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As you read together, you can celebrate the special moments in your child’s development.

If you are reading with your baby, you might:

  • Tell him about how much he is growing, just like Marty! (“Look, you can clap your hands together now!”)
  • Cuddle her close and say what you love about her.
  • Point to and talk about what’s happening in the pictures.
  • Read it again! Babies love repetition and hearing their parents’ voices.

If you are reading with your toddler, you might:

  • Tell her about how much she is growing!
  • Cuddle him close and say what you love about him.
  • Talk about what she was doing at Marty’s age and all she can do now.
  • Encourage her to help you turn the pages.

If you are reading with your preschooler, you might:

  • Talk about how much he is growing!
  • Cuddle her close and say what you love about her.
  • Talk about what he was doing at Marty’s age and all he can do now.
  • Help build language skills by asking questions as you read (“What was your favorite toy when you were Marty’s age?”) and talking about the pictures.


Greetings, little Marty! It is I, your furry cousin Grover! Guess what I brought to show you! Surprise! It is your first photo album! It has pictures of all the special things you did in your first year. Oh, you did so many things! Here is a picture of when you smiled at me for the very first time! You were only two months old! You saw my face and you turned and gurgled "Cooooo." I said, "Hubba-Wubba, Little Marty!" Then you smiled at me. Sometimes I would say "Hello, Baby Marty!" and you would say nothing. But when you were four months old, you turned and babbled, "GA-GAH!" I think you were trying to say, "Grover!" I said "GA-GAH!" back. You got so excited that you shook your rattle! Then you tried to shake cousin Grover's NOSE. Ouch. When you were six months old, you discovered the mirror! We spent hours making faces together. We made happy faces and surprised faces. You saw the faces we made and you squealed and bounced. And that monster in the mirror squealed and bounced right back! You used to lie on your tummy and rock back and forth on your elbows and knees. You were nine months old, and you were trying to crawl. Then one day, PRESTO! You CRAWLED! You crawled backwards and forwards. Soon you could crawl much faster than Cousin Grover! Here you are turning ONE! You were shy when you saw the new people. You only wanted Mama and Dada. I told you this is your family and we all love you. You hugged me and said, "Go-vah." Aw. I knew you were trying to say Grover. Guess what we have HERE, Cousin Marty! Here's a hint. It has pictures of your very first steps... and your first bunch of words... and your very favorite book! It is your photo album filled with pictures of all the special things you did durting your SECOND year! There were so many things you could do when you were one! You could play Peek-a-boo Monster. You could drink from your sippy cup. And you could take two things and bang them together, You sure had a lot of RHYTHM! When you were one and a half, you began to run! You scribbled with crayons. You brushed your own soft fur. And, sometimes, you had temper tantrums. You did not have the words to say what you wanted yet. But I could always guess what you were trying to say. Sometimes when you tried something new, you got scared. Trying new things can be scary, even for big monsters! Sometimes you clung onto Mommy. Sometimes you said, "No!" One of your favorite words. But we sang a little song, and tried it together, and then it wasn't so new anymore. When you were two your favorite game was Copycat. I would say, "Let's play Copycat!" and you would say, "Let's play Copycat!" I would point to my elbow, and you would point to your elbow! i would stand on tippy-toes and you would stand on tippy-toes! You were the best at Copycat! Pretty soon, you were sorting shapes and colors. You could throw AND kick a ball! You were a busy little monster! And you were just getting started. You have so many more monster moments ahead. I am so glad I am here to see them all. Well what do we have here? Riding a tricycle? Pouring water? Counting to 20? Cousin Marty, I knew you were a super-baby, but I had NO IDEA what you would go on to do! This book shows all the special things you did when you were three, four, and fave years old! When you were three, you loved to take turns with me on the monkey bars. You were such a strong Climber! Cousin Grover was not so strong. Whoops! You ran over to make sure i was okay. You gave me a bandage for me boo-boo. And a hug! You made me feel so much better! This is one of your AMAZING three-year-old block buildings! When I asked about it, you said it was an underwater castle! Here is an INCREDIBLE picture you drew. You told me, "It is ME! I'm a BEE!" When you were four, you had the BEST imagination! You played Mommy and Daddy with your friends. You told stories about The Secret Ice Cream Fairy. And you played a game called Kangaroo Hop. You hopped all around, Carrying your baby in your pouch. Soon you learned all about "YOU" and "ME"! It was you and me, working together to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! It was you and em, singing "Old McDonald"! It was you and me playing opposites, like near and far! You were only four, but you knew so much! When you were five, you could say, "My name is Marty Monsterberg. I am five!" You would sing, dance, and tumble. I cannot WAIT to see what you do next, Marty. I knew you will keep growing, learning, and making MORE monster moments! And Cousin Grover will be there, by your side.


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