31 OCTOBER 1947, Page 28

The Child is Right. By James Hemming and Josephine Balls.

(Long- mans. 6s.) THIS book is mainly complsed of case histories, told in simple language, to show how, from the child's point of view, the adult is frequently both unjust and incomprehensible. It is extremely readable, but by weight of evidence it makes its point strongly : "A life of constant misunderstanding and misery" can be caused by "lack of imaginative understanding of what it is like to be a child." The authors, who have worked for many years among children, divide their histories into sections : Nursery Years, Wider Horizons and The Teen Age. A foreword by Lady Allen of Hurtwood stresses that "children have little protection against the misery they suffer from well-meaning, often affectionate, but ill-informed parents." Among items of advice the authors give is: Love the child steadily, but do not " swamp " hint ; treat him as a person with his own point of view ; see that he gets group life ; build up his prestige and self-esteem ; encourage fearlessness and adventure ; keep issues of conduct free from emotional content ; answer questions simply and truthfully ; try to enter the child's world. This is a " popular " book without psychological terminology, but it could be read with profit by any adult in contact with children.