Talking Baby

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       April 19, 2016


Author  Anne Buckley and Margaret Maclagan

Distributor:      Finch Publishing
ISBN:                 9781925048605
Publisher:         Finch Publishing
Release Date:   March 2016  


‘Talking Baby is required reading for every parent, grandparent, educator, student, or anyone working with children,’ says Elisabeth Duursma, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the University of Wollongong.

The book is set out in a very reader friendly way, with explanations and charts; blocks of writing are placed in different sized boxes and there are photos to show examples of the author’s meaning. Historically, when there were larger families, new parents watched how others in the family dealt with language. Now, people find reading easier and are given reasons why certain strategies work well.

In the early pages, the authors explain that Chapters 1-6 describe the baby’s language development in relationship to their physical development. Before two years of age however, there is an explosion of knowledge of words, and in the following chapters of the book, areas of language are dealt with. For example, there is a chapter on play, another chapter on early words and how they use them, and then how children put words together. We see the development of the sounds of English, patterns of errors, and the progress that children show. Later in the book, the chapters cover language outside the home, and look at special topics, such as colours and numbers.

To begin with, we have a chart, talking about Speech and Language milestones. It covers from birth to four years. It outlines how babies respond, what they say, and how you can help. This alone is a valuable asset for anyone dealing with children. There is a segment after each chapter which says, “What does Science tell us?” that outlines latest research and guidelines. For those first- time parents or grandparents, there is a guide of things to say to your baby, how to talk, leaving a time for them to respond.

Chapters cover play and language, sound development, and one chapter deals with the three ‘Terrible Questions’ stage. When children are more advanced, they begin to give reasons, and this usually happens once they can join words together. Sometimes the reasons like ‘Not tired’ when they are rubbing their eyes and yawning, express an opposite feeling, to avoid bed.

The topics and breadth of this book are huge. Any new parents and grandparents would learn so much from reading this, that it would quickly take a prominent place in the home. Schools and Kindies would find this a valuable refresher and ideas promoter, while Child Care Centre workers would also benefit from reading this. It is easy to read and segmented, so that the reader is not faced with slabs of text. The latest research is addressed here which adds hugely to the authenticity of the book.