Latest articles from "The Horn Book Guide to Children's and Young Adult Books":

LITERATURE(April 1, 2015)

OLDER FICTION(April 1, 2015)

SOCIAL SCIENCES(April 1, 2015)

PRESCHOOL(April 1, 2015)

HISTORY(April 1, 2015)

SCIENCE(April 1, 2015)

LANGUAGE(April 1, 2015)

Other interesting articles:

Let It Snow
Sunset (January 1, 2015)

Dazzling Variations on the Traditional Hot Pot
The Stranger (January 7, 2015)

Sunset (February 1, 2015)

The Stranger (February 25, 2015)

Techniques for Maintaining a Low Larynx and Open Throat in Classical Singing
Journal of Singing (March 1, 2015)

The Stranger (March 4, 2015)

The Stranger (April 1, 2015)

Publication: The Horn Book Guide to Children's and Young Adult Books
Date published:
Language: English
PMID: 40439
ISSN: 1044405X
Journal code: HBGC

Abrahams, Peter Quacky Baseball 32 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-122978-7 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Frank Morrison. This cheerful title follows a small, thumb-sucking duck who smacks a home run to lift his team to victory. Transitions from one page to the next can be disorientingly abrupt; still, young baseball fans might well identify with Thumby's success. Morrison's textured Illustrations are energetic and colorful. A few "Batting Tip" text boxes are included, mlb

Allen, Joy Princess Palooza 32 pp. Putnam isbn 978-0-399-25455-0 $16.99

(5) "Twelve Princesses rule the park / Princess Palooza Party until dark!" Lively "princesses" (little girls playing dress-up - a cowgirl, baseball player, ballerina, etc.) enjoy their day at the playground. Pink- and purple-heavy digitaUy enhanced watercolor and pencil ulustrations serve to illuminate a bland and stumbling rhymed text. Girly readers can cut out their own princess crown from the jacket flap. AK

Alter, Anna A Photo for Greta 40 pp. Knopf ISBN 978-0-375-85618-1 $16.99 LE ISBN 978-0-375-95618-8 $19.99

(4) Bunny Greta misses Dad when he is working as a professional photographer. She wants to be the one in front of his camera so she mimics his famous subjects using her costume collection. m a flat ending, Dad finally focuses on Greta. The warm story is Illustrated with simply composed acrylic paintings, SN

Amado, Elisa What Are You Doing? 24 pp. Groundwood isbn 978-1-55498-070-3 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Manuel Monroy. Chepito doesn't want to go to school. He encounters various people in his neighborhood, all of whom are reading. His repeated query, "Why, why, why?" (which grows a little tiresome) elicits different responses that demonstrate the reasons reading and education are so important. Warm-hued pictures Illustrate Chepito's quest toward knowledge and enlightenment. tw

Andrews, Julie, and Emma Walton Hamilton The Very Fairy Princess Takes the Stage 32 pp. Little isbn 978-0-316-04052-5 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Christine Davenier. In her second book, Géraldine describes how being chosen to play the court jester instead of the princess causes her to lose her "sparkle." She recovers after helping the princess when her crown breaks. Geraldine's voice is irritating, but readers may appreciate her verve. Davenier's loosely drawn ink and colored-pencil ulustrations - and some sparkles on the book's cover - help the show go on. ak

Arnosky, Jim At This Very Moment 32 pp. Dutton isbn 978-0-525-42252-5 $16.99

(3) Arnosky reminds readers that as they go about their days, animals are engaged in activities both similar and different to theirs: "Every moment of your day / is matched by other moments / near and far away." Through rhythmic text and expansive paintings, Arnosky succeeds in presenting a thoughtful celebration of the natural world that's well suited for bedtime sharing. "Notes on Animals" are appended. TLD

Asch, Frank Happy Birthday, Big Bad Wolf 32 pp. Kids Can isbn 978-1-55337-368-1 $16.95

(4) The Big Bad Wolf is taken aback when Little Pig throws him a surprise birthday party. The villain expects to feast on pig but instead ends up with vegetable casserole and chocolate cake. Although Asch's text is a little wordy, the story's happy ending is satisfying. The accompanying digital illustrations are bright and cheery, sjw

Austen, Catherine My Cat Isis 32 pp. Kids Can isbn 978-1-55453-413-5 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Virginie Egger. Through a series of comparisons, a child reveals the differences between the Egyptian goddess Isis and his cat named Isis. Mixed-media art captures the spirit of ancient Egyptian wall paintings; the photographic collages are less successful. Though the parallels - and differences - are amusing, this is more an affectionate, offbeat paean to a pet than a real story, cls

Baeten, Lieve Up and Away with the Little Witch 32 pp. North-South isbn 978-0-7358-4004-1 $16.95

(3) Little witches Lizzy and Trixie conjure a magic carpet. On their all-night ride, they encounter three older witches: one performs circus tricks, one offers her place for a peebreak pit-stop, and the third flies them home in a hot-air balloon. The book's affable all-witch cast, meticulously detailed illustrations set against nighttime grayish-blues, and page-scale flaps that open onto larger illustrations are entrancing, nb

Balachandran, Anitha The Dog Who Loved Red 24 pp. Kane /Miller isbn 978-1-935279-83-9 $14.99

(4) Dog Raja loves the color red. When his friend's red ball ends up in mean Mr. Mehta's yard, Raja retrieves it, Peter Rabbit style. There are a lot of red herrings in the meandering story line (is it a color concept book? a quest narrative? a story about a naughty dog? or is he a hero?). Colorful illustrations play up the goggle-eyed pup's antics, erg

Bardoe, Cheryl The Ugly Duckling Dinosaur: A Prehistoric Tale 32 pp. Abrams isbn 978-0-8109-9739-4 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Doug Kennedy. A Tyrannosaurus rex egg hatches in a duck's nest. The "duckling" fails to fit in with his duck family and can't seem to befriend other animals (lizards, Stegosauruses, etc.). He's certain he'll never "belong anywhere" until - "STOMP! STOMP!" - a mama T. rex appears. The story, illustrated with cartoony characters, ends predictably and abruptly; the appended author and artist notes are more satisfying. Reading list. Bib. tda

Bari, Ellen Jumping Jenny 32 pp. Kar-Ben isbn 978-0-7613-5141-2 $17.95 pe isbn 978-0-7613-5143-6 $7.95

