An informal, colloquial advisory, with frequent disarming examples drawn from the author's experiences with her daughter. The advice appears to be directed to the ""average,"" unenlightened parent, who is innocent of any knowledge or thoughts on the subject but susceptible to gentle reason. Exhibiting this last, Hearne emphasizes books' ""appeal"" over their ""importance"" and doesn't make a grim educational task of her project. Also sensible is her discussion of censorship, recommending adult involvement and discussion as an alternative. Like the book itself, the lists of recommended books in various categories are short, which makes selection easier. (They are also strictly for the novice, however, as they lean heavily to those few children's books that are already well known.) The terms ""literature,"" ""art,"" (for pictures), and ""poetry"" are perhaps too freely invoked considering the examples and the level of discussion, but that is common in the children's book field. Though one might wonder how far Hearne's generous standards in these areas will advance her audience and their children, readers will at least come away unintimidated by the subject and aware of alternatives to dime-store merchandise books.