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- Healthy Living in the Early Years Foundation Stage; by Pat Brunton and Linda Thornton (Optimus Education, 75, ISBN 978-1-905538-55-3).

Reviewed by Dawn Taylor, nursery officer Childsplay, Newcastle.

The thinking behind this healthy living handbook is both positive and appropriate, especially in the light of current culture and the rise in obesity levels among children.

While the artwork concentrates on food, its content extends far beyond this to a much wider interpretation of healthy living, covering all aspects of nutrition, exercise, emotional well-being and staying safe. I just hope the artwork doesn't mislead its potential audience into thinking that it is only about food!

The different parts of the book flow in a logical order, with the children's section very easy to follow and the parents' section full of straightforward information for families. However, the handbook would benefit from having illustrated dividers that protrude between the sections for ease of use.

An extensive range of current and appropriate literature is suggested, giving the reader an insight into why a healthy lifestyle is important and how it connects with Government initiatives. This does mean, though, that the handbook will probably require future updates or editions to comply with new Government initiatives.

In short, this is a comprehensive and inclusive guide, aimed at a broad audience and, crucially, presenting information in a clear and simple way.

- Supporting Language and Literacy Development in the Early Years (second edition)

By Marian R Whitehead (Open University Press, £19.99, ISBN 978-033523427-1)

Part of the Supporting Learning Series edited by Vicky Hurst and Jenefer Joseph, this new edition has been radically rewritten and updated to take account of new research and development. It gives clear guidance to practitioners on how to support the language and literacy development of children from birth to seven years.

Key features include a new chapter reviewing the statutory national requirements for communication, language and literacy in the UK, an expanded chapter illustrating good practice in three different settings (nursery school, integrated children's centre and Steiner kindergartens), and case studies including children in the final year of the EYFS.

- First Steps in Intervention with Your Child with Autism

By Phil Christie, Elizabeth Newson, Wendy Prevezer and Susie Chandler (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, £12.99, ISBN 978-1-84905-011-1)

This book champions early intervention and is aimed at parents with a child on the autistic spectrum and professionals supporting such families. Its goal is to improve parents' understanding of their child and, in turn, to help them improve the child's understanding and communication.

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