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Connecting Through Talk: Nurturing Children’s Development with Language Review by Amy Butler

David K. Dickinson & Ann B. Morse
Brookes Publishing
P.O. Box 10624
Baltimore, MD 21285-0624
https://brookespublishing.com/

As the age of information has progressed, society has benefited from a broader understanding of the nature and effects of poverty on the family and, more specifically, the development of a child. While some view eliminating financial hardships as the only assurance of a child’s success, the book Connecting Through Talk: Nurturing Children’s Development with Language by David K. Dickinson & Ann B. Morse from Brookes Publishing argues that attachment through language can propel them past any circumstantial difficulty. In this lightweight paperback book, the authors survey the current research on child development as it pertains to parental attachment, language, and life circumstances, including topics such as attachment and executive function, the brain, and language user communities. With the latest findings freshly presented, they highlight several current or recent programs in the United States that have sought to equip parents with education and books, giving an overview of current trends and options in support of earlychildhood literacy in the home.  Through a tour of this data, the authors are able to suggest that the early attachment of a child with their primary caregiver in loving and responsive language can determine a child’s pattern of development and set their growth trajectory for years to come despite or irrelevant to socio-economic conditions.

The size and stature of this book make it easy to pack in your bag, but that is deceiving when it comes to content. For most people, this would not be an easy read to take on the plane. The information contained along with an academic level of language is dense and thorough. It is available for purchase through various online outlets like Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com in both paperback and eBook formats. The electronic format is typically about $23.50 and the paperback ranges from $29.82 to $34.95.

This book is an excellent resource for any research paper on a related subject, but also useful as educating those in programming positions. As the book points out, our educational system has a habit of evaluating elementary age children and beyond, assuming the current circumstances are the strongest influencers of current ability and understanding. This text documents in several ways that that assumption is false. We see quotes on social media about the importance of reading to children but Connecting Through Talk breaks down the science of it and concludes that language and relationship, something fostered by reading together, are crucial to development and ultimately success. This brings a large amount of validation to the instincts I have as a parent to guide and direct my children’s understanding of the world as their mother. I recommend this resource to those in policymaking, educators, and new parents alike to equip everyone with the most effective actions towards a child’s ability to learn and succeed. As parents and educators, it is important to note how early education really begins and with this knowledge make mindful choices with our time with these children.

-Product review by Amy Butler, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2019

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