One of the best ways to understand the neuroscience of early brain and early literacy development is through a sports metaphor.  “Serve and Return” refers to the infant’s extraordinary capacity to take turns not only initiating an interaction (Serve) but also responding to a conversation (Return) with the most important people in the infant’s life. (see:


When babies and parents are interacting,  two important things happen: 1) the relationship between baby and parents deepens and bonds and, 2) this bond facilitates the baby’s desire to not only listen for the rhythm and patterns of the language, but to study what word-sounds look like on their parents’ mouths.

Like a diligent student attending to homework, babies are collecting important data from their parents so that the neural pathways for language (and later literacy) among their brain cells form and strengthen.

Bonding, listening and gazing come together to build the social, emotional and language foundation necessary for learning to read and succeed in school.

So give your baby the 3-dimensional world that builds bonding, listening and gazing  ….   daily reading.

Reading with newborn Henry.jpg