(4) Illustrated by Raquel García Macia. Nobody appreciates Jenny's penchant for jumping. When her class does a mitzvah project to raise money for Ugandan children, Jenny finds a way to do what she loves while helping others. Though the be-yourself message is stale, Bari's text, peppered with alliteration and rhyme ("your every ounce was made to bounce!"), is playful, while García Maciá's illustrations are appropriately vigorous (if somewhat blurry), rls

Bateman, Teresa Paul Bunyan vs. Hals Halson: The Giant Lumberjack Challenge! 32 pp. Whitman isbn 978-0-8075-6367-0 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by C. B. Canga. Hals Halson, bent on proving himself as the greatest lumberjack, strides into camp. Lonely Paul Bunyan would rather start a friendship than a competition, but he's forced to best Hals before the latter will bury the hatchet. The story, aptly hyperbolic, is a little weak on plot. Digital-looking cartoon illustrations using woodlike textures and sharp angles reflect the characters' shared skills, rrw

Bauer, Marion Dane In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb 32 pp. Holiday isbn 978-0-8234-2238-8 $16.95

(3) Illustrated by Emily Arnold McCuIIy. Rhyming text of varied line lengths describes March weather in terms of the proverbial animals' behavior. The lion stomps in with storm clouds; he seems determined to stay, but he finally - inadvertently - summons the springtime lamb with a sneeze. The text's rhythm nicely evokes erratic March, while McCully's pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are at first appropriately windy and then cheerfully floral, sf

Beard, Alex Monkey See, Monkey Draw 48 pp. Abrams isbn 978-0-8109-8970-2 $16.95

(4) A bunch of competitive monkeys and their elephant friend discover amazing cave paintings. When the monkeys try to make their own art, they learn that not everything has to be a contest. Vibrant, playful pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations have a cave-painting look (the monkeys' faces were created from thumbprints). There are too many ideas going on, but at its heart, the tale celebrates creativity, sra

Beaty, Andrea Hide and Sheep 32 pp. McElderry isbn 978-1-4169-2544-6 $15.99

(4) Illustrated by Bill Mayer. When Farmer McFitt's sheep escape, they get into trouble all over town. Bouncy rhymes count down from ten while describing the creatures' shenanigans in the zoo, in the firehouse, and elsewhere: "Four hungry ewes run off looking for snacks. / They roam the library, inspecting the stacks." Readers can enjoy counting the runaways in the comical illustrations, though unfortunately, many images look blurred, mfs

Beaumont, Karen Shoe-la-la! 40 pp. Scholastic isbn 978-0-545-06705-8 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Four glamorous little girls need the perfect party shoes to go with their dresses and hair. It's off to shoe store Shoe-la-la where there are all kinds to pick from. With so many choices, they can't decide - so they embellish their old shoes instead. Beaumont's rhyming text is fittingly peppy, while Pham's pink- and purple-heavy illustrations will pique girly-girls' interest, keh

Beck, Carolyn Wellington's Rainy Day 32 pp. Orea isbn 978-1-55469-284-2 $19.95

(5) Illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan. One day, while Master dozes, dog Wellington manages to gobble meatloaf with impunity, swill garbage to the point of nausea, then eagerly slurp up his own vomit. The in-your-face gross-out element, with support from Kerrigan's enthusiastic illustrations, feels forced; readers who aren't put off by all the puke may be amused, mfs

Blackaby, Susan Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox 32 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-4336-8 $14.95

(3) Illustrated by Carmen Segovia. On February second, Brownie the groundhog goes looking for signs of spring. Instead she finds a hungry fox. Brownie manages to outwit the inexperienced fox; what's more, she discovers he's not bad company. Brightened by sky-blue and fox-red, the illustrations for this humorous tale set the wintry scene well and help create distinctive personalities for the two animals, mfs

* Blackall, Sophie Are You Awake? 40 pp. Holt/Ottaviano isbn 978-0-8050-7858-9 $12.99

(2) A boy pries open his mom's eye at the ungodly hour of 4:00 a.m. What follows are amusing questions and answers between the two. The text is entirely dialogue; eventually the speech bubbles hold pictures instead of words. Adults will find the book true-to-life, while kids may recognize themselves in Blackall's pictures of the boy romping, sitting on mom, then snuggling up. Review 7/11. jmb

Blake, Robert J. Painter and Ugly 32 pp. Philomel isbn 978-0-399-24323-3 $16.99

(3) Painter and Ugly, two sled dogs that are separated at the story's beginning, find each other on the Junior Iditarod Trail. The dogs seem to jump right out of the accomplished oil paintings, and the fast-paced text will keep readers' hearts racing as the dogs listen to their own instincts to be reunited, mg

Bonwill, Ann Bug and Bear: A Story of True Friendship 32 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5902-6 $17.99

(4) Illustrated by Layn Marlow. Although Bear tells Bug she's too tired to play, Bug relentlessly pursues her. Finally Bear explodes, "Go and jump in a lake!" As Bear tries to sleep, she worries that she should have been nicer. She goes to find Bug-who's stuck in the middle of the lake - and rescues him. Playful mixed-media illustrations add interest to the bland story, pr

Bostrom, Kathleen Long The View at the Zoo 32 pp. Ideals isbn 978-0-8249-5629-5 $14.99

(4) Illustrated by Guy Francis. A zookeeper makes the rounds, checking to see that all of his charges are ready to put their best feet, paws, and hooves forward. The text is bland but inoffensive ("Hear the silly sounds they speak, / as they howl, squawk and shriek!"). Same goes for the caricature illustrations of anthropomorphized animals; the pictures are fine but forgettable, cal

Boyer, Cécile Woof Meow Tweet-Tweet 48 pp. Seven Footer isbn 978-1-934734-60-5 $15.95

(3) What's the difference between a dog, a cat, and a bird? The omniscient narrator's dutiful answers - concerning each creature's living space, social needs, etc. - feature illustrations of not the animals but, in an inspired twist, pictures representing the sounds they make. These words, like other bold, geometric objects in the book, usually sit on white backdrops, recalling Marimekko patterns, nb

Bradfield, Jolly Roger The Pickle-Chiffon Pie Olympics 64 pp. Purple isbn 978-1-930900-52-3 $18.95

