BELINDA'S BALL by Joan Bodger


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Dedicated to Jean Piaget, with a foreword explaining to adults just how the sequence illustrates the small child's ""important struggles with the concept of object constancy,"" this shows Belinda's bouncing ball (""Many balls? No, just one. Now you count, just one""--the ""you"" being the book's audience), then shows Belinda retrieving the ball from under chair and table, and then her puzzlement and eventual solution when the ball rolls under a fringed couch and thus out of sight. (The foreword has informed us, ""Eventually she/he will be able to riffle through a sort of mental file system, picture a tool, then use the tool to reach the remembered object."") Whereupon Belinda and audience are rewarded with a ""Clever Belinda! Clever you!"" In putting all this into a book, and putting Belinda between the audience and the action, Bodger has simply added another level of abstraction to a lesson better learned with an actual ball--and in the natural course of things. Brightly colored and resolutely bolstering as this may be, it's a frankly didactic business that probably contributes less to a child's development than she would get from the senseless delights of Mother Goose.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1982
Publisher: Atheneum