Magical Child

ISBN: 0452267897
ISBN 13: 9780452267893
By: Joseph Chilton Pearce

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Birth Child Development Currently Reading Education Non Fiction Nonfiction Parenting Philosophy Psychology To Read

About this book

Magical Child, a classic work, profoundly questioned the current thinking on childbirth pratices, parenting, and educating our children. Now its daring ideas about how Western society is damaging our children, and how we can better nurture them and oruselves, ring truer than ever. From the very instant of birth, says Joseph Chilton Pearce, the human child has only one concern: to learn all that there is to learn about the world. This planet is the child's playground, and nothing should interfere with a child's play. Raised this way, the Magical Child is a a happy genius, capable of anything, equipped to fulfill his amazing potential. Expanding on the ideas of internationally acclaimed child psychologist Jean Piaget, Pearce traces the growth of the mind-brain from brith to adulthood. He connects the alarming rise in autism, hyperkinetic behavior, childhood schizophrenia, and adolescent suicide to the all too common errors we make in raising and educating our children. Then he shows how we can restore the astonishing wealth of creative intelligence that is the brithright of every human being. Pearce challenged all our notions about child rearing, and in the process challenges us to re-examine ourselves. Pearce's message is simple: it is never too late to play, for we are all Magical Children.

Reader's Thoughts


Excellent synopsis of the brain stages; needs one or two good graphics to lay out what the text summarizes. Not prescriptive which I like.

Jen Smith

Excellent read- it's so important to let your children try things. Being over protective hinders their ability to learn and understand the world.


mind-blowing book, this is a re-read for me, wish I'd read it before I had my children . . . I agree with 90% or more of it, I only don't quite buy the premise of delayed education. Between this and Evolution's End, I think I read more into them the first time around, a little disappointed the second time for each, but the premises, the ideas are there that I am so for exploring some more! I definitely "got" more of the concrete concepts this time around, it might take a couple more times or exploring more (& more current) research into the areas discussed here to fully develop my own philosphy and understanding of the materials . . . I highly recommend this author and these books for a starting point into discovering our brain-mind-connections and potential abilities.


Great book. Fascinating theory, and if true, could certainly change our society, our world, for the better. This is one that I will probably have to read several times to really understand it all and let it sink in. It was a very dense read...but I found myself captivated by the ideas posited and often thought that it explained a lot about my own life as well as the current world we live in. What we are all truly capable of, if only our lives fulfilled the birthright of our humanity! Nothing short of magic.


The biggest problem with this book is the fact that although much of it is science-based -- the author, Joe Pearce -- doesn't have a science-oriented degree (although he does have a Master of Arts degree and some "post-graduate studies" under his belt). Also, the text, although still highly relevant, is a bit outdated (1977).The main premise of the book is written on the cover: "this book will help you rediscover nature's plan for our children". And, really, Pearce does make a promising case, except for some far-fetched mystical situations he poses (such as healing a bleeding wound simply by willing it to stop, and bending of spoons with the mind). There is however another realm of interpretation that the author makes room for, which is that reality is truly subjective and that we need to trust ourselves more instead of fearing the unknown, and there are some positive messages about power coming from within (for us adolescent and adult folk, the ending seems to tie together some messages that stretch beyond the childhood we've left behind). It is not a disappointing read for those of us who do not have children yet.This book is VERY unschooling-related and focuses on:- a new concept of intelligence not as memorization of facts, but of ability to respond to and assimilate new information ("muscular-mindedness")- recognizing and meeting the needs of children (right from birth!)- seeing children as whole people, while understanding their current developmental stage- recognizing and responding to our own needs- understanding that intent precedes ability- the learning cycle (stress-assimilation)- neuroscience, how people learn, and stages of learning- how children move from concrete to abstract thought- why being a "late reader" is a positive thingSome key movements this text seems to support? natural birth, attachment parenting, unschooling, radical unschooling (except for his very "1977" aversion to television)...Also, even though Pearce apparently attended a theological college, his writing has NO religious slant whatsoever, though in general he takes a very "earthy and mystical" approach to living.I'm interested to see what Pearce discusses in his sequel, Magical Child Matures. I'm curious about how his concepts apply to older children, adolescents, and adults.


An interesting idea- that children should be left to encounter the earth until about age 11. That all of our children have lost the connection to the planet by having to go to school so early. I wonder how he thought his readers should implement his ideas.I also didn't agree with his idea that women in 3rd world countries do birth better. They may do the emotional part of birthing better...if the baby and mother survive the birth process. With few hospitals, or clinics it's hard to see how their life is 'better'.I'd take more interest in his ideas if he wrote a sequel on the how-to's of his ideas in the modern world.


excellent argument for midwife assisted natural birth, a little lofty, philosophy and theory wise

Lindsay Evermore

stetson and stratford


Although his writing is a bit thick and overly scientific for a parenting book, this is well worth the read. This is another one that I wish I had read before I had children. Most of his ideas will be strange or downright unacceptable to mainstream parents, but if you have an open mind and a desire to truly understand your child's early development, then put this one on your parenting shelf.


WOW. That's really all I can say. Not at all an "easy" read, but intense and life changing. Very few books have that power but this is definitely one of them.


wonderful. I didn't finish it, because its long and it was due back, but it was truly wonderful while it was relevant to me and the stage of development i was experiencing. I will borrow the book again in the future, after some time has passed, because it will be interesting to keep this book as a beacon towards raising an intelligent, intuitive self and child. Its a great counter-story to the fear and anxiety based development stories that exist, and it was incredibly refreshing to hear an Optimal story of development and to set the standard as such. I particular enjoyed the description of the optimal story of pregnancy and childbirthing. Definitely a must-read for anyone expecting a baby, who may have fear in their body. the chapter 'establishing the matrix' describes a peaceful, conscious pregnancy, and a gentle birth, as well as the moment/days after birth. It describes the transition from womb/water element into breast/air element, and ways in which the gentle, conscious momma accommodates the babe so that it may feel safe in his new matrix. ohh wonderful.

Aimee L.

I think that if all parents read this book the world couldn't help but be forever altered and happy.


"The human child has only one concern: to learn all that there is to learn about the world. This planet is the child's playground and nothing should interfere with a child's play. Raised this way, the Magical Child is a happy genius, CAPABLE OF ANYTHING, EQUIPPED TO FULFILL HIS AMAZING POTENTIAL...."This isn't just about childbirth practices, parenting and educating children... it's also about nurturing ourselves and seeing into light the "switches" that were turned off, that we can turn on again as adults when we tap into OUR MAGICAL CHILD....


A little over whelming to read as a mother.But gives great insight into how truely amazing a child is!


Everyone should read this book, especially when you become a parent. It changed my perspective and stirred many conversations with my husband.

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