(3) This decades-later sequel to Pickle-Chiffon Pie has a king insisting that his daughter marry not her beloved but the winner of a contest named for the castle delicacy. Part William Steig and part Monty Python ("the ten-mile bicycle race [was] made harder by the fact that bicycles hadn't been invented yet"), this hilariously illustrated farce doesn't even need the gross-sounding-pie motif, nb

Bradford, Wade Why Do I Have to Make My Bed?: Or, A History of Messy Rooms 32 pp. Tricycle isbn 978-1-58246-327-8 $16.99 le isbn 978-1-58246-388-9 $19.99

(4) Illustrated by Johanna van der Sterre. When a choresfatigued boy asks the titular question, his mom describes his grandmother's identical lament. Her mom responded with a similar story, and back through the generations (the boy's distant ancestor complains, "Me already clean cave!. . . Why me have to make bed?"). This somewhat labored history lesson features art that drolly re-creates the chosen time periods. NB

Brennan-Nelson, Denise Willow and the Snow Day Dance 32 pp. Sleeping Bear isbn 978-1-58536-522-7 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Cyd Moore. Published fall 2010. When Willow and her family move to a new neighborhood, she involves everyone - including reclusive Mr. Larch - in gardening activities and the school charity drive. As spring and summer pass, the neighbors are asked to help Willow, who's "in need of snow!" Larch's turnaround strains credulity in this second feel-good story starring Willow. Detailed illustrations extend the text, ak

Brown, Calef Boy Wonders 40 pp. Atheneum isbn 978-1-4169-7877-0 $16.99

(3) "Do taffy pullers ever push and make a glob of sticky mush?" A boy addresses his rapidly unspooting mental list of questions to the reader. The rhymes are sometimes unabashedly silly; at other times they inspire thought. The acrytics, which feature text that changes font, size, and are, are artfully jam-packed, tike the narrator's mind, nb

Brown, Marc Arthur Turns Green 32 pp. Little isbn 978-0-316-12924-4 $16.99

(4) D.W., misunderstanding Arthur's involvement with his dass's conservation project, thinks a "Big Green Machine" is turning her brother the color green. She's nervous about school family night, but when all is revealed, D.W. gets the environmentatist bug. A few oft-suggested conservation tips are peppered throughout the bland story, rrw

Brown, Ruth Gracie the Lighthouse Cat 32 pp. Andersen isbn 978-0-7613-7454-1 $16.95

(3) A mother cat who lives in a lighthouse saves her kitten from a terrible storm, m the Illustrations behind this simple, satisfying story, an even more dramatic one unfolds: the famous 1838 rescue of thirteen shipwrecked passengers by heroic young Grace Darting. Expressive watercolors capture the ferocity of the storm as well as the coziness inside the lighthouse in both rescues' aftermath, mvp

Brun-Cosme, Nadine Big Wolf & Little Wolf: Such a Beautiful Orange! 32 pp. Enchanted Lion isbn 978-1-59270-106-3 $16.95

(5) Illustrated by Olivier Tallec. In their third story, Little Wolf heads to the city to retrieve an orange that Big Wolf has thrown. Big Wolf follows, wondering if his friend is trying to elude him. Big Wolf's handwringing, described in wordy, esoteric text, isn't likely to resonate with readers. Tallec's painterly urban dystopia, showing few signs of lie, is a tittle bit chilling. nb

Budnitz, Paul The Hole in the Middle 40 pp. Hyperion isbn 978-1-4231-3761-0 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Aya Kakeda. Morgan has a hole in his middle that leaves him forever hungry. His best friend, Yumi, tries to fill it by giving Morgan cake, singing with him, etc., but Morgan only becomes complete when he reciprocates her kindness. This story is so matter-of-factly strange that it's never sentimental. Kakeda fills every calming page with clean tines and subdued colors, nb

Bunting, Eve My Dog Jack Is Fat 32 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5809-8 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Michael Rex. The vet tells Carson that his dog, Jack, must lose some weight. Jack, thanks to his owner's help, plenty of exercise, and a treat-free diet, achieves his goal; now it's Carson's turn. The joke is one-note and the twist ending can be seen from a mile away, but Jack's emotions, in digitally enhanced colored-pencil Illustrations, are humorously entertaining, cal

Byrne, John Patrick Donald & Benoit 64 pp. Universe isbn 978-0-7893-2084-1 $17.95

(5) As a boy awaits the return of his seafaring father, his cat develops a taste for performing and wins the job of drumming with the Dancing Devildogs. The engine for the lengthy book seems not to be storytelling so much as a desire to introduce quUky characters as a showcase for the painterly Illustrations, which won't have much appeal to children, nb

Calvert, Pam The Multiplying Menace Divides 32 pp. Charlesbridge isbn 978-1-57091-781-3 $16.95 pe isbn 978-1-57091-782-0 $7.95

(5) Illustrated by Wayne Geehan. In this sequel to Multiplying Menace, Prince Peter faces evil Rumpelstiltskin yet again. This time around, Rumpelstiltskin and his witch sidekick wield the Great Divide, a magic stick that's waved over a Frog Crystal to transform people and animals into amphibians. Geehan's Illustrations are amusing, but the story and the division concepts are muddy, tda

Calvert, Pam Princess Peepers Picks a Pet 32 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5815-9 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Tuesday Mourning. In this sequel to Princess Peepers, the Royal Academy for Perfect Princesses is putting on a pet show - but the book's protagonist doesn't own a pet. Even if the misunderstanding-based plot isn't all that compelling, Peepers is irreverent enough to please tomboys but princess-y enough for the princess-obsessed. The art is full of impeccable tines, rich colors, and couture-ish finery, nb

Casanova, Mary The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town 32 pp. Farrar isbn 978-0-374-31742-3 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Ard Hoyt. Notorious outlaw Dirk Yeller strikes fear in the hearts of the townsfolk when he arrives demanding something to "'take away my cat scratch fever!' His fingers were a-itchin' and a-twitchin'." No one can help, until young Sam, who gets fidgety too, steps up and leads him to the library. Spirited Illustrations extend this rolticking Old-West-with-a-twist story, pr

