A highly respectful view of the toddler years that sounds as the central theme the child's acquisition of independence. Dr. Levy, whose previous work (The Baby Exercise Book, 1973) also concentrated on a short developmental period, understands the uneasy balance of safety and risk that characterizes this time and the importance of developing daily competences: eating (a social occasion), sleeping (no association with punishment), toilet-training (a voluntary activity). She sees play as a special kind of learning--hurrying is counterproductive--and especially values swimming, both as fine physical experience and shared family delight. Although Dr. Levy has some idiosyncratic opinions--no phonograph records for this age group--her basic message is sound and she includes several areas often relegated to the background or overlooked entirely: daycare potentials, the city child, the handicapped child (the last the subject of her next book). Berry Brazelton's comparable work (Mothers and Toddlers, 1977) is less didactic in tone, quite similar in spirit, and more expansive on specific aspects of development, but this is more than adequate as a concise summation of toddler-years issues, and it can help parents determine when to sit back, when to step in.