THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR CHILD by David Lewis

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR CHILD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

How to understand the body language of pre-schoolers: a modest, unpretentious examination which coordinates the theories of child specialists like Brazleton with those of ethologists--Birdwhistell and Lorenz especially--and also offers its own convincing examples. Lewis is a pleasant guide in this not altogether alien world, adopting a chatty tone (""Let me describe. . ."") to take the reader past rather formal areas--six rules for observing children, or Montagner's categories of dominance and domination. He knows that adults often misread children's gestures and signals--the smile is especially enigmatic--and he repeatedly warns parents about generalizing from a few haphazard observations: taking notes over time has more value. He distinguishes between micro- and macro-movements, recognizes the power of the head tilt, and includes a fine section on what snapshots can reveal. Although some of the terminology sounds a bit stiff (uninhibited, compressed, and upper smiles, for example), the conclusions nonetheless hold up, helped by his powers of persuasion and a variety of visual support material--drawings, photographs, stills of video tape sequences. A genial introduction to childhood kinesics.

Pub Date: March 5th, 1979
Publisher: St. Martin's