Cassidy, Sean Kazaak! 32 pp. Fitzhenry isbn 978-1-55455-117-0 $18.95

(4) Rupert the porcupine teaches baby Spike all the cool things about his new quills. With a sharp "Kazaak!" the porcupines smash carrots, puncture fruit, and even defend themselves against a hungry bear. The spiky characters' spunky personatities come through in the drawings, though the overall Illustration quatity is inconsistent. Additional porcupine facts are appended, chs

Chali, Marsha Wilson Pick a Pup 32 pp. McElderry isbn 978-1-4169-7961-6 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Jed Henry. On his way to the city pet shelter with his grandmother, a boy wonders how he'll know which dog to choose. Lively digital and watercolor illustrations animate the text describing the dogs he meets along the way: "likes-to-take-a-nap dog. . . dances-for-abone pup. . . one-that-barks-down-deep dog," etc. In the end, gratifyingly, the right pup picks him. rrw

Child, Lauren Slightly Invisible 40 pp. Candlewick isbn 978-0-7636-5347-7 $16.99

(3) Published fall 2010. Charlie, needing a break from little sister Lola, tries to carve out some alone time with best friend Marv. Together the boys concoct an invisibility potion. When it disappears, Lola claims her "friend" (invisible, natch) drank it. Child's familiar mixed-media illustrations enhance this imagination-rich pesky-sibling tale, chs

Chin, Oliver The Year of the Rabbit: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac 40 pp. Immedium isbn 978-1-59702-023-7 $15.95

(5) Illustrated by Justin Roth. According to an endnote, people born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be "amiable and gentle. . . nimble and resourceful." Such is Rosie the rabbit, who saves her friend from a tiger. Unfortunately, like the rabbit herself, this story line is too jumpy to follow. The cartoon illustrations are garishly exaggerated, chs

Claflin, Willy Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs: A Maynard Moose Tale 32 pp. August/Little Folk isbn 978-0-87483-914-2 $18.95

(5) Illustrated by James Stimson. "So the eight or nine seven dwarfs see Punzel in the duck pond. . ." This fractured fairy tale, narrated by a moose, features a fabricated dialect that may prove difficult for young readers (though the folksy "Piney Woods English" may enliven storytimes). Cartoonish digital illustrations underscore the labored silliness. A CD performance of the text with music is included. Glos. NG

Clarke, Jane Gilbert the Hero 32 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-8040-0 $12.95

(4) Illustrated by Charles Fuge. Shark Gilbert (Gilbert in Deep) returns for another unsurprising undersea outing. Little brother Finn isn't much fun at the park. When Gilbert leaves Finn unattended, a killer whale nearly devours him, but Gilbert manages a last-minute rescue. In the end, the terrifying attack is laughed off as a game. Serene, sea-green illustrations and ocean puns downplay the danger of the situation. BCF

Coates, Paul Tim and the Iceberg 32 pp. Star Bright isbn 978-1-59572-205-8 $16.95 pe isbn 978-1-59572-206-5 $6.95

(4) Illustrated by Ian P. Benfold Haywood. One hot day at the beach, Tim sets off by boat for the North Pole to find an iceberg to surprise his grandfather. He's just successful enough in his mission to make their day together even better. The narration, though heartfelt, is wordy and not always authentically childlike. The art, featuring soft outlines and a cool palette, recalls John Burningham's work, nb

Cocca-Leffler, Maryann Princess Kim and Too Much Truth 32 pp. Whitman isbn 978-0-8075-6618-3 $16.99

(3) At school Kim learns about the importance of honesty. Determined not to lie, she says what she really thinks about her father's pancakes ("sort of rubbery") and - gasp - her teacher's newborn: "That is the ugliest baby I have ever seen!" Kim then learns about soothing hurt feelings. The story, with its lighthearted illustrations, provides good examples of the if-you-can't-say-something-nice principle, sjw

Codell, Esmé Raji Fairly Fairy Tales 32 pp. Simon/ Aladdin isbn 978-1-4169-9086-4 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Elisa Chavarri. "Sticks? Yes. Straw? Yes. Bricks? Yes. Solar panels? NOOOOO!" Codell telegraphs the bare bones of six well-known tales, throwing in an eleventh-hour twist for each one. Though it's framed as a bedtime story, the text is ready-made for gleeful read-aloud participation. Playful digital illustrations alternate between vignettes and double-page spreads that offer much for readers to pore over, ng

Cohn, Diana Roses for Isabella 32 pp. SteinerBooks isbn 978-0-8801-0731-0 $17.95

(4) Illustrated by Amy Cordova. Young Isabella, through the conceit of a school writing project, teaches readers about her Ecuadorian parents' fight against pesticides and for fairtrade status for their rose farm. The framework is clumsy, but the information is sound. Cordova's fluid, vibrant-hued paintings enliven the presentation. An afterword by Lynn Lohr of Fair Trade USA tells more about the process, erg

Collins, Ross Doodleday 32 pp. Whitman isbn 978-0-8075-1683-6 $16.99

(4) Harvey ignores his mom's warning against drawing on "Doodleday," only to find that, for starters, a spider he doodles captures his dad. Mom must save the day by doodling the scariest creature of all: an angry mother. Despite some major leaps in logic, the book succeeds as imagination-prodding entertainment featuring illustrations that are admirably coherent despite the wildness they depict, nb

Compestine, Ying Chang The Runaway Wok 32 pp. Dutton isbn 978-0-525-42068-2 $16.99

(3) Ulustrated by Sebastià Serra. Set in long-ago China, this story teUs of Ming Zhang and his poor but deserving famüy. On New Year's Eve, Ming buys a magical wok, which promptly sets out to transfer riches from the greedy Li famüy to the Zhangs, who share it with others. The detailed, vigorous Ulustrations reflect the mischievous wok's energy. A recipe and Chinese New Year festival facts are appended, mfs

Conahan, Carolyn The Big Wish 32 pp. Chronicle isbn 978-0-8118-7040-5 $16.99

(4) "Tm growing a big wish. A World Record Wish!" MoUy says in defense of her dandetion-overrun yard. After a young neighbor caUs for a wish contest and appoints MoUy judge, she grows increasingly leery as townspeople compete. The "everyone wins" ending is predictable, if inevitable, in this old-fashioned story whose smaU-town setting and summery watercolors suggest an eartier era. nb

Cosentino, Ralph Wonder Woman: The Story of the Amazon Princess 40 pp. Viking isbn 978-0-670-06256-0 $16.99

