The Baby in the Mirror

The Baby in the Mirror is a book about the first three years of my daughter’s psychological development. It was published in London by Granta Books in 2008. The US edition, A Thousand Days of Wonder: A scientist’s chronicle of his daughter’s developing mind, was published by Avery in 2009.

The book has been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch, Greek, Korean, Polish and Chinese (traditional and simplified).

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‘A beautifully poetic and scientific musing on the first thousand days of a child’s life.’ Jad Abumrad, New York Times.

‘This is one of the best books about very small children that I have read. The author, a novelist and psychologist, bases much of it on his observation of his own infant daughter; it’s nicely written and acutely observed, and her early conversation is lovingly noted down, so that the reader starts loving the child too.’ Sunday Telegraph paperback round-up

‘Outstanding… This beautiful book is highly recommended.’ Library Journal

‘In A Thousand Days of Wonder, the developmental psychologist Charles Fernyhough chronicles the first three years of his daughter’s life with both a scientist’s curiosity and a father’s adoration. It’s a study of the brain and the heart.’ Parade Picks, Parade magazine

‘[A] new father tries to empathise with his daughter’s inner workings as she begins to relate to the world – and to others, including himself… illuminates this intense tie between parent and child with a rare, tender, day-to-day absorption. The result is a double portrait: fascinating, unsettling and highly original.’ Marina Warner, Books of the Year, New Statesman

‘An accessible and intimate act of storytelling… fresh, original and delightful.’ Peter Hobson, The Psychologist

‘An elegantly written, warm, thoughtful, novelistic account… [does] a lovely job of conveying what life with a baby is like.’ Alison Gopnik, Times Literary Supplement

‘Ambitious and highly intelligent… any parent, particularly one with a young child, will be both moved and enlightened.’ Andrew Miller, Financial Times

‘An informed and humane introduction to the literature of infant observation… both a triumph of informed imagination and a startling testament of love.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘A tender, beautifully written account… accessible and jargon-free.’ Scotsman

‘A painstakingly observed, exquisitely written voyage of discovery… unusual and beautiful.’ Guardian

‘The most poetic popular science book of the year… a hard book to put down.’ Summer reading recommendations, Sunday Telegraph

‘It’s fascinating about memory and lost time… and the ineffable process by which children acquire language and a sense of selfhood and orientation.’ Time Out

‘Illuminating and often very moving.’ Big Issue Scotland

‘Extraordinary… a cross between a biography of a baby growing into a child, a scientist’s case-study notes and a beautifully written novel.’ Guardian

‘Truly a labour of love… a hymn to a child from a loving father.’ Sunday Herald

‘Draws on an impressive collection of theorists to back up his loving and fascinated observations… It takes a writer as graceful, thoughtful and intelligent as Fernyhough to carry off this retelling.’ Daily Telegraph

‘Combines a researcher’s insights with a parent’s unique empathy to create a moving portrait of human consciousness slowly and valiantly cohering in the buffeting current of time.’ Brian Hall, author of Madeleine’s World

‘I have never seen such a beautifully written book on this topic… essential reading for both psychologists and new parents.’ Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University

‘Unusual and illuminating… Enraptured as a father, absorbed as a psychologist, and seismographically attuned as a writer, Charles Fernyhough gives rare expression to a parent’s love and brings us very close to his daughter as she passes from infancy to childhood.’ Marina Warner

‘An intimate diary of fatherhood… Fernyhough points out the milestones of development that could be so easily missed when embedded in everyday acts of play… tackles the big questions, but at a level that a lay reader can follow.’ Nature

‘If you want a scientific explanation for your observations of your son or daughter, Charles Fernyhough’s book is a must.’ Vyma (Greece)

‘A book full of wonder.’ I’m Pregnant magazine