Paediatric Anaesthesia. By Edward Sumner, M.D., and David J. Hatch, M.D. London, Arnold, 1999. Pages: 648. Price:£65.

It can be said immediately that the new version of this already famous textbook is a success. In a comprehensible and easy-to-handle format (23 chapters plus a very useful appendix), the editors have managed to discuss the theoretical aspects of the subject and to provide the reader with superior advice regarding how to handle various practical aspects of pediatric anesthesia. In addition to the distinguished staff at the Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street, London, UK, the editors have been able to attract a large number of authorities from both sides of the Atlantic to contribute their knowledge to the new edition, making it a truly internationally valid textbook.

The text is easy to read, meticulous work has been done to avoid overlap between different authors, and no chapter is either too extensive or too superficial. Strong merits include the numerous references supplied and the excellent illustrations and exceptionally useful tables, which summarize key information. Also, the price is very appealing. In consideration of the general price level for medical literature, I would have expected at least twice this price for a textbook such as this.

In summary, this textbook not only belongs on the office bookshelf of all people involved in pediatric anesthesia, whether occasional or full time, but also deserves a place on your bedside table as a worthy alternative to your favorite fiction literature.