Books et al.Child Development

The preschool paradox

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Science  11 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6278, pp. 1158
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf1173

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The Little Prince opens with a 6-year old narrator who proudly drew a boa constrictor that had swallowed an elephant. Disheartened that adults think his masterpiece is a picture of a hat, he quips, "Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves." In her new book, The Importance of Being Little, Erika Christakis comes to the same conclusion. Her "preschool paradox" suggests a misalignment between what we offer young children and what they really need.