Dr. Ames is co-director of the Gesell Institute of Child Development, and not surprisingly she bases her more provocative opposition to the Sesame Street/Montessori/raise-your-child's I.Q. sector upon those landmark Gesell studies which for 30 years have offered behavioral profiles in the stages of child development. One cannot speed up learning without regard to the facts of maturation; preschool learning, given an adequate environment, will come naturally. Furthermore, teaching letters and numbers -- a two-dimensional world of book, paper and pencil -- should never take priority over the child's three-dimensional world of play, acting and doing. The authors review the stages of behavior from infancy through five years and offer techniques for both child and parent enjoyment and survival. A/though the chapter on analyzing personality from body types touches on a thorny old controversy, a good deal of this makes sense -- even to those new to Gesell. The authors happily point to a small Sesame Street graduate who flunked a ""If I gave John 4Â¢ . . . etc. math problem because as he said, ""I don't know John."" -- a barrage from an established bastion.