A wonderful new series debuts with How Is My First Grader Doing in School?: What to Expect and How to Help and How Is My Second Grader Doing in School? Jennifer Richard Jacobson and Dorothy Raymer present a wealth of material to help you assess your child's abilities in math, reading, and writing. Also included are clearly written explanations of various skills, suggested activities, and reading lists. More books for older grades are forthcoming. Start your children with this series and you'll both deserve an A+!

Whenever parents get the inevitable 'Where do babies come from?' query, the answer is often a pregnant pause. Arm yourself with How to Talk to Your Child about Sex and you'll know just what to say. Linda and Richard Eyre, the authors of the best-selling Teaching Your Children Values, say age eight is an ideal time to have the big talk, and they even present dialogues to show exactly how the conversation might go. They also explain how to answer the question for younger children, as well as how deal with the topic with teens of all ages.

Also be sure to check out Joanne Cantor's Mommy, I'm Scared: How TV and Movies Frighten Children and What We Can Do to Protect Them, which discusses not only TV and movies, but the news as well, another frequent contributor to nightmares. Cantor explains why children are often enticed by frightening programs and what types of problems are caused by various shows. She explains exactly what is likely to scare children at different ages and how to address their fears.

Finally, I'll close with a thought from For the Love of Children, a collection of quotes and anecdotes related to children and parenting. Author Eva Shaw notes that someone once defined the joy of parenthood as 'What grown-ups feel when the kids are in bed.' Touche!

Alice Cary is a mother and a reviewer in Groton, Massachusetts.

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