For Charles Fernyhough, the birth of his daughter Athena was an opportunity to view the psychological development and growth of a child first hand. Integrating scientific research with careful observation and questioning, this unique study investigates what it is like to be a newborn baby, an infant on the threshold of language, and a toddler testing out autonomy. Using Athena as a case study, Fernyhough vividly describes the huge amount of mental work children undertake right from birth, including the newborn’s task of learning about objects and people; the toddler’s forging of a self; the development of a sense of time and space; and the process of coming to grasp with the transforming power of the imagination. En route, he explains in simple terminology the ideas of the great child psychologists—including Vygotsky, Piaget, and Bowlby—and introduces some of the latest neuroscientific and developmental research. Written with a father’s tenderness and a keen scientific eye, this funny, touching, and fascinating investigation will allow parents and all those interested by child development to understand the extraordinary journey a child makes during the first three years of life.