through a finished product. I also appreciated the many, many concrete examples
of exactly how a teacher or provider might work with children to explore color,
texture, and tools with paint, glue, paper, and fragments collected from the world
of nature or the household.
In sum, the main goal of this book is to share the concrete strategies the author
has discovered for how teachers can help children flourish in their capacities to
express, represent, and communicate. He grounds all of his ideas in relationship-
based education—that is, the perspective that children learn in the context of
close and caring relationships with peers and adults. I have seen many outstand
ing toddler teachers in my time, and I know they readily invite children to explore
materials, but I believe this new book will provide teachers with welcome informa
tion on enriching what and how materials are offered to toddlers and explaining
why teachers should document and plan. The book is less about the documenta
tion process itself than other resources I could also recommend, and less about the
detailed analysis and interpretation of the evidence of children’s learning, than
it is about teaching strategies in early arts education. Teachers and providers do
need to know more about these skills—for instance, how to select and combine
materials, introduce repetition and variation, break things into small steps, plan
sequences, and unpack symbols. As more and more children enter group care
at younger ages, we educators need to expand our repertoire of ways to extend
children’s expressive creativity and feed their budding desires to make a mark on
their environment and establish a first sense of identity and belonging.
For Further Reading
Edwards, Carolyn Pope, Lella Gandini, and George Forman, eds. 2012. The
Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation.
3rd ed. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
Edwards, Carolyn Pope, and Wen-Li Liu. 2002. “Parenting Toddlers.” In the
second edition of Children and Parenting, vol. 1 of Handbook of Parenting,
edited by Marc H. Bornstein, 45–72. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Edwards, Carolyn Pope, and Carlina Rinaldi, eds. 2009. The Diary of Laura:
Perspectives on a Reggio Emilia Diary. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.
Raikes, Helen H., and Carolyn Pope Edwards. 2009. Extending the Dance in Infant
and Toddler Caregiving: Enhancing Attachment and Relationships. Baltimore,
MD: Paul H. Brookes.