Drs Gabel and Erickson offer this text as "an overview of normal child development and developmental disabilities for medical students, residents, practicing physicians and allied professionals who currently care for or plan to care for children." Any task of this magnitude is seldom done well. The levels of sophistication and areas of interest are so varied among the intended readers that a single work cannot satisfy all. It can, however, provide a point of entry into the great body of knowledge available about any one subject.
This book is divided into four parts. The first section, "Normal Child Development," is so poorly done that I cannot recommend it to anyone. The authors are obviously limited by space and have not succeeded in tightly organizing their difficult presentations. Perhaps the problem lies in the editors' decision to assign to different authors the task of discussing cross-sections (infancy, preschool child, school-age child,