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Many parents delight in their child's imaginary companion as evidence of a lively imagination and creative mind. At the same time, parents sometimes wonder if the imaginary companion might be a sign that something is wrong. Does having a pretend friend mean that the child is in emotional distress? That he or she has difficulty communicating with other children? In this fascinating book, Marjorie Taylor provides an informed look at current thinking about pretend friends, dispelling many myths about them.
If you have a child who creates imaginary creatures, or if you work with preschoolers, you will find this book very helpful in understanding the roles that imaginary companions play in children's emotional lives.
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Marjorie Taylor is Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon.Review:
"Meticulously researched and scholarly yet accessible...highly recommended for both academic and large public libraries."--Library Journal
"Engrossing reading for those whose children have invisible pals or who had them themselves, and for those interested in creativity and in how children develop conceptions of reality."--Booklist
"This is a book that seemingly answers every possible question and then some; putting the place that imaginary companions have in the lives of children of all ages into reassuring perspective."--ForeWord
"For the parent seeking reassurance, she provides a judicious review of a wide range of findings showing that children who create and sustain an imaginary companion are not suffering from any obvious clinical disorder. At the same time, for the disinterested reader, she describes many vivid specimens of the phenomenon and engages in enough conceptual analysis to show that this intriguing aspect of children's early fantasy raises fundamental questions about human imagination." "Taylor successfully combines a century of research on the phenomenon with a sensitivity to some of those wider issues."--Paul L. Harris, Nature
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