Friday, October 15, 2010

Interview with Martha Swirzinski

The holder of a Bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Clemson University and a master’s from the University of Maryland in Kinesiology, Martha Swirzinski has more than 15 years of experience working in the field of movement with children. She is also a certified personal fitness trainer. She currently lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband and two daughters.

You have three books. Leap…Laugh…Plop, Guess…Giggle…Wiggle and Kick…Catch…Buzzz. Can you tell me a bit about them?

These three books offer the ultimate mind/body connection. When children move both their bodies and minds are strengthened. Using entertaining rhymes and charming pictures, these fun and creative books offer multiple ways for your child to move. They also provide mind stimulating activities on each page. Each book brings the joy of movement together with the joy of reading. The pages of these books are filled with laughter, learning, movement and more.

More specifically: Leap…Laugh…Plop works on all of the locomotor skills Guess…Giggle…Wiggle has the children doing creative movement Kick…Catch…Buzzzz addresses the manipulative skills.

Will there be any more in the series?

Yes, as a matter of fact we are working on the fourth now, which will be specifically on the non locomotor skills.

How did you come up with this idea for a series of books?

I teach in a preschool and have my Master’s degree in Kinesiology, so I’ve been involved with children and movement for over 15 years now. I wanted to come up with a way that parents, and teachers could incorporate the specific movement skills necessary for motor and brain development in an easy and fun way. Doing an activity isn’t always easy. Sometimes space, equipment or time may not be available. However, reading a book is fun, easy and doesn’t require much planning.

Tell me about the title of the series and what that means to readers?

The title Movement and More suggests that within the pages of our books I offer not just fantastic rhymes and great pictures but moving, interacting, thinking and socializing. Our books engage the whole child, all of the domains of child development.

You mention "our" books. Who is the other author?

I co-wrote these with Dr. Anita Tieman, a psychologist, who has spent many years working with children. She brings her expertise into the social and emotional aspect of these books.

What is the best way to engage children in storytime?

I believe in getting them to be part of the story. My books get children engaged by moving along to the rhymes but moving can be done with any book.

What is your favorite word and why?

"Serendipitous" because I believe we should all be open to these kinds of moments.

What is your least favorite word and why?

"Can't" because I believe the moment that it comes out of your mouth you are defeated.

What is your personal motto?

"A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference." -Winnie the Pooh

I love that! Lastly, where can readers find your books?

Our website is


kathy stemke said...

Great interview. I love your favorite quote. I, too, want kids up and moving. It's so important on many levels.

Nancy Famolari said...

Moving is to important for kids. I loved the interview.

Nancy Famolari said...

Moving is to important for kids. I loved the interview.

Nancy Famolari said...

Moving is to important for kids. I loved the interview.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Martha, I love what you do. It's so needed in this day of inactive and obese children. And your topic works so well with all that Dallas does for children.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Tweeting writers resources @frugalbookpromo

Karen Cioffi said...

Martha, you have a great combo: movement and reading - just what kids need.

Magdalena Ball said...

Nice interview Martha. Serendipitous is my favourite word too.

Dallas said...

Thank you everyone for visiting! Martha, it is such a pleasure to have you on my blog today! :)

Darcía Helle said...

Martha, I love the concept for your books. And I can't help but smile every time I see the covers. They are on my list of things to buy my granddaughter, who will celebrate her first birthday next month.

Dallas, thanks for sharing this with us!

Virginia S Grenier said...

What great books! I think teachers should really think about having a copy in their classrooms. I know my daughter's teacher will hear about them from me come Monday.

Martha said...

Thanks so much for having me. Moving is so very important for children. However, not just for the physical but for the cognitive, social and emotional domains as well.
I find that teachers love these books because they can combine two of the most important things: reading and moving.