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PLAY FROM BIRTH TO TWELVE AND BEYOND: Contexts, Perspectives, and Meanings.

PLAY FROM BIRTH TO TWELVE AND BEYOND: Contexts, Perspectives, and Meanings. D.P. Fromberg & D. Bergen, Editors. New York: Garland Publishing, 1998. 533 pp. $100.00. This invaluable reference contains a collection of original essays addressing a variety of diverse topics relevant to play. Anthropologists, child development specialists, educators, psychologists, sociologists, human service professionals, and proponents of play will find this book enlightening. Its contents serve to legitimize, and advocate for, play while providing support for one's playful self.

The book is divided into seven sections. Section I includes essays that cross temporal, spatial, technological, and disciplinary boundaries to present numerous "Contexts, Perspectives, and Meanings of Play." "Perspectives on Play Development" explores the development of play behaviors and experiences across childhood and considers various influences on that development. "Physical and Social Contexts of Play," the third section, investigates the physical, personal, and social settings for childhood play as well as discussing the relative roles of adults in these settings. Section IV, "Particular Meanings Embedded in Playful Experiences," considers the role of imagination, exploration, challenge, humor, and sexuality in childhood play. "Structuring the Study of Play" shares differing scholarly perspectives. "Play in the Disciplines and Professions" promotes the view that play is a valuable lifelong human activity by offering perspectives of specialists regarding the context of play in the broad domains of arts, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, business, education, journalism, law, and medicine. The essays in the final section, "The Present and Future of Play," examine the future role of play in society while emphasizing the significant influence of technology.

Among the distinguished group of 75 contributors, one can find such movers and shapers in early childhood education as James F. Christie, Joe L. Frost, Alice Sterling Honig, Carol Seefeldt, and Jerome L. Singer. A table of contents and detailed index make the wealth of information contained within these pages easily accessible. As aptly expressed by the co-editors, "The reader who dips into this book will develop a personal imagery. There are different textures to touch, savor, reject, and play with." Reviewed by Rebecca McMahon Giles, Assistant Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of South Alabama, Mobile
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Giles, Rebecca McMahon
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 22, 2000
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