An exhaustive, authoritative, and realistic source on child care from infancy to adolescence. Leach (Your Baby and Child), as her readers know, is practical and understanding: she provides workable solutions to the thorniest problems--like explaining death, or danger from strangers, to young children. The information is arranged alphabetically, from Abdominal Pain and Accidents to Working Mothers and Worms. Under Accidents and other broad headings, the subtopics are also arranged alphabetically (Blisters, Bruises, Burns); under Play and other developmental topics, the arrangement is chronological. Whether discussing physical or emotional concerns, Leach goes right to the point--reassuring parents that whatever the problem, something concrete can be done. But the emphasis here is not on the abnormal: while readers can easily refer to specific problem topics, they can also use the book as a detailed guide to childhood growth by looking up each age group (Infant Development and Care, for instance) and then the cross-referenced listings (Language, Toilet Training, Sleep, etc.). Leach cuts through many of today's hang-ups--noting that feeding a family needn't be all that complicated, that many ""learning difficulties"" are due to transient ""school difficulties. And so on and on. Children, she believes, have to be taught honestly about the world so that they can learn by adolescence to take care of themselves. Much of this makes independently interesting reading; much could also stimulate in-house discussion. And yes, you could do without Dr. Spock. An invaluable family reference.