Newborn babies continue to surprise researchers with their natural abilities: sniffing, turning, showing irritation at nosy intrusions. The Jacksons (she's a psychologist and editor, he's a writer) survey the explosion of recent research and summarize the findings which have revised and upgraded our concept of the infant as remarkably alert--dependent rather than helpless. Like The Developing Child series from Harvard University Press, this volume admirably picks and chooses from among the more reputable investigators (Kagan, Brackbill, Bower), even tossing in Darwin's observations on his children for a touch of class. And although lab language appears (ipsilateral direction, cross-modal matching, homeostatic mechanisms), it is carefully introduced and used with some restraint. But this remains a book more suited to students than parents: mothers may appredate the developmental meaning of banging pot lids or take comfort from knowing some children are constitutionally ""noncuddlers,"" but only specialists will tune in to tho auditory capabilities of chinchillas or remember at what age kids prefer a colander to a mother's face. Nonetheless, a well-written, informed, good-humored overview.