Book Review: Smart Baby Clever Child by Valentine Dmitriev

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Smart Baby, Clever Child: Brain Building Games and Activities

Author: Valentine Dmitriev, PH.D.

About the Book: “(An) updated…landmark work on early child development, Smart Baby, Clever Child. The new edition considers in depth the positive and potentially negative aspects of new media and technology in raising a child from birth through the toddler years.”

About the Author: Born in Shanghai, China in 1918, Dmitriev migrated with her Russian refugee family to Vancouver, Canada, and as an adult settled in Seattle, Washington.  Dr. Dmitriev was a pioneer in infant learning and early intervention for children with special needs and received national and global recognition for her Model Preschool Program for young children with Down syndrome and other disabilities.
Over a period of 15 years she traveled widely giving lectures and workshops in 40 cities in America and 11 foreign countries including Australia, England, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Russia and Spain.
Valentine Dmitriev has written numerous professional articles, seven books on parenting, education and child development, and four romance novels, Lori, Runaway Wife, Wedding Belle, Five Magic Words and Stolen Bride.
Graduating from high school at fifteen, Dmitriev earned a B.A. from the University of Washington at nineteen, and subsequently a Master’s and Ph.D. in Early Childhood Special Education.  You can learn more about Valentine and her works at

My thoughts: Even though I already have 3 kids, and baby #4 is coming soon (today perhaps?), I feel like there is still so much I can learn. While reading Valentine’s book I’ve looked back and had the thought “Man, I could’ve avoided those problems if I had read this book!”  I know I’ll still make mistakes, and won’t/can’t be perfect, but after reading Smart Baby, Clever Child I feel more equipped and ready to start good learning experiences from birth! 
One thing I absolutely loved is that Valentine doesn’t believe we need to go buy every toy and “educational” product to have successful happy children. She actually seems to promote using what you have around the home. And tells you how to make different toys that will be just as effective for baby as a manufactured toy. I feel like I’ve learned a lot and am ready to try again with Baby Prince, and start putting into effect other strategies with the Princesses. Even though some we didn’t focus on when they were babies, I believe through some hard work we can still get positive results!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Smart Baby Clever Child by Valentine Dmitriev

  1. How old is yyour child? What are ou trying to teach? What materials are you using? Do you have regular teaching sessions? How long are your lessons? Are you repeating the same things,over and over again? Could the materials be too advanced for your child, or are they boring?

    You may email me your questions, if you wish.
    Valentine Dmitriev Ph.D. Early Childhood Educator,

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