Review of Sue Gascoyne’s book ‘ Treasure Baskets and Beyond’   2 comments

It was a bit of a surprise when a few weeks ago an email arrived saying that the author of a book would like me to review it – I have never been asked to do anything like this before and so as I say, it was a bit surprise.
Anyway of course I accepted the invitation – well wouldn’t you – a free book just for reading it and passing comment?
Well to be truthful, I might have said no – if the book had been about World War Two or the history of the car – as neither subject has more that a passing interest from me .
However the book in question – as you will know from the title of this blog post – was about treasure baskets – so of course much more than a passing interest in this subject.
I received the book this week and could not put it down!
As some of you know I have problems with reading as well as writing – I used to be an avid reader – never without a book – but since I was ill a few years ago, I have had trouble with tracking with my eyes – which of course makes reading hard – but I manage – short bursts and move head more than I used to to save strain on eyes. However despite these problem solving tactics – I very rarely read anything from cover to cover anymore and tend to skim read factual stuff and avoid novels completely.
BUT – this book I have read – cover to cover! I will admit that I skim read the bits that I was familiar with – but there was so much useful and interesting information I found myself reading a lot more than I thought I would.
This week I have been seen reading standing up while eating on the go, while the children nap, early in the morning, late at night – including falling asleep on the sofa doing so and waking as the book falls to the floor when reading in bed – every time that I have had 10  mins (which is about as much as I can read at once) I have picked up the book and continued on my journey of discovery.
This is my review which I have put on Amazon (where they sell the book if you want your own copy)
In this book the author Sue Gascoyne uses the word wow in several contexts – about the content of treasure basket needing a wow factor and of course about the moments during play when the infant playing with the objects in the treasure basket has a ‘wow moment’.I now need to add another wow- that being my reaction when I first opened the book and saw the contents page and read the forward – this was a book that I was going to not only enjoy reading but learn a lot from as well.As a parent, grandparent and an early years practitioner I have used treasure baskets over many years both shop brought ones and ones that I have made myself, and have been fascinated by the play and discovery that develops through use of treasure baskets. I have also read lots of articles and attended workshops on treasure baskets. However it was not until I read Treasure Baskets and Beyond, that I fully appreciated the benefits of this type of play.

Throughout the book Sue Gascoyne refers to chapters already read and chapters still to come – I found this incredibly useful as it reminded me where I had read that bit of linked information and also signposted to where further information could be found – great for those who like to dip in and out of books and for those who maybe skim read and then think ‘now where did I read about that aspect?’

Almost every chapter had a wow piece of information, something that as an experienced practitioner I had not known or not fully understood before; and yet the book is wrote in a style that those who had no previous knowledge or experience about treasure baskets would fine easy to understand due to the explanations about terms used in layman’s language.

This book has a very apt title ‘Treasure Baskets and Beyond’ because it is not just about treasure baskets and it is not just about babies use of treasure baskets – it covers so much more – and to sum up I think the the final word in the title says it all ‘Beyond’ – it certainly took my understanding and knowledge to a new level – beyond what I knew before I read the book. I would recommend all early years practitioners, parents of young children and indeed primary school staff read this book, because the benefits of sensory rich play reach far beyond infancy and well into childhood – and beyond.

 Which says a lot about the book – but I thought as a bit of an extra I would give a bit more information to those that read my blog.

Just a few snippets you understand – not the whole content of the book – as I think Sue Gascoyne might have something to say about that.

By the way – did I tell you – I have actually met Sue – at the Early Years 2012 conference – I attended her workshop and chatted to her a couple of times (oh but I have told you this haven’t I? In my blog about the new resources from Play to Z which is Sue’s company that sells the most wonderful treasure baskets – and more)

So back to the book

Throughout the book there are links to theorists, to other authors – and to research – and a  long list of references at the back for those who want to read more from those authors and theorists mentioned.

I particularly liked the explanations about brain development – and although as Sue says herself,  it is a simplistic overview – I found it gave me a greater insight in to babies brain development and what was going on brain wise  during sensory play (which of course includes treasure basket play)

Also throughout the book are activity ideas for the reader to try for themselves to support the ideas and information in the book. There are also a lots of graphs and charts – and again I found these useful, particularly the ones that detailed the learning points from the real life observations used. There is also (at the back of the book) a template to use for treasure basket observations.

So there you are a few ‘extra’ snippets of information – and I have not mentioned a lot of aspects – you will need to read the book to find out more!

Posted November 23, 2012 by psw260259 in Random Things!

2 responses to “Review of Sue Gascoyne’s book ‘ Treasure Baskets and Beyond’

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  1. oow I’m all excited now, need to go Amazon shopping 🙂

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