The Baby in the Mirror

Whilst awaiting the arrival of Rose I read The Baby in the Mirror by Charles Fernyhough (check out his associated blog The Ladybird Papers). He is a lecturer and researcher in developmental psychology and the book tracks his personal and professional insights into the development of his own first child.

It has some fascinating stuff on language and reading, I was particularly interested in a short section about ‘storyworlds’ whereby readers use their imagination to fill in gaps in an author’s literal narrative, “[readers] behave as though they were within  that world, rather than looking in on it from the outside”. This is true of all readers from the very young, with which the book is dealing, right through to adults. However, a subtle difference is suggested; an adult reader might become emotionally absorbed in a narrative whilst still understanding that it is fiction, younger children, however, respond emotionally as if they were ‘in’ the storyworld.

How exciting – not just to read and enjoy a good story, but to be ‘living’ within it! 

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