Ellen Mayer Books

Coming Soon . . .

Leaves to My Knees

By Ellen Mayer
Illustrated by Nicole Tadgell
Star Bright Books
Fall, 2022

Yellow, Red, Green – GO!

By Ellen Mayer
Illustrated by Ying-Hwa Hu
Star Bright Books
Spring, 2023

Gift & Box

By Ellen Mayer
Illustrated by Brizida Magro
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Fall, 2023


Small Talk Books® Collection

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 of the books in the series comes with a supporting note from a leading early childhood education expert.

“Author Ellen Mayer . . . has penned four smart picturebooks to facilitate meaningful parent-child interactions. . . . [The] mixture of read-aloud, talk modeling for parents, and information from [Dr. Betty] Bardige make Mayer’s books delightful, instructive little packages.”

– Jarrett Dapier, “Building Better Brains,” in Children and Libraries, journal of the Association for Library Service to Children

“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

“[Small Talk Books®] are great books for babies that encourage all kinds of early conceptual understanding.” 

– Mary Hynes-Berry and Cody Meirick, Erikson Institute

Small Talk Books® with early math!

These books in the Small Talk Books® collection are also full of math talk. In these stories, playful conversations with an adult enrich the child’s understanding of how math is part of daily life. Banana for Two focuses on the concept of amounts of one and two, and Clean Up, Up, Up! focuses on the concept of spatial relations. These two board books are based upon work supported in part by TERC under a grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Board Books

Books and Bricks: How a School Rebuilt the Community

Books and Bricks: How a School Rebuilt the Community is based on an inspiring true story about a South African school when Nelson Mandela was president.