Questions and answers Is It Just a Phase ?: How to Tell Common Childhood Phases from More Serious Problems by Dr. Susan Swedo and Dr. Henrietta L. Leonard is a handy volume filled with solutions to all sorts of childhood problems, including thumb-sucking, picky eating habits, shyness, hyperactivity, fears, and a myriad of school woes. You'll find suggestions for helping your child outgrow these problems, ways to recognize signs of serious situations, tips for when to consult a doctor, and lists of further reading.
Of course, parents always have questions just as sure as kids used to get chicken pox. With that in mind, The Parents Answer Book (Golden Books, $35, 0307440605) by the editors of Parents magazine is bound to become indispensable. And with 896 pages, it's got plenty of answers about the health, safety, and development of children from birth through age five. Not only does it contain thoughtful discussions of just about everything under the sun, there are numerous practical pointers as well.
Alice Cary is a mother and a reviewer in Groton, Massachusetts.