Ellen Mayer Books

Small Talk Books® Collection

What are Small Talk Books®?

Small Talk Books® are playful stories celebrating diversity while featuring children and adults talking and having fun together. These picture books also show families, caregivers and teachers how to build young children’s language through conversation, during everyday small moments together. Frequent small talks add up to big learning gains for babies, toddlers and preschoolers! Each book includes a note from early literacy and language expert Dr. Betty Bardige.

The Small Talk Books® collection is published by the wonderful Star Bright Books. To see more of their books, visit them at

“Ellen Mayer’s Red Socks and A Fish to Feed are charmingly written and beautifully illustrated by Ying-Hwa Hu. Not only are they sure to appeal to tiny listeners and the lucky grown-ups who read them aloud, but they also have valuable information on the importance of adults reading and talking to babies and toddlers.” 

Jane Sutton, Children’s Book Author

“I love Small Talk Books® because they model ways for caregivers to engage children in conversations that promote language and cognitive development.”

“Small Talk Books® provide caregivers with practical, accessible and fun tools to help promote the types of talk that are most beneficial for young children’s language development. The books do a great job of translating research into practice – through engaging text and pictures, they take what we know from research and translate this into concrete examples of high-quality conversations between caregivers and young children.”

– Professor Meredith L. Rowe, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Download a Small Talk Books® handout here