Review also includes:
Small Talk: Bedtime, 978-1447276920
Following on from their handbook for parents to promote early language development, speech therapist Nicola Lathey and journalist Tracey Blake have produced two simple board books illustrating their advice.
In At the Park a familiar experience is played out as a young child says goodbye to mummy and sets off for the park with daddy. A range of opportunities for talk are presented including saying goodbye, spotting cars on the way and ducks in the park, swinging on the swings and getting muddy. The focus is on turn taking and this is made explicit with the narrator reporting what mummy or daddy says on one page and then inviting children to join in with the phrase ‘your turn’ on the next page. Fun with language is encouraged and it is nice that exclamations and sound effects feature as well as ‘real’ words eg ‘uh oh’, brum brum, ‘wheee’ as well as ‘up’, and ‘mummy’.
In Bedtime a daily routine is the focus; again talk opportunities are highlighted and the emphasis is on turn taking. We see a baby getting undressed, having a bath, being zipped into a sleepsuit as well as story and rhyme time. A playful touch is included with a game of ‘peek-a-boo’. The value of giving simple choices (about which story to have) to promote talk and the importance of repetition in returning to a familiar rhyme is included.
Key points about ways to promote talk are summarised on the inside back cover of each book. These books, aimed at parents of babies and toddlers, have a clear instructional aim and may be supportive for parents who are unsure about ways to encourage early language, a link is provided to www.smalltalktime.com website for more talking tips.