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Melissa Martin publishes a picture book for early literacy: ‘Those Are Not My Underpants’

Melissa Martin, an author from Appalachia, a counselor and columnist, has a new picture book for children, Those Are Not My Underpants. It is helping babies, toddlers, and younger children with early literacy.

“Developing language and literacy skills begins at birth through everyday loving interactions, such as sharing books, telling stories, singing songs and talking to one another,” according to Zero to Three’s website.

The early phase, before children are conventional readers is called the Early Literacy Phase, according to raisingreaders.org.

The foundation for literacy skills happens before children enter school. The home is the first place of learning and communicating.

Martin’s new picture book is making children giggle. Why? Because kids love to laugh about underpants stories, she says. Kids wear undergarments 365 days of the year. Underwear tales are funny. One idea is for parents to use stuffed animals or puppets as they read Those Are Not My Underpants. Use creative voices for story characters, she says. Chuckle along with your children as you read.

The book is illustrated by Troy Cummings.

The story: One morning, Bear Cub wakes up and finds underwear hanging on a tree limb. Who could they belong to? Ever inquisitive, he sets out on a quest through the forest to find the tighty whities’ rightful owner. Could the underpants belong to Squirrel? Moose? Snake, maybe? Salmon?! Each animal denies that the bloomers belong to them, but readers will surely be giggling every step on the way…especially when they find out who the underpants actually belong to. It is published by Random House Books for Young Readers.

Parents and readers can find the picture book, Those Are Not My Underpants! at their local libraries in Kentucky or at bookstores.

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, op-ed columnist, member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, educator and a child therapist. Contact her at melissamartincounselor@live.com.

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