Book Review: Understanding Children

Attention procreating bathroom readers! Your lavatory is not complete without Understanding Children: the Guidebook for Children 0 to 3 by Richard Saul Wurman. Each page in this book has a visually striking design. Prepare to be overloaded with newspaper-style infographics, coupled with a rich layout on semi-glossy pages that gives the book the feel of a magazine.

Book cover of Understanding ChildrenWhen I cracked the pages — a gift from my uncle — my first thought was that it was a free gift that had accompanied a magazine subscription. Wow, this book is different.

Turning each page brings a new question to be answered. Some questions are pertinent, such as "How can I recognize my child’s illnesses?" and "How can I pass on family history?" Others are factoids, such as "Do fathers differ across cultures?" and "Why do children continue to live in poverty?"

At first, this book languished in a dark corner of a storage cabinet. It’s too scatterbrained to be readable straight through like other parenting advice books. It also lacks the depth I’d be seeking when using it as a reference for a specific issue.

The book is effective for gleaning a wide range of basic information,
for piquing your interest to look into certain issues with further
research. It’s probably also good for a parent for whom you’d normally
have to wrestle to the floor to get a book into their hands.

Understanding Children is perfect for flipping through at a coffee table, or while ruling the porcelain thrown. Or take it on a road trip and read it during breastfeeding stops. It really really really beats watching the cars pass by as Dad asks, "Done yet? Done yet honey?"

Understanding Children [amazon.com]

Publisher’s description of Understanding Children [civitas.org]

PDF sample of three topics in Understanding Children [civitas.org]

Additional page views of Understanding Children [understandingchildren.com]

Comments

2 Responses to “Book Review: Understanding Children”

  1. joevideo says:

    i bought this book at waldenbooks for 3 bucks in the cheap books bin. one of the best books i’ve ever gotten. if you like this style of books there are other “understanding” books available (a couple of ‘em gratis) at understandingusa.com – including this one on healthcare … hope y’all find it useful! -joevideo

    http://www.understandinghealthcare.com/toc.php4

    July 16th, 2005 at 6:34 pm

  2. Dylan says:

    Hey, Thanks! I am always looking for good resources for my clients. I’ve never heard of this one before.

    March 28th, 2007 at 4:58 pm

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