- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Knopf; Rev Upd edition (October 19, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375712038
- ISBN-13: 978-0375712036
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five Paperback – October 19, 2010
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About the Author
Penelope Leach, educated at Cambridge University and at the London School of Economics, is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a founding member of the U.K. branch of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. She works on both sides of the Atlantic for organizations concerned with prenatal care and birth, family-friendly working practices, child care, and early-years education. She lives in Lewes, England.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Importance of Reading to Children
A web-exclusive guide for parents written by Penelope Leach, Ph.D.
When parents read aloud to their children, everyone wins. It's fun for the adult and great for the kids. Easy for you and good for them. You don't even have to ration it because, unlike TV or ice cream, there's no such thing as too much.
There's no such thing as too early, either. If you wait until pre-school to start reading to your children, you'll have missed out on years. If you even wait until they can talk, you'll have missed out on months. Start showing your baby pictures and telling her about them as soon as she focuses her eyes on the pattern on your sweater or the change-mat.
"Reading" to tiny babies is a way of talking to them; and talking not only speeds brain development, but cements relationships as well. Make sure that anyone who ever cares for your baby takes reading to her for granted."Reading" to older babies is a way of expanding their experience. You can't always find a real cat or truck or fried egg to tell him about, but you can always find their pictures in books. And linking the sight of things with the sounds of their names boosts language learning.
Reading to toddlers is education and loving and talking and fun. It's about language itself and discovering the joys of jokes and rhymes and huge long words that roll round the tongue and trip it up. It's about learning to "read" pictures to find the meanings of words or the answers to questions hiding behind those thrilling pull-tabs: where's the kitten gone? There he is...And eventually it's about the sheer, entrancing magic of stories unfolding between the pictures and the voice; playing to a dawning imagination, a fledgling ability to put herself in someone else's place.
And reading to pre-schoolers is all that, plus a welcome to our culture where everything--even on the information highway--revolves around the written word. Pictures on the page are his introduction to print; being read to helps him toward written language, now, just as it helped him toward spoken language two years ago.
Once your kids are hooked on being read to, they will never be bored if somebody will read, and since there are bound to be times when nobody will read and they are bored, they'll have the best possible reason to learn to read themselves.
Reading to themselves isn't a signal to stop reading to them, though. Whether your child is five or seven or nine years old when he starts to read stories to himself for pleasure, the mechanics of the words will still get between him and their enthralling sounds and meanings. Read just one more chapter; one more poem. You have nothing to lose and your kids have everything to gain.
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Top Customer Reviews
When I mentioned this to Chris Stephenson, former head of computer science department of Istanbul Bilgi University whom I had the privilege to work with and the experienced father of a wonderful child, he said that there was one book which he gave as a gift to every young parent expecting a child. Based on his advice I decided to buy and read "Your Baby and Child". And I'm very glad that I did.
Some of you may think it is a little bit too early to comment on the book; yes I'm still an expecting father, our baby is yet to come but after reading this book I feel much less scared and more confident. It full of so much practical information that I do not feel the need to go out and look for another book on this topic. The structure of the book is very straightforward, it is mainly organized by the age of the baby and then by the most important topics such as "feeding and growing", "everyday care", "excreting", "sleeping", "crying and comforting" and others such as "talking" which appear under the relevant age section.
At 560 pages it may seem a little intimidating or superfluous but the style of the author is very clear and almost every sentence contains nuggets of important information. Compared to some other books on parenting this book does not try to comfort you with endless humour, but just like a firm, caring parent it tries to be your guide in this journey. It also includes short reactions and thoughts of parents who faced different situations. The book comments on these, too, which I also found very informative.
I have no doubt that I'm going to keep it very close to our baby's bed. Some people may think that parenting naturally come to them, just like breathing, and there's no need to panick but having learned that even breathing can be studied I prefer to have a handy guide when it comes to interacting with my baby.