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Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nuture your Child's Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence Paperback – January 1, 1999


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Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nuture your Child's Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence + Your Child's Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning From Birth to Adolescence
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452278309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452278301
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marian Diamond has taught for more than thirty years at U.C. Berkeley, where she directed the Lawrence Hall of Science. She is also the author of Enriching Heredity and The Human Brain Coloring Book.

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Customer Reviews

While the book is very informative, it is also fairly technical.
The Noodle's Mommy
The author spent most of the book pontificating on politics, and most of what she says I either already knew or disagreed with.
Molly Johnson
I highly recommend this book for teachers, parents, and anyone who works with children.
Genevieve Boehm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 96 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book explains in detail the results of numerous brain research studies. The most important part, though, are the implications for parents, in terms of the type of experiences, toys, and caring that we should provide at particular stages of child development. At first, browsing this book in a bookstore, I decided not to buy it because I also thought that it espouses a pressured, pushy kind of parenting. But now that I've read it, I realized I was wrong. In fact, the authors emphasize that a child's intellectual growth is inevitably tied to his or her emotionoal growth, and so an important part of stimulating our children's minds is to provide an emotionally stable home and unconditional love. I disagree with an earlier reviewer who said this book encourages parents to push their children into over-achievement. Instead, the book brings our attention to the fascinating changes and growth that our children's brains and intellect go through, with suggestions for gently nurturing them. In fact, on p. 167 the authors cite books by David Elkind, who "warns parents and educators about the dangers ... in teaching academic subjects to young children." The chapters are divided by age group. Each chapter discusses the particular stage in terms of development in language, math, science, music, etc. Then each chapter ends with a description of an "enrichment program" appropriate to that stage. The end of the book is composed of a resource guide and enrichment tools including books, games and toys, models and puzzles, muscial instruments, art materials, lessons and classes, outins and trips, sports equipment, cds/tapes/records, videos, and computer software. Altogether this book is a valuable resource for parents.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Richard Schroeder schro@usa.net on April 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
As an elementary teacher and future parent, this book is perhaps the most influential work that I have ever read. While participating in a Brain-Research Workshop a few months ago, our facilitator mentioned this as the #1 book (in terms of child development) for parents, teachers, and anyone else who spends time with children. I must say that I am in complete agreement! Dr. Diamond and Janet Hopson not only touch on the scientific aspects of brain research, but provide readers with "real-life" examples and ideas proven to develop the minds of children from conception to adulthood. This is a terrific book that is a must read. I recommend it to the parents, teachers, and administrators in my district. Don't miss out on the potential enrichment of your children.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for all parents. Those individuals who criticize this book because of perceived differences between rat brains and human brains miss the point and have a poor understanding of neurobiology. Diamond has put together a very practical guide to educating the brain and, unlike many educational material, her suggestions are based on actual research rather than on what the current educational trend happens to be.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mary Mac on March 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"How to Nurture Your Child's Intelligence..." is a title that made me think this book would be a guide to fostering creativity and intelligence in children. Unfortunately, the book seems to spend a lot less time on HOW to nurture intelligence, than it does WHY. I didn't need to be convinced, I was hoping for a roadmap of what to do when. This book discusses intelligence studies done with rats, and had detailed discussions of brain development, but I found relatively little information on HOW to translate these discussions to interaction with children. Disappointing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Genevieve Boehm on December 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was recommened this book by a college professor who teaches foreign languages to elementary students. I have always found language acquisition a facinating subject. This book clearly describes the process of brain development without using confusing technical wording. As I continued to read, I realized what a wonderful tool this book will be when I have children. It gives concrete examples and advice on how to help your children, by ages, expand their learning in all ways. I highly recommend this book for teachers, parents, and anyone who works with children.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must read for parents and eductors. It approaches what is being learned about the brain and breaks it into sensible categories of chronological development that all parents can understand. Diamond and Hopson give practical insights and applications that can be used in homes and in classrooms. What an exciting adventure to be part of the process which shapes and molds a child's brain!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a child psychiatrist, I've recommended this book to area developmental specialists, teachers in early childhood education, and parents who have questions about understanding the relationship between brain development, behavioral and emotional development, and early life experiences.

It helps parents feel assured that negative experiences will not be destined to cause permanent adversity. It helps parents feel less guilty about "failing" to expose their child to Beethoven in utero. And it helps parents understand a bit about why early intervention for emotional, behavioral, and anxiety issues may be very protective.

Readers will come away from reading this book with a vivid picture of how the brain's neurologic connections are always dynamic--for example, if you sit in a room and practice piano for hours and hours, the areas of your brain responsible will become very dense and enriched. If you then stop practicing, that area will "prune" and become less enriched. Of course, early childhood is a time when the brain is more ready to learn many skills (language, for example) and the book explains this, too. But ultimately its message is that we can all explore and experience new things at any time--a very positive message!

I use some of the concepts presented in this book to educate parents about development, parenting, nurturance, and enrichment. I use some of the concepts to help others understand the impact of child abuse, and traumatic early experiences.

I haven't utilized the appendices that recommend specific books and toys for enrichment--I really believe in following a child in this regard, and so I make more personal recommendations to parents than a book can really do.
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