Thoughtful, well-organized information about issues likely to arise during the preschool years--where the particular expertise of Rubin, a social psychologist, and Fisher, a specialist in preschool toys and play, can be appropriately utilized (by comparison with their 1980 volume on ages one and two, Your Toddler). Thus, the chapters on the development of language and thinking skills (and also television) adroitly blend theories and research data with practical suggestions. The section on cognitive development, for instance, summarizes Piaget's work (and, welcomely, cites questions about his specific findings); gives concrete examples of preschoolers' ideas about time (""I did it tomorrow""), about classification (they easily sort raisins or apples, but often can't identify them as fruit), and about right and wrong (""someone who accidentally drops a tray of ten cups and breaks them is naughtier than someone who purposely breaks one cup in a fit of anger""); and, finally, suggests low-key activities to develop thinking skills--like asking what-happens-next during daily routines, or having a child sort laundry by color or category. Similarly, step-by-step directions for ""Playcraft"" items--a wearable car, ""stained glass"" window shades, homemade paints--follow logically from extensive discussions of imagination, creating play spaces, and arts-and-crafts play. On issues like birth, sex, and death, Rubin and Fisher advocate openness within the bounds of parents' comfort and preferences; in matters of discipline, they stress clarity and consistency (with additional, realistic pointers on minimizing conflict). Though few of these ideas are brand new, the approach is consistently and refreshingly positive: no lists of dos and don'ts, no tiresome admonitions about taking charge, no elaborate systems for ensuring correct behavior. Like Bank Street's The Pleasure of Their Company (1981), upbeat and applicable.