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Equality in Action: A way forward with Persona Dolls

By Babette Brown (Trentham Books, ISBN 978-1-85856-435-7, £16.99)

Reviewed by Penny Tassoni, early years and childcare expert

This books looks at how Persona Dolls are being used with children to combat prejudice. It provides an excellent rationale for them, giving plenty of interesting examples of ways in which they might be used and case studies as to how practitioners have successfully employed them. The examples and case studies will be helpful for anyone who is considering introducing Persona Dolls into their settings, as well as providing inspiration for those settings who have purchased them but are still not implementing them to their full potential. (It is worth noting that it is not the book's intention to provide a step-by-step guide to how to use them.)

As well as the content directly covering Persona Dolls, Babette Brown also makes some valuable and at times thought-provoking comments, particularly in relation to racism. The statement on page 4, 'Educators can contribute to breaking the cycle by which white children learn to be racists and black children suffer,' is such an example. The book would thus be a good starting point for both debate and reflection in both staff rooms and lecture halls.

- Building Better Behaviour in the Early Years

By Chris Dukes and Maggie Smith (Sage, ISBN 978-1-84787-520-4, £19.99, including CD-Rom)

This is a timely book, in the light of Ofsted's report on behaviour (see News). It is written by two Area SENCOs and gives practical advice on how to provide supportive approaches to behaviour and create a calm and positive atmosphere in which young children can thrive.

- Including Children with Early Signs of Dyslexia

By Chris Chandler, Meryl Morton and Sheila Smith (Featherstone, ISBN 978-14081-20804, £16.99)

This book aims to help early years practitioners, students and parents to become aware of and understand the early signs of dyslexia and develop strategies to support children with this special education need. It provides much useful advice on working in partnership with parents and other organisations to support the child.

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