“The Genius of Natural Childhood” by Sally Goddard Blythe.
Review by Kate Parker (mother of 3, Hampshire). “I give this book a 5 star rating.”
“Really good informative, easy to use book about how important nursery rhymes, fairy tales and music to the development of children.I would highly recommend this book for all parents and professionals.”
The style of the book
The style of the book, “The Genius of Natural Childhood” by Sally Goddard Blyth (published by the Hawthorne Press), is for it to be dipped into as well as read from cover to cover. It is aimed at both professionals and parents which I think it does very well. Reading the Introduction of this book is not only interesting but useful towards the rest of the book! Sally lays it out so that a few chapters are for use. Straight dipping into for parents, interspersed with chapters explaining the reasons behind the dipping into chapters. Ideal for parents who want to know why and for professionals. I think that the ‘dipping into chapters’ could be closer to the beginning to make it more enticing to the parent. But that is a personal choice. For me, it did feel like wading through a lot of information before I got to the stuff that I could do. As interesting though as it was.
I wish that I had read this book before I had my first child.
It would have great to use the rhymes and songs and stories that the author uses. I will be introducing them to my children even now. It’s obvious how much enjoyment they get from rhymes and rhymes that require movement or being touched. The book emphasises how important sound, rhythm and reading to children is. This we do already. But it convinces me how important it is to keep reading to my children especially at night-time.
One aspect really intrigued me though….
The use of fairy tales and how some of them seem horrible to us as adults (even if we know the story). But to children they are a means of teaching subtle ideas such as greed, kindness, hope, love, envy without actually describing them. And her opinion is that children take on board the ideas without worrying about the more negative aspects of the human character.
I think the title of the book is misleading.
And I probably wouldn’t have picked it up as a book to read. However, reading the back I might have done. My opinion is that neither the back nor the front do the content justice. They are trying to appeal to parents as well as professionals. As a parent this book is such a fantastic resource.
Sally does mention the difference between girls and boys and their development. I found this interesting as I have both and it gave me confidence to see and understand how they will grow and what I can do to help them.