(3) Some readers may not realize that one of the most famous female superheroes has an engrossing backstory. Cosentino lets Wonder Woman teU her own tale, beginning with how her Amazon-queen mother, Hippolyta, molded her from clay. Wonder Woman also introduces - and bests - four enemies. Sleek digital-looking art suggests a high-gloss comic book; so too do the text boxes that contain the (somewhat campy) narration, nb

Crimi, Carolyn Dear Tabby 32 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-114245-1 $16.99 le isbn 978-0-06-114246-8 $17.89

(4) Illustrated by David Roberts. Cat columnist Tabby attempts to help a lovesick skunk, a loquacious parrot, and other animals who write letters soliciting her advice. This is one of those punning, winking, müdly amusing kids' books that adults are meant to read on a dUferent level ("Trying to kick the catnip habit?"). Spreads foreground the text's multiple fonts and Roberts's flourish-y Ulustrations. nb

Crow, Kristyn The Really Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare 32 pp. Whitman isbn 978-0-8075-6911-5 $16.99

(5) Illustrated by Christina Forshay. In this retelling of the dassic aUegorical race, a seU-infatuated city-dwelling hare loses to a country-dwelling tortoise ("'That was Groovy! That was Fun!' / Hare said, 'Dude, I shoulda' won.'") Readers who have an inking of what hip even means wUl likely consider this story squaresviUe. Energetic cartoony Ulustrations (some out of focus) match the text's frenetic tone, nb

Cyrus, Kurt The Voyage of Turtle Rex 40 pp. Harcourt isbn 978-0-547-42924-3 $16.99

(3) A turtle hatchUng wriggles free of her egg, makes her way toward open water, and hides in seaweed and sand "for a long, long whUe" until she has matured and instinct drives her back to her bUthplace. With graceful rhyming text and expansive Ulustrations rich in color and texture, this story of the prehistoric archelon is adroitly presented. An author's note is appended, rrw

A Czekaj, Jef A Call for a New Alphabet 40 pp. Charlesbridge isbn 978-1-58089-228-5 $12.95 pe isbn 978-1-58089-229-2 $5.95

(2) Disgruntled X incites the other letters to question the authority of alphabetical sequence. They then vote on whether to create a new order. Czekaj's block letters feature appropriate attributes (e.g., H wears a hardhat and high heels, Z sports a zipper). The eclectic design mixes regular typesetting with word baUoons and keeps the pace lively with fuU spreads, inset boxes, and panels. Review 5/11. lr

Daly, Cathleen Prudence Wants a Pet 32 pp. Roaring Brook/Porter isbn 978-1-59643-468-4 $16.99

(2) ILlustrated by Stephen Michael King. When Mom and Dad won't get her a pet, Prudence uses her imagination; unfortunately, a tree branch that accompanies her to school, a shoe named Formal Footwear, and baby brother MUo don't pan out. Daly's dry humor and her wonderfuUy persistent protagonist elevate this book above typical kiddowants-a-pet fare. King's illustrations - spare line drawings punctuated with color - perfectly chronicle Prudence's ups and downs. Review 7/11. tda

D'Amico, Carmela, and Steven D'Amico Suki, the Very Loud Bunny 32 pp. Dutton isbn 978-0-525-42230-3 $16.99

(3) Suki the bunny's irrepressible, rambunctious behavior leads her into danger. Her loud, unrabbittike voice comes in handy when she needs to call for help. The story achieves a satisfying balance; it celebrates Suki's enthusiasm whUe casting a vote for caution and (sometimes) quiet. Expressive, unfussy illustrations, with sturdy black outlines, give the rabbits plenty of personatity. mfs

Davis, David Fandango Stew 32 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-6527-8 $14.95

(3) Ulustrated by Ben Galbraith. Set in the Wild West, this version of "Stone Soup" features a grandfather and a grandson who get the whole town singing, "Chiti's good, so is barbecue, / but nothing's finer than fandango stew!" It's a sotid reinterpretation of the classic, thanks to the full-on Old West dialogue and the mixed-media art, which amplifies each character's delicious gullibility. nb

Day, Alexandra Frank and Ernest Play Ball 48 pp. Green Tiger isbn 978-1-59583-438-6 $15.95

(3) Reissue (1990, Scholastic). Frank and Ernest, the bear and elephant duo, take a temporary job as managers of the ElmviUe Mudcats - and with it a crash course in baseball jargon. Sports fans will enjoy the text with its in-the-know lingo (also defined for the uninitiated, like the main characters). Day's play-it-straight paintings - except for the elephant and bear in the infield - convey much of the spirit of baseball, mvk

deGroat, Diane Ants in Your Pants, Worms in Your Plants!: (Gilbert Goes Green) 32 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-176511-7 $16.99

(4) A garbage-strewn, unshaded picnic area motivates Gilbert's class to work on Earth Day projects. Though at first he struggles to come up with an idea, Gilbert finds inspiration in what is "right in front of" him: his favorite tree. Fans of Gilbert and company will enjoy their characteristic humor in this book with an environmentalist twist, rrw

de Las Casas, Dianne There's a Dragon in the Library 32 pp. Pelican isbn 978-1-58980-844-7 $16.99

(5) Illustrated by Marita Gentry. Max believes "there's a dragon in the library, speckled and green. He's a hungry thing! He's an eating machine." Max tries to tell everyone, including his mother, his father, the head librarian, and even the police, but no one believes him. Accompanied by awkward watercolor illustrations, this purposeful tale created for library story hours is well intentioned but falls fiat, mg

