The Little Book of Big Stuff About the Brain

The true story of your amazing brain

By: Andrew Curran


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 174mm x 124mm
Pages : 178
ISBN : 9781845900854
Format: Hardback
Published: March 2008

What it is, how it works, what it looks like, where it came from - it’s all here in this light-hearted and easy-to-read little book that will guarantee that you will never think about your own thinking in quite the same way ever again.

Whatever role you have in life, every action you undertake, every thought you entertain, every memory you hold, every hang up you possess, every quirk, foible, idiosyncrasy and knack, it’s all the result of chemistry and electricity working across a network of squidgy organic matter that you have helped shape throughout your life.

So, enjoy this little book about your amazing brain, but remember, as someone once said, ‘If our brains were simple enough to understand them, we would be too simple to understand them’.

Picture for author Andrew Curran

Andrew Curran

Dr Andrew Curran is a practising paediatric neurologist and neurobiologist who is also committed to using his extraordinary knowledge of the workings of the human brain to make a difference in the educational experience of all young people. He has been involved with Manchester University's Department of Education, developing research ideas looking at the use of emotional literacy in our classrooms. More recently he has conducted work exploring the processing of reward in the human brain. He believes passionately in the importance of understanding the individual, connecting with them emotionally and leading them into self directed learning. His book, the Little Book of Big Stuff about the Brain (published by Crown House Publishing) is recognised as one of the leading books about understanding brain based learning and the importance of emotional literacy in our classrooms and in our lives. His latest book, Get Off the Sofa is a general health book aimed at anyone from 5 ' 85 who wants to understand their health more. He is a talented and internationally recognised presenter both to live audiences and on television where he was a main presenter on BBC3's Make My Body Younger. He is an associate of Independent Thinking Ltd.


  1. I have really enjoyed reading The Little Book of Big Stuff about the Brain - I feel I now understand the brain better thanks to you. It is also the first book on the subject that has made me giggle -” there can be no better way to learn. A truly unique and accessible way of communicating and sharing a tremendous wealth of knowledge.

    Pam Smith teacher and psychologist working with severely autistic teenagers
  2. Dr Andrew Curran is a practising paediatric neurologist in Liverpool who is also committed to using his extraordinary knowledge of the workings of the human brain to make a difference in the educational experience of all young people. Ian Gilbert, founder of Independent Thinking has been working to bring the best out of young people and those who work with them, focusing on areas including thinking, learning, motivation and creativity. This "little book' is a very readable guide to how the brain has developed, how it works and the implications this has for everyday situations as well as for more formal learning.

    It is amusingly illustrated and uses many instantly recognizable examples to bring these complex concepts to life.

    I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing more about how their brain actually does what it does, or wants to explain some of these concepts to students in an entertaining and imaginative format.
  3. 'The true story of our amazing brain'! What a delightful book, with 'big enough' writing and pictures that offers an simple approach to a complicated subject. Our knowledge of the brain is a work in progress, an endless adventure of discovery.

    It will excite your interest and inspire you to learn more. Sharing your learning and your approaches to teaching with a broader knowledge will help you understand how a 'calm' brain that is having fun will learn best.

    Fear, stress and worry only shut down the higher thinking and control centres of the brain with consequent results to teaching and learning.

    We will certainly be adding this to our A Quiet Place reading list!

    Without a doubt all educators should not only enjoy reading this book but also find in it essential information for the teaching and learning process. It is only when we begin to understand how that extraordinary organ the brain functions that we will we be able begin to make proper use of its abilities thus assisting pupils and students to begin their lifetimes journey of self knowledge. I can only recommend all who are involved in education for any age or ability to appreciate this 'little' book for helping us begin to set out on our journey with a wealth of vital information, a must for a positive and successful adventure on this planet.
  4. The premise for The Little Book of Big Stuff is simple, describing itself as “the user's manual that your brain didn't come with”.

    Dr Andrew Curran is a practising paediatric neurologist and also works with Manchester University's education department, and his book aims to offer die lay reader - be they teacher or student - an insight into how the brain works what it looks like, and where it came from. It is designed to give the reader a working knowledge of the human brain.

    Covering the first evolution of the brain two billion years ago, through to its present day form, the publication takes on the style of a “notebook” with hand-drawn diagrams to complement the light hearted nature of the language.

    As well as a potted history of the brain, Dr Curran also offers advice and insight into the learning process, describing both the scientific processes behind effective learning, and explaining how we can encourage our own, and others', brains to act in this way.

    Understanding how to use your brain effectively in all situations - be it to learn, to memorise, or to socialise - are all tackled in layman's terms.

    The importance of emotional health is revisited throughout, along with advice on how to make best use of your brain - be it to improve memory, facilitate learning, or even to socialise more effectively.
  5. This is a brilliant book which is essential reading for all teachers and parents. It would be an excellent book to leave for parents to browse through in the school reception area. The sections on learning are excellent, but I would particularly recommend the section on behaviour to all teachers, mentors and support workers. This is another inspiring addition to a great series which brings learning down to a level of enjoyment and practical understanding.

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