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In brief

BRAIN CHILD: how smart parents make smart kids. By Tony Buzan. Thorsons pound;14.99.

I commented approvingly on a child in my granddaughter's reception class recently. "He's a bright spark," I said. My granddaughter overheard. "I'm brighterer than him," she piped up, in an aggrieved tone. That kind of self-confidence is valuable, and it's one of the qualities addressed in Tony Buzan's handbook, which takes current understanding of the human brain and packages it to be used with real, developing children. All of the old favourites are there: mind maps; multiple intelligences; nutrition; left or right-handedness plus lots more. Lists of "things for you to do" are scattered throughout the text. "Make sure that your child's friends and circle of wider acquaintances include people of all ages, multiple nationalities, different personality types and both sexes."

This lively, heartening book radiates enthusiasm and will give parents - and teachers - the confidence to believe that, yes, they really can make a difference.

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