2-3 | Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

New York: Avery, 2009. Illustrations, index. 229 pp. $24.95 cloth. ISBN: 9781583333334
David Kuschner

Our culture seems to have a love-hate relationship with the act of playing. On the one hand, we value our leisure time and can devote many hours to such activities as golfing or watching our kids play soccer. As parents, we support the toy industry with billions of dollars, and as sports fans, we spend similar amounts of money supporting our favorite teams and athletes. Yet at the same time, we will equate play with frivolity; we accept the reduction of playtime in school in favor of more hours for academics and testing, and we often utter these two telling expressions: “Stop playing, and get down to work” and the dismissive “Oh, he’s just playing.”