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Barrows, P. (2001). The Social Baby. By Lynne Murray & Liz Andrews. CP Publishing. (www.cpshopping.co.uk) Pp. 176. £14.99. Your Amazing Newborn. By Marshall H. Klaus & Phyllis H. Klaus. Reading, Mass.: Perseus Books. Pp. 114. £13.95 (hardback).. Psychoanal. Psychother., 15(1):83-85.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 15(1):83-85

Book Review

The Social Baby. By Lynne Murray & Liz Andrews. CP Publishing. (www.cpshopping.co.uk) Pp. 176. £14.99. Your Amazing Newborn. By Marshall H. Klaus & Phyllis H. Klaus. Reading, Mass.: Perseus Books. Pp. 114. £13.95 (hardback).

Review by:
Paul Barrows

Both of these books have been written by well-known experts in the field of early mother-infant relationships, and both have the same aim. That is, to make accessible to parents (and professionals) some of the extensive knowledge about early infant development and abilities that has become available to us, over the last decades, from infant researchers. Both sets of authors believe that an enhanced appreciation of the infant's capabilities can only benefit the developing parent-infant relationship. As the producers of The Social Baby (and founders of the Children's Project) write

…. supporting parents and helping them to understand and communicate with their baby from birth can only have a positive effect on the relationship between the parents and the developing child.’

They go on to state that they believe that the presentation of the information contained in The Social Baby is unprecedented; but in fact there is a considerable overlap with the areas covered by Klaus and Klaus. Doubtless this book was unknown to them, as it is available only as an American import. (Its existence was known to me only through a review in the Infant Mental Health Journal). Incidentally, readers of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy may also be interested to know that there is a related video by Marshall and Phyllis Klaus, The Amazing Talents of the Newborn. They refer to this in their Introduction, but, irritatingly, do not mention how it can be obtained (by ordering from Johnson & Johnson through their website www.JJPI.com).

That said, both these books are full of memorable, graphic and moving images. Whilst subscribers to Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy may well already be familiar with much of the research that is referred to (only Klaus and Klaus actually cite their references) the impact of the visual images bears out the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. There is, for example, a striking sequence showing a newborn baby imitating his father's tongue protrusion in Murray and Andrews's book, and one of an infant imitating his grandfather in the Klaus and Klaus book.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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