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Babies Build Toddlers

Arc Montessori founder, Mariana Bissonnette, is near completion of her first book, Babies Build Toddlers: A Montessori Guide to Parenting the First 18 Months. This book is (very intentionally) going to be illustrated so that it is visually accessible to sleep-deprived readers and so that it looks and feels like a beautiful children's book...because it kind of is. This is a book for the child, just in the hands of the parent.

And the thing is, it's already written! Mariana is in the process of having the book illustrated and wants YOU to be involved! Stay connected with us for news and updates on how you can help this project come to life!

A Note from the Author:

I've been a Montessori educator for the past 10 years and most recently have focused my work with parents of infants and toddlers. As an educator, I care deeply about the young child's development and understand the importance of this early, foundational time; but when I became a parent 5 years ago, I realized how difficult this early time was as well. And the juxtaposition of something SO important for the child and SO hard for the parent made me question how we were ever going to reach the child's potential...

...but then I took my Montessori training for ages birth to three and realized that more than 50 years ago, Dr. Maria Montessori had already come up with a solution - an assistant to infancy. This was an educator equipped with the knowledge of child development, the materials to support it and the presence to assist parents during these formative first few years. In this way, parents would have the support and the information to help their child reach their potential. Sounds amazing, right?

Right! And it really is! I've been working with parents and infants in this capacity for over 3 years and began to see how incredibly powerful this model really was! When parents were given more support, they had more time and energy to meet the developmental needs of their children. And when children’s developmental needs were being met, they became remarkably easier to parent! It was this amazing positive feedback loop where by supporting one, you support the other. Win-win-win

In an effort to extend this support to more families than I could possibly meet in person, I wrote Babies Build Toddlers with the aim of making developmental information accessible through a visual Montessori guide to the first 18 months. And this is where I need your help!

Early Reader Reviews:

"This book is so fascinating and well-written that it is keeping me awake when I need to sleep! Thank you so much for sharing! I have only read the first chapter, but I am thoroughly enjoying it and can’t wait to keep reading. I’m so impressed with what you have created, as well as the knowledge you have to share. This book is a gem!" - Amy, parent of a 3 month old.

"This book is so helpful and so thoughtfully and persuasively put together! I know I'll read it multiple times, and my partner is excited to read it, as well! THANK YOU, Mariana! What a beautifully-timed, immense support!" - Whitney, expecting parent

"Thank you so much for the opportunity to read your book! I just loved how succinct, clear, well-organized and full of examples it is! Truly a useful tool to any parent wanting to understand a Montessori approach to 0-18mos. I learned a ton and know I will keep coming back to this with each stage of development." - Sabrina, parent of a 5 month old

"I really like the format of this book - the structure and use of illustrations makes the information very digestible and actionable. I read a lot of parenting/child development books, including on the Montessori method, and they are all a lot of text and theory. Your approach is very refreshing!" - Barbara, parent of an 8 month old

"This book is a non-intrusive set of guidelines for parents that is nicely focused on key areas of development, easy to understand, implement, and not overwhelming! I really like the way that the chapters are broken down by age and that the key nuggets of developmental information are shared along with real-life examples so that you can begin leveraging some of the recommendations right away." - Marta, parent of a 10 month old

"I found this book quite informative and very different from other baby books I've read. It felt like there was plenty of useful practical information in a small book, so two thumbs up! I love that you don't have to read a massive book to get several actionable ideas. It''s a great starting point for parents who haven't been exposed to similar ideas about Montessori or developmental education." - Rebecca, parent of a 14 month old