cover image The Girlfriends' Guide to Toddlers

The Girlfriends' Guide to Toddlers

Vicki Iovine. Perigee Books, $14.95 (271pp) ISBN 978-0-399-52438-7

Child magazine columnist and author of several other Girlfriends' Guides, Iovine offers entertaining anecdotes and sage advice on raising kids from ages one to three. What makes Iovine an expert? The mother of four openly admits her main qualification is that she and her friends have spent many years raising their own toddlers, and she states that her advice--anecdotal and emotional--isn't endorsed by medical professionals or nutritionists (""we [Iovine and her girlfriends] don't know our enzymes from our electrolytes""). That said, this seasoned mom knowledgeably walks readers through the toddler trenches, covering such age-appropriate concerns as potty training, play dates, sleep and eating habits--with an emphasis on how mothers can cope. Though Iovine is witty, she can also be philosophical and sentimental, as when she talks about what a toddler really is (somewhere between a baby and a child) or about how--for mothers--a child's ""first cut is really the deepest."" Iovine's fans will be delighted with this latest volume in the Girlfriends' series, and new mothers warily approaching their child's toddlerhood will find that Iovine's take on these challenging years is as reasonable as that of any ""expert""--and quite a bit funnier. (Feb.)