________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 17 . . . . January 5, 2018


Let's Point! (Baby Steps).

Carol McDougall & Shanda LaRamee-Jones.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2017.
18 pp., board book, $12.95.
ISBN 978-1-77108-519-9.

Subject Headings:
Pointing (Gesture)-Juvenile literature.
Nonverbal communication in infants-Juvenile literature.
Interpersonal communication in infants-Juvenile literature.
Infants-Language-Juvenile literature.
Parent and infant-Juvenile literature.

Preschool / Birth-age 2.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4


Imagine that you are in a shop in a foreign country where English is not spoken and you see something in a display case that you would like to purchase. How could you indicate your interest to the shopkeeper? One of the things that you might do in this situation is point at the desired object. As adults, it's easy to forget that, for a period of time, all infants/toddlers "live" in a "foreign country" before they learn how to talk. Prior to their acquiring spoken language, they use other means to communicate their wants, needs and emotions, including crying variants and pointing, the latter being the focus of this board book.

      Racially inclusive photographs of seven "pointing" babies each appear on one page while what the child is pointing at is found on the facing page, with the brief text identifying what the child is pointing at. The children's "points" are shown to have different purposes. For instance, in one case, the child's pointing is an indication that s/he has heard someone knocking at the door while, in another, the point is being used to signal the need to have a milk cup refilled. In the final "point", and the only photo that also includes an adult, "Baby points at me", with the "me" being a "father". The page opposite has a section of mirrored surface and contains the text, "Eyes, nose, mouth…." Presumably, the child can use this reflective surface to look at her/his face and be invited to point at the identified body parts.

      Let's Point! is a worthy home purchase and merits being in collections serving this age group.


Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

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