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In A Child's Work, innovative and widely respected educator Vivian Gussin Paley offers a manifesto against the decline of children's creative time, making the case for the critical role of fantasy play in the psychological, intellectual, and social development of young children. Paley speaks from firsthand experience about the limitless growth of young children who are allowed the time for fantasy play as she enters classrooms around the globe to explore the stunningly original language of these children in their role-playing and storytelling. Drawing from their own words, Paley examines the developing logic and learning that allow children to construct meaning in their worlds, meaning that is crucial to their adult lives. Proof that play is the work of children, this compelling and enchanting book will inspire and instruct teachers and parents as well as point to a fundamental misdirection in today's educational programs and strategies.