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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Acknowledgments Thank you to all my beautifully messy playmates, past, present, and future. Many of the ideas expressed in this book were inspired by happy memories of my own childhood playing with my brothers, my parents, my grandma, my neighbors and friends. Later, when I was a student of child develop- ment at the Erikson Institute, Professor Lorraine Wallach first introduced me to the academic study of play. I’m grateful to Lorraine and all the other mentors and teachers who have guided my work. A special thank-you to my friend Damian Hughes for serving as my board games consultant.   I also owe many thanks to the children, families, and teachers I’ve worked with over the years in early childhood programs. I’m especially grateful to the parents of students in Northwestern University’s CTD Leapfrog pro- gram; the questions you asked about play inspired this book.   Many thanks to all my Cleveland Street neighbors. Watching our kids play Ghost in the Graveyard at block parties convinced me that play is still play, even in the twenty-first century.   And I’m grateful for the support, encouragement, and expertise of my Redleaf team, Kyra Ostendorf, Danny Miller, and Alyssa Lochner.   But most of all, I want to thank my very favorite playmate, my daughter, Alexa. All the best fun began with you.   ix COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL