Wilms tumor is the second most common pediatric solid tumor and by far the most common renal tumor of infants and young children. As most tumors are large at presentation and are treated with nephrectomy, the role of imaging is primarily in preoperative planning and evaluation for metastatic disease. However, with treatment protocols increasingly involving use of preoperative (neoadjuvant) chemotherapy (the standard in Europe) and consideration of nephron-sparing surgery, the role of imaging is evolving to include providing initial disease staging information and a presumptive diagnosis to guide therapy. Differential diagnostic considerations include lesions that are clinically benign and others that require more intensive therapy than is used to treat Wilms tumor. In part 1 of this article, the unique histologic spectrum of renal neoplasms of infants and young children is reviewed with emphasis on radiologic-pathologic correlation. Part 2 will focus on renal tumors of older children and adolescents.