Demers, Dominique Today, Maybe 32 pp. Orea isbn 978-1-55469-400-6 $19.95

(4) Translated by Sheila Fischman. Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard. A girl living alone in the woods patiently and confidently awaits the arrival of someone, a mysterious "he," while expertly turning away various storybook-character types: pirates, a witch, prince, wolf, etc. Expansive gouache, oil, and watercolor paintings reveal the fairy-tale quality of this lyrical story that, while beautiful to look at and listen to, has questionable child appeal, rss

deRubertis, Barbara Kylie Kangaroo's Karate Kickers 32 pp. Kane Press isbn 978-1-57565-332-7 $22.60 pe isbn 978-1-57565-323-5 $7.95

deRubertis, Barbara Lana Llama's Little Lamb 32 pp. Kane Press isbn 978-1-57565-333-4 $22.60 pe isbn 978-1-57565-324-2 $7.95

deRubertis, Barbara Maxwell Moose's Mountain Monster 32 pp. Kane Press isbn 978-1-57565-334-1 $22.60 pe isbn 978-1-57565-325-9 $7.95

deRubertis, Barbara Nina Nandu's Nervous Noggin 32 pp. Kane Press isbn 978-1-57565-335-8 $22.60 pe isbn 978-1-57565-326-6 $7.95

deRubertis, Barbara Oliver Otter's Own Office 32 pp. Kane Press isbn 978-1-57565-336-5 $22.60 pe isbn 978-1-57565-327-3 $7.95

deRubertis, Barbara Polly Porcupine's Painting Prizes 32 pp. Kane Press isbn 978-1-57565-337-2 $22.60 pe isbn 978-1-57565-328-0 $7.95

deRubertis, Barbara Quentin Quokka's Quick Questions 32 pp. Kane Press isbn 978-1-57565-338-9 $22.60 pe isbn 978-1-57565-329-7 $7.95

deRubertis, Barbara Roste Raccoon's Rock and Roll Raft 32 pp. Kane Press isbn 978-1-57565-339-6 $22.60 pe isbn 978-1-57565-330-3 $7.95

(5) Illustrated by R. W. Alley. Animal Antics A to Z series. Though a couple of the story lines aren't so bad, the gimmick of packing the books with words that include the featured letter makes for a disjointed, distracting reading experience (varying where the letter sound appears in the word helps somewhat). Alley's illustrations try their best to downplay the animal mania. Unnecessary last-page features include animal facts and phonemic awareness activities, sra

DiPucchio, Kelly Clink 32 pp. HarperColIins/Balzer + Bray isbn 978-0-06-192928-1 $16.99

(2) Illustrated by Matthew Myers. Clink can't compete with his fancier peers in the robot store. However, he's able to impress a young shopper by breaking out in a "headboppin', toast-poppin', show-stoppin' tune," dancing with twirls and twists. DiPucchio 's witty text, occasionally interspersed with onomatopoeic robot-centric words ("Plink! Pop! Ping!"), is ideal for reading aloud. Myers's paintings burst with loud colors and energy. Review 5/11. keh

DiPucchio, Kelly Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet 32 pp. Dial isbn 978-0-8037-3394-7 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Bob Shea. Goldfish Gilbert longs for a pet. A visiting dog is energetic but loud; a neighboring mouse is cute but quiet; a buzzing-by fly is friendly but, sadly, gets swatted (a bit shocking). When all hope seems lost, a twist reveals the perfect pal. The well-paced story, with crisp illustrations, will hook readers into rooting for the endearing, bright-eyed swimmer, chs

Domney, Alexis Splish, Splat! 24 pp. Second Story isbn 978-1-897187-88-3 $15.95

(5) Illustrated by Alice Crawford. Colin hates his yellow room, so the painters that arrive, two deaf women, dutifully paint the walls. They get into a sign language discussion that, somehow unnoticed, splatters white polka dots all over the blue walls. While it's meant to be humorous, the flat story only succeeds in painting the two women as incompetent. Too-busy collage art accompanies the weak text, btm

Doodler, Todd H. Bear in Pink Underwear 32 pp. Blue Apple isbn 978-1-60905-077-1 $12.99

(5) Bear always wears his lucky undies to play soccer. After accidentaUy dying his drawers pink, he endures teasing from teamates ("Pink is for gtils!") and opposing players ("My little sister wears pink!" "Stinky pinky!"). There's some humor in seeing a blocky-shaped bear in tighty whities (a puU-tab on the cover lets you pants the gym-shorts-wearing critter), but otherwise there's not much here, erg

Dormán, Brandon Pirates of the Sea! 32 pp. Greenwillow isbn 987-0-06-204068-8 $16.99

(3) Ptiate lovers wül get exactly what they expect from this text (with imperfect but serviceable rhythm) that begs to be read in sea shanty singsong. Cap'n Bones and his scruffy, stinky crew fight the usual obstacles to reach a treasure - that they then reject to avoid becoming civilized. IUustrations make the characters look tike plastic toys, sf

Dorros, Arthur Mamá and Me 32 pp. HarperCollins /Rayo isbn 978-0-06-058160-2 $16.99 le isbn 978-0-06-058161-9 $17.89

(3) ulustrated by Rudy Gutierrez. A mother and daughter have a nice day together, starting with working in the garden and ending with a surprise Mother's Day celebration. The story effectively incorporates some Spanish words and phrases throughout the text, whUe accompanying Ulustrations in vibrant hues capture both the tale's contemporary setting and traditional Latino patterns and designs, tw

Drouhard, Brianne Billie the Unicorn 36 pp. Immedium isbn 978-1-59702-024-4 $15.95

(6) Wide-eyed unicorn BUUe sets off into the mystical forest to visit her cousins and learn how to magicaUy grow cornflowers. Looking for another adventure, BiUe sneaks away to the wicked queen's garden; she predictably faUs into trouble. The text is trite ("My heart was with you the whole time"), and the Ulustrations - one part anime, one part My Little Pony - are cutesy, chs

Drummond, Ree Charlie the Ranch Dog 40 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-199655-9 $16.99

(4) Ulustrated by Diane deGroat. Ranch dog Chartie, a lazy basset hound, doesn't run, dig, or jump tike his energetic sidekick Suzie. But when the cows start snacking in the farmer's garden, Chartie is right there to shoo them away. This is more an homage to the author's own pet than a story. DeGroat's Ulustrations capture both expressive dogs' antics. A gratuitous lasagna recipe is included, rrw

Dungy, Tony, and Lauren Dungy You Can Be a Friend! 32 pp. Little Simon Inspirations isbn 978-1-4169-9771-9 $16.99

(4) Ulustrated by Ron MazeUan. Jade, overcoming her initial prejudice, forms a friendship with Hannah, a new neighbor who is in a wheelchaU. Having Hannah for a friend makes Jade reconsider her planned bUthday celebration at a (non-accessible) water park. The wordy text's moralizing is abundantly clear - "God made everyone, and we are aU special in His eyes." Warm-hearted Ulustrations accompany the story, rrw

Duran, Teresa Benedict 32 pp. Groundwood isbn 978-1-55498-098-7 $16.95

(2) Translated by Elisa Amado. IUustrated by Elena Val. Benedict, a toddler-sized demon, stars in this square-shaped tittle book. Finding his "red, red, red" home too hot, he sets off, first to the North Pole (too cold); then the desert (too dry); then the just-right "blue, blue, blue" sea. Patterned text and basic color concepts heighten the aUure for children; the droU Ulustrations wUl also appeal to the New Yorker adult set. Review 7/11. kth

A Feiffer, Kate My Side of the Car 32 pp. Candlewick isbn 978-0-7636-4405-5 $16.99

(2) Illustrated by Jules Feiffer. Even though it might be raining on Sadie's father's side of the car, it is not raining on her side, and therefore a trip to the zoo doesn't need to be postponed. As Dad's side gets more dismal, Sadie's fills with sunflowers. This triumph of hope over (damp) reatity ends on a note of pure joy. Gentle watercolors and a dancing pencU tine support the deadpan text. Review 3/11. se

Ferguson, Sarah Jacob Goes to the Doctor and Sophie Visits the Dentist 24 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-7396-9 $7.95

Ferguson, Sarah Molly Makes Friends 24 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-7397-6 $7.95

Ferguson, Sarah Olivia Says Goodbye to Grandpa 24 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-7394-5 $7.95

Ferguson, Sarah When Katie's Parents Separated 24 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-7395-2 $7.95

(5) Illustrated by Ian Cuntiffe. Helping Hand Books series. It's not that Ferguson's advice is so bad, it's that the problems have been treated with more originaUty and sophistication in countless other books. Also, the dialogue is groan-worthy ("Friendship is special. It needs to be looked after in order to grow"). Cuntiffe's cheerily colored, stiffly composed Ulustrations are weU matched to the texts. "Ten Helpful Hints" for parents are appended to each story, mlb

Finlay, Lizzie Little Croc's Purse 32 pp. Eerdmans isbn 978-0-8028-5392-9 $14.99

(3) Little Croc finds a purse with money and a locket inside. Despite jeers from his friends - and his own wavering resolve - Little Croc returns the purse. The owner is so pleased to have her locket that she gives the purse to Little Croc, and he, in turn, shares the windfall with his pals. Colorful illustrations of the long-snouted, rosy-cheeked reptile show the many temptations he overcomes, pr

Fliess, Sue Shoes for Me! 24 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7314-5825-8 $12.99

(3) Illustrated by Mike Laughead. "Feet got bigger, / heel to toe. / Time for new shoes. Off we go!" Shoe-shopping soon overwhelms a young hippo and her mother - all those options! The hunt for the perfect footwear - glittery or polka-dotted or even car-shaped - all shown in Laughead's friendly illustrations, will resonate with shoe hounds, young and old. Bouncy rhyming text makes for an enjoyable readaloud. TDA

Fontes, Justine, and Ron Fontes Rango: The Movie Storybook 48 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-8442-2 $9.95

(5) Rango 's terrarium tumbles out of a car, sending the chameleon into a Wild West town in the desert. He becomes the sheriff and investigates a water shortage. It's hard to figure out what's going on in this adaptation of the 2011 film; the jokey dialogue also falls flat. Movie fans might appreciate the well-reproduced images including some "Behind the Scenes" sketches, erg

Foreman, Michael Fortunately, Unfortunately 32 pp. Andersen isbn 978-0-7613-7460-2 $16.95

(3) Young monkey Milo is called upon to return his grandmother's umbrella. Unfortunately, he meets one roadblock after another (pirates, space aliens, dinosaurs, etc.), delaying his journey. Fortunately, these encounters are extremely entertaining. Vibrant watercolor illustrations reflect Milo's wild adventure from home to Granny's. The fortunately/ unfortunately patterned text makes this a great readaloud. NG

Fosberry, Jennifer My Name Is Not Alexander 32 pp. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky isbn 978-1-4022-5433-8 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Mike Litwin. One morning, Alexander will only answer to Theodore ("the greatest, grandest president who ever was!"), then to Thomas (as in Edison), and so on, until he pretends to be who he admires most: "Daddy." It's a promising (if a little cutesy) idea, but Alexander's rapid-fire identity changes turn the five featured historical figures, documented with panache in Litwin's illustrations, into blips. Websites. Bib. nb

Friester, Paul Owl Howl 24 pp. North-South isbn 978-0-7358-4017-1 $6.95

(3) Illustrated by Philippe Goossens. In response to a little owl's howling, various forest animals take turns trying to determine the problem and stop her tears. The bulbouseyed owl is uncommonly sympathetic thanks to Goossens's illustrations on sturdy, glossy pages. When the owl is back under her mom's wings, readers will exhale with relief - before they grin at the punch line, nb

Gammell, Stephen Mudkin 32 pp. Carolrhoda isbn 978-0-7613-5790-2 $16.95

(3) An imaginative little girl goes outside to play after a rainstorm. She meets a brown, blobby creature named Mudkin, who takes her, in a mud-constructed coach, to his home and asks her to be his people's queen. Another rain shower washes the creatures - but not her memories - away. Spare text, all from the girl's side of the conversation, makes room for Gammell's trademark spattery illustrations, erg

Gardner, Carol Princess Zelda and the Frog 40 pp. Feiwel isbn 978-0-312-60325-0 $16.99

(4) Photographs by Shane Young. Zelda - an English bulldog dressed in crown and gown - stars in this "Princess and the Pea" reimagining. She seeks a good night's sleep and her golden ball; the ugly frog (another bulldog in a frog costume) will fetch the toy for her - at a price. Though the jokes are adult-centric, the juxtaposition of typical fairy tale with doggy photographs is humorous, bls

Garland, Michael Grandpa's Tractor 32 pp. Boyds isbn 978-1-59078-762-5 $16.95

(4) Timmy goes with Grandpa Joe to see his childhood farm. There they find a rusty tractor that elicits wonderful memories for Grandpa - plowing fields, looking for Christmas trees, etc.; soon Timmy can visualize them, too. It's an effective hook, but the stiff digital illustrations aren't a great match for the story's overriding element of nostalgia, pr

