Customer Reviews


62 Reviews
5 star:
 (30)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for parents and teachers
This book presents the latest research concerning child development, but does so in an accessible and friendly way. This is not a how-to book, rather containing information about how children learn and develop over time. Chapters include: What Children Learn About People; What Children Learn About Things; What Children Learn About Language; What Scientists Have Learned...
Published on July 11, 2001 by audrey

versus
97 of 116 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting topic, but suffers from poor organization.
I bought this book because, having recently become a father, I wanted to get a better idea of what my baby thinks about and feels from people who make a living studying just that. I also wanted to know how scientists organize and practice the study of infant development; how do you observe an infant's actions and draw information about them based on what they do? (or...
Published on November 6, 1999


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for parents and teachers, July 11, 2001
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book presents the latest research concerning child development, but does so in an accessible and friendly way. This is not a how-to book, rather containing information about how children learn and develop over time. Chapters include: What Children Learn About People; What Children Learn About Things; What Children Learn About Language; What Scientists Have Learned About Children's Minds; What Scientists Have Learned About Children's Brains.
To a small extent the book suffers from the usual dilutory effects of having multiple authors. They also try to be a bit too cute sometimes, but this does not overly detract from the book's success as a layman-friendly introduction to child development research.
There is a very useful Notes section, References, and a good Index.
My advice, for all it's worth: If you are going to get one book about child development research, get Lise Eliot's 'What's Going On In There?', which is less precious, more extensive, and better organized. If you are going to get two books, add this to your list. I find myself referring back to the former book fairly often, but I do browse through this one occasionally as well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a How-To Guide to Parenting, and a Better Book For It, October 31, 2000
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you want practical advice on child-rearing, check out Penelope Leach or Dr. Mom. But if you're interested in reading about the latest research in the mental development of infants, this book is absolutely wonderful. It's full of surprising information about how observant and analytical babies are(at less than an hour old, they mimic faces), and gives details about the structure of the experiments used to deduce such information, allowing you to decide for yourself how much weight to give it. Much of the information confirms those of us who have always suspected two day old kids are as intelligent and tuned-in as, say, the typical graduate student -- they just have fewer ways to express it, and less experience to build on.
Better yet, the book is written in a thoroughly engaging and often humorous style that possibly owes something to the first named author's brother, the New Yorker writer Adam (or, more likely, both Gopniks inherited the same literary genes).
But don't expect pointers on burping technique.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A subtle, deep, yet entertaining book, April 11, 2000
By 
P. Schafer (Berkeley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I read this book for a book group and began without much interest. I was caught. This is a beautifully crafted piece of writing. Some of the reviewers seem to be treating it as though it were a manual or reference book for young parents. Rather it is an examination of the status of research into the development of the mind -- research at the trickiest and most preconception-filled level, at the level of the youngest brains -- written for anyone interested in how we learn to perceive and make sense of the world around us. The presentation is enlivened by the authors' own observations. Is there a more accessible analysis and ultimate rejection of the whole nature vs. nurture controversy? A wise and wonderful book I have recommended to friends, and I've been thanked for recommending it. Incidentally, I've recommended it to friends who do not have young children, the hardest to interest in books about young children! The science is formidable when you pause to think about it, yet this remains a humane and accessible book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Intro to Baby's Developmental Psychology, May 12, 2002
By 
Bradley P. Rich (Salt Lake City, UT USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind (Paperback)
As the father of a nine month old boy, I have been enthralled with this book. It is not a "how to" book on helping your child learn, but rather is a readable introduction to the current state of the study of cognitive development of babies. If you don't believe that it is possible to know what a baby is thinking, you will be fascinated at the clever experiments that have been constructed to tease out information from a baby's brain. It is surprising who much we can find out about how babies' brains work, and how much that can teach us about the adult human brain.
The tone of the book is chatty, but the content is substantial. The authors discuss the philosophers as well as the scientists who are working in this area. I don't suppose that the average new parent is interested in wading into Chomsky, Ryle or Descartes, but this book actually makes it interesting and compelling.
The book is broken down into the acquisition of particular mental skills. The authors thesis is that babies learn using, more or less, the scientific method, forming hypotheses and then testing them emperically. (The title of the book is a clever word play, referring to this theory, while simultaneously demonstrating what adult scientists are learning from their empirical studies.) While this may seem pretensious, the authors actually make a pretty good case for this theory.
The acquisition of language deviates somewhat from this general theoretical method, but the authors have some fascinating experimental data to illustrate the way babies actually learn language.
In short, this book is highly recommended, not just to new parents, but also to anyone interested in childhood cognitive development or what can be known about the workings of the human brain.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


