This book is probably the best one I've discovered about toilet training. Elizabeth Pantley has also written several books on gentle approaches to sleep training and I noticed on her website that she has a new one out about dealing with picky eaters (none of those in our house, thank goodness, but I think this one would be good for me to read for work). Elizabeth is from the USA, so the terminology and language is distinctly US-flavoured, but still very readable.
The book consist of a menu of ideas to try during toilet training rather than a one-size-fits-all solution, similar to her sleep books. I like this because it provides options and acknowledges that different things may work in different families. Her toilet training checklist and bathroom safety checklists are useful too. She covers most of the common problems that arise during toilet training. Lots of good common sense advice is given.
She very much pushes (pardon the pun...) the idea that a positive and relaxed approach from those doing the toilet training is important. Bearing this in mind, she also says that toilet training isn't something that happens over a few days, but rather over several months. For those whose kids aren't ready to train yet, she has good information about things parents can do in the lead-up to prepare children for more full-on toilet training later.
I certainly wouldn't say that toilet training has been a completely no-cry process here, the sight of an accident on the carpet has driven me to tears on more than one occasion. And I've found the kids do need the occasional firm hand to make sure they know what's expected. This makes them (and me as well!) cranky sometimes.
But all in all, it's a pretty helpful read if you're thinking about toilet training and you're not sure where to start.