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Conflicting Reviews

May 11, 1986

Robert Kirsch had once said that the book reviewer's cardinal rule is to be "present at the performance," that is, "to evoke the book, to communicate the news and the idea of the book."

In light of this, Joanne Rocklin did "How to Have a Smarter Baby" (Book Review, April 6) a grave disservice. She failed to inform your readers of the true nature of our work by implying that the loving interactions which we suggest are somehow dangerous, when, in fact, research confirms the vital importance of parents' active involvement during infancy.

We find it most curious that in a prior review, written by the very same Joanne Rocklin (L.A. Parent, January, 1986), praise was lavished on the work. To quote from the latter:

"While explaining how to use the program, the authors simultaneously give parents a wonderfully clear treatise on infant development. . . . Interaction rather than instruction is emphasized, within the context of a loving relationship involving both parents and other family members."

How can the same reviewer be so lauditory in one review and so damning in the next? We can only guess at some political motivation on her part. We find her lack of integrity appalling, given her responsibility to your readers.

SUSAN K. GOLANT

Los Angeles

SUSAN LUDINGTON-HOE

UCLA School of Nursing

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