Love, time spent together, cuddling, educating and fun are the reasons that Breanne Mitchell liked to play a game with her babies that provided all those elements. So starting when each of her children were babies, she’d sit them on her lap and starting at the top of their heads she’d tell them what body part she was touching and counted each too.
“I’d go all the way down to the toes,” said Mitchell, a Munster residence and mother of five children ages 8 to five months. “It was a great way for them to learn as they get older and a great way to show them love and attention.”
As her children’s cognition improved with their development, she’d add another component, having them explain what they do with each part—you see with your eyes, you hug with your arms, etc.
Mitchell remembered her mother reading to her and what a special time that was and so as a young mother she did the same. But then with so many babies and young children and so many sleepless nights, she thought she should do something with her time in those early morning hours.
And so she began writing a story about her cuddling and teaching techniques.
“The first time I wrote was in the fourth grade,” said Mitchell, who won a prize for her first writing attempt. “And I’ve written for a long time for my own enjoyment.”
But when she showed her grandmother what she had written, she was immediately advised to “do something with it.”
The result is the recently released "Love You from the Tippy Tippy Top to Your Teeny Tiny Toes!" (Tate Publishing $6.99). It’s also available in Kindle and audiobook formats.
“It’s for ages birth to five,” said Mitchell. “And it’s interactive with activities that provide opportunities for playing, counting, learning and praying.”
The book is also a journey, taking a child through the connectedness of body parts and leading them to an understanding how everything works and works together.
“I wanted it to be fun,” said Mitchell. “It’s great to have your children curl up in your lap and have this book to do with them.”
Family connections are important to Mitchell who grew up in Merrillville and attended Highland Christian School until 9th grade and then Illiana Christian High School. She and her husband Charles moved into the home belonging to her great grandparents.
“My great grandfather built the house and my grandmother was born in it,” she said about the 85 year old home.
Mitchell is signing copies of her book at Red Mango, a yogurt shop in Highland (so you can bring your kids to meet the author and get a treat as well). For those attending, copies of the book will be available for sale for $5, an almost $2 discount from the price of online book sellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
“I love to write,” said Mitchell, “and I love being a mom. It’s so great to be able to combine the two. I hope my book helps others have as much fun with their children as I do.”