I enjoyed reading this book. A must read for every parent who wants to provide the best care for their child (and who doesn't?). This book has a lot of scientific information as well for those interested in those topics, but it doesn't mean that this book is a scientific read. It has a perfect blend of both scientific and "general" topics, probably a little more on the non-scientific side, which makes it even more interesting (at least for me) and doesn't make it feel like you are reading a technical book. You will understand a great deal on how brain works, not just in children, but also in adults.
I especially enjoyed reading the last few chapters of this book (Chapter 12 to 17) which provide a lot of practical information on how raise a "smarter" child.
Dr. Eliot has taken what is arguably the most fascinating topic facing science, the working of the human brain and mind, and recast it in gripping, accessible terms. It is a formidable achievement. She presents the scientific side of her story with grace and ease, leavening the sometimes heavy vocabulary of neuroanatomy with anecdotes of her own and other people's parenting experience. The theme of the book is established early and elaborated as she explores the development of each of the senses and systems of the brain: human intelligence is the result of the interaction between a child's brain and her environment. Although the child at birth is already capable of amazing feats, from face recognition to simple arithmetic (and the experiments used to study these feats are dazzlingly clever), the child is mostly ready to learn. The learning process actually changes the physical brain, giving the child the powers that we consider human: from sight and taste through emotion and language. The book presents all this information and throws in plenty of useful, practical advice on how to parent your children and what impact you can realistically expect to have on your child.
Babies are enigmatic. Their actions can be determined and unfocused at the same time. They seem hungry, then they spit up, smiling. How can you help these confused and inarticulate little people? This book explains what science has taught us about how the brain develops and what you should expect as it gets wired up for the senses, motor control, emotion, language, etc. For instance, did you know that the earliest baby smiles are always genuine? To fake one requires more advanced motor skills, while the real thing is an involuntary reaction. I was happy to find that out, along with the simple explanation. It's very well organized, seems quite complete, and is amenable to a close reading, a purposeful reference, or a casual browse. The technical information is very skillfully presented, propelling the narrative rather than dragging it to a stop. I am enjoying this book very much, and I hope it gets the attention it deserves. It's the sort of thorough and well written book that should become the standard popular reference for people who want more detailed information after reading the basic how to baby books (Dr. Spock et al).
Did you ever wonder how birth actually affects the brain? Why babies love being bounced? What infant amnesia is? This book answers so many of the questions the basic baby reference books did not. In fact, I found myself wishing I had read this even before I got pregnant! My copy is already dog-eared and highlighted, and I have recommended it to all my friends.
Required reading for any parent wanting an in-depth understanding of their child's first years. This survey of child development is both comprehensive and detailed: there is something here for every reader, be they a parent with a specific question or concern, or a serious student of the subject. New parents will find much to comfort them: many developmental problems are shown to be temporary and non-threatening.
This book is an interesting blend of brain development research, real-life examples and personal references to the author's own children. The combination is surprisingly successful. It pleased me on several levels: As a new grandparent, a student of early child development, and a former teacher. It lives up to its excellent reviews.
Or both. Dr. Eliot's treatment of the important subject of brain development is not only thorough and disciplined, but it is also enjoyably readable. Besides being indispensible for parents who want to give their child the best possible start in life, this book gives all people a deep understanding of their own minds and where they came from. The facts presented in the book are based on solid scientific research. But in addition, their relevance has been enhanced by Dr. Eliot's own experience as a mother. This is a rare combination of talents that delivers a truly enrichening read.
Lise Eliot, Neurobiologin und Mutter von 3 Töchtern, schreibt hier ein zwar sehr ausführliches, aber umso kompetenteres Buch über die Abläufe und Bedingungen der gesunden Hirnentwicklung eines Menschen von der Empfängnis bis zum Ablauf der Kleinkindphase. Es wurde an viele Freunde verschenkt und stehts als besonders informativ und hilfreich dankbar angenommen.
I read many books about children development - and this is the one giving the best answers and explainations ... it does not explain only the "What you should do" - but gives a very concrete explainiation about the "Why" - great I recommended it to many friends already who are also amazed about the depth of this book ...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although it was a bit too scientific for me in parts (which were easy enough to skip over if you aren't interested in that end of things) it was fascinating reading--made me look at my child in a new way.