorite books include anything Fancy Nancy, Ivy & Bean, and Judy Moody. Her infant son enjoys reading and learning about animals. 

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