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In brief

HOW TO TALK SO KIDS CAN LEARN: at home and in school. By Ad. le Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Piccadilly pound;9.99.

You don't have spend much time in a supermarket, airport or holiday resort - or some classrooms for that matter - before you realise how difficult it can be to keep the adult-child dialogue on a calm and constructive level.

Yet we all know in our bones (even while children are at their most challenging) that confrontational, bullying dialogue achieves nothing.

Do you recognise this? "Instead of teaching content, I was spending most of my time trying to control my out-of-control students . . . it seemed that the more orders I gave, the more resistant they became." Of course you do.

And the book's suggestions - to do with reasonable dialogue, encouragement, making positive rather than negative points - aren't earth-shakingly new.

But they are presented well and coherently, with good case studies and strip cartoons in a way that makes the message hopeful, helpful and easy to read.

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