97 of 116 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting topic, but suffers from poor organization., November 6, 1999
By A Customer
I bought this book because, having recently become a father, I wanted to get a better idea of what my baby thinks about and feels from people who make a living studying just that. I also wanted to know how scientists organize and practice the study of infant development; how do you observe an infant's actions and draw information about them based on what they do? (or don't do.) While The Scientist In The Crib is full of a lot of interesting anecdotes, and I certainly wouldn't question the authors' credibility, it is disappointingly organized around very general concepts as opposed to chronology, so that the thread of actual development is difficult to follow from one section to the next. This book really seems more like a series of articles, some more and some less interesting. The chapters examine what children learn about people [chapter 2], things [chapter 3], and then language [chapter 4], and then what scientists have learned about children's minds [chapter 5] and then what scientists have learned about children's brains [chapter 6](the distinction between minds and brains is probably much more meaningful if you're working in the field). There are two different sections entitled 'what newborns know.' I found myself skipping around looking for information relevant to my son and the age that he is now. I suppose if I was not so personally invested in these questions I could examine things in the lofty and generalized manner of this book, but, really, parenting is more a practical than a philosophical pursuit, and a chronological approach would have made the information (and there is a lot) much more accessible and interesting for parents.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hooray! A book on child development that's not annoying!, July 22, 2001
By A Customer
An intelligent book on how babies learn. There are so many books on the topic out there. But so many of them are written in that irritating "case study" style (e.g., Sophie, a perky 18 month old liked to do X. . .") This book, on the other hand, gets to the point, is written at an adult reading level, and is generally very interesting. I enjoyed reading it, and found the style very refreshing. Further, after reading it, I think I have a better sense of what is going on inside the head of my 9-month old son, and I've been able to apply this information in games and other ways that have been fun for both of us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, good information, August 4, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind (Paperback)
This book explains current ideas about infants and how and when they learn. It is a well organized with interesting ancedotes and humorous comments sprinkled throughout. Except for the last chapter, which gets rather philosophical, it was a page turner. I still remember their examples (of the first word 'uh-oh' and failure, or of kids confronting a candy box full of pencils). The book strives not to be the standard parenting text which is refreshing. Still, I would have preferred a summary chart of the basic developmental thresholds and the associated ages for those skills.
As a young mother of a one year old, I bought this book along with several others on toddler development. It stands out because it is not a 'how-to' parenting book. The authors leave it to the reader to decide how to act on the information. Also, the book describes in some depth how conclusions were arrived at. As a scientist myself I appreciated this, but found their arguments about the similarities between babies and scientists somewhat trite.
All in all, one of my top recommendations for parents. There is great information in an unusual, neutral format.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing scientific study of what babies know and learn, October 19, 1999
This is a fascinating report of research studies that compare the mind of a baby to a computer. The brain is programmed to receive and sort out information from all the senses and to use input from adults and kids to change the program as learning provides new experiences. The authors have done their own research and reviewed other studies about babies and toddlers to back up their analyses of infant learning. Parents and grandparents will be fascinated as they compare the development of young children in their families to the explanations of the infants' "scientific" explorations, classifications, and language learning. You'll find out why everyone talks "motherese" to babies. You'll realize that the kid in the crib is not just lying there waiting for the next diaper or bottle, but is very busy indeed figuring out the world and how it works. A truly fascinating book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly informative, intriguing (and a bit irritating), October 12, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind (Paperback)
This is an incredible book for the reader with an open mind and a desire to learn. The authors tell us what they have learned and experienced in the field of child development and learning, and they have the credentials to be true experts and terrific sources of knowledge. I found the information they conveyed to be positively fascinating. Some of it I had either already somehow suspected, read about elsewhere, or noticed myself, but there was plenty that also surprised me, as well. It helped to know this information because just about everyone deals with children at some point, and it makes a real difference to know where they are coming from. It is also interesting information, given that WE all were children too.
The only thing I found irritating were the humorous comments scattered throughout the book. I would have rather had the information given to me without these comical references (some of which I did not get, therefore did not find funny). I repeatedly found myself trying to ignore these supposedly comical anecdotes and to just pay attention to the data they were trying to convey. I consider myself a pretty funny person, but this was annoying.
Other than that, though, this book is GREAT! A wonderful way to increase your knowledge of children and how (and when) they learn.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on babies I've read! I really loved it., October 23, 1999
By A Customer
I'm a mother of six children and thought that I didn't need any more baby books. Then a friend showed me this book and I couldn't put it down. It was the best one I ever read! As a parent, I could see my own children in the book's descriptions. And I laughed at the amusing stories and writing. It's really a terrific way of learning about what your child understands about people, about things, how they learn language, and how experience, including how we parents treat them, affects their brain growth. What a great read, written by these parent-scientists.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind
The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind by Alison Gopnik (Paperback - December 26, 2000)
$14.99 $10.74
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.