Garland, Michael Miss Smith Under the Ocean 32 pp. Dutton isbn 978-0-525-42342-3 $16.99

(5) When Miss Smith reads from her Incredible Storybook, "the stories actually come alive." Here, high-seas-themed literary works - "The Owl and the Pussycat," "The Little Mermaid," Moby-Dick - are touched on from one to the next with little cohesion. Bright-hued but static-looking digital illustrations depict the characters' shared ocean voyage, smg

Geisert, Arthur Ice 32 pp. Enchanted Lion isbn 978-1-59270-098-1 $14.95

(3) What are the porcine inhabitants of a tiny desert island to do when their fresh water supply is nearly gone? Set off in search of an iceberg, of course! With nary a word, Geisert's whimsical book tracks the plight and triumph of his thirsty, heat-plagued characters. His trademark illustrations, full of detailed line work and lots of gentle humor, fully convey the robust, inventive narrative, tda

Gif ford, Kathie Lee The Legend of Messy M'Cheany 32 pp. Running isbn 978-0-7624-4137-2 $17.95

(5) Illustrated by Peter Bay Alexandersen. A suburbanmom-type tells some children about "the messiest kid in town," whose life is changed the day he meets his ultratidy baby sister. Anyone averse to gender stereotypes, not to mention witless rhymes, would be wise to steer clear of this book. The illustrations of excessive mess are generically droll. Kathie Lee Gifford sings the story on an accompanying CD. NB

Glass, Beth Raisner Blue-Ribbon Dad 32 pp. Abrams isbn 978-0-8109-9727-1 $14.95

(4) Illustrated by Margie Moore. A young squirrel eagerly waits for his father to come home. He passes the time by making a special blue-ribbon award for Dad. Junior also recounts (in rhymes and meter that occasionally stumble) all the special things they do together. The black-pen and watercolor Illustrations are full of cozy tones. A punch-out ribbon is the gimmick for Father's Day sales, RRW

Glass, Susan The Great Eggscape 32 pp. Star Bright ISBN 978-1-59572-261-4 $16.95 PE ISBN 978-1-59572-253-9 $6.95

(3) Illustrated by Cornetius Van Wright. Benedict and Aggie are two tough eggs that are about as "hardboiled" and "rotten" as they come. The pair wreaks havoc on their refrigerator neighbors, until Chip the cookie unwittingly-and literally-cracks down on their antics. Action-packed panel illustrations and dialogue bubbles chock-full of eggy puns and other food-based wordplay will have readers giggling as these two bad eggs get their comeuppance. RRW

Goodrich, Carter Say Hello to Zorro! 48 pp. Simon ISBN 978-1-4169-3893-4 $15.99

(3) Housedog Mister Bud spends his days just the way he wants to: napping, walking, and eating. Everything works on his schedule - "no exceptions" - until a wrinkle is introduced in the form of new-dog Zorro. Goodrich's nondidactic text, ably supported by watercolor vignettes, effectively mirrors the challenges and rewards faced by an only child having to make room for a sibling. AC

Gormley, Greg Dog in Boots 32 pp. Holiday ISBN 978-0-8234-2347-7 $17.95

(3) Illustrated by Roberta Angaramo. In this rewarding circular story, enthusiastic reader Dog, inspired by the story of Puss in Boots, embarks on a quest for some "Bow WOW" yet practical footwear. Assisted by a friendly shopkeeper, he goes through lots of different paus in order to find his perfect fit. Textures and patterns enhance the humorous illustrations starring an expressive pooch. AC

Grandits, John Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus 32 pp. Clarion ISBN 978-0-618-78822-4 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Michael Allen Austin. Published fall 2010. Kyle is nervous about his first bus ride, but his older brother daims to know the secret rules for school bus survival. Maybe Kyle is braver than big brother thinks, and perhaps the bus isn't quite so treacherous after all. Imaginative (and overly creepy) illustrations bring Kyle's anxieties to life as he pictures the riders /creatures waiting to prey on him. EJM

* Grey, Mini Three by the Sea 32 pp. Knopf ISBN 978-0-375-86784-2 $17.99 le isbn 978-0-375-96784-9 $20.99

(2) A cat, mouse, and dog coexist harmoniously in theU beach hut until a manipulative fox plants seeds of discontent. Administered with Grey's usual sly humor and tight touch, the friends' conundrum - a fairly sophisticated one-is resolved with a genuinely sweet and moving climax. The appeatingly weathered-looking mixed-media art initially features double-page spreads, then splits into panels to mirror the growing divisiveness. Review 3/11. CMH

Hale, Dean Scapegoat: The Story of a Goat Named Oat and a Chewed-Up Coat 32 pp. Bloomsbury ISBN 978-1-59990-468-9 $16.99 LE ISBN 978-1-59990-469-6 $17.89

(3) Illustrated by Michael Slack. "Where is your coat, Jimmy Choat?" Throughout the week, Jimmy blames his pet goat, Patsy Petunia Oat, whenever his parents find something amiss. More than an exercise in resourceful rhyming, this book offers humorous Photoshop art (as of Mama's nose-mucus-crudded tote), gags for grownups (Papa Choat watches The Love Boat), and an ending with a twist. NB

Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George! 16 pp. Houghton ISBN 978-0-547-13107-8 $8.99

(5) Written by N. Di Angelo. Illustrated by Mary O'Keefe Young. On Valentine's Day, Curious George and the man with the yellow hat invite neighborhood children over for a party. Lift-the-flaps on right-hand pages allow for ho-hum surprises; for example, George blows up a balloon, tift the flap, "Pop!" While the illustrations are moderately faithful to the Reys' originals, the overall effect is bland. PR

Harris, Teresa E. Summer Jackson: Grown Up 32 pp. HarperCollins/Tegen ISBN 978-0-06-185757-7 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by AG Ford. Summer is ready to be a grownup and make her own decisions. She puts on Mom's heels and starts a consulting practice at school ("That will be $2.50"). The joke goes on a tittle long, but there are some highlights in the text and humorously detailed illustrations (e.g., Summer's bummed-out expression while watching her parents play on the swings). SJW

* Hawkes, Kevin The Wicked Big Toddlah Goes to New York 40 pp. Knopf ISBN 978-0-375-86188-8 $16.99 LE ISBN 978-0-375-96189-2 $19.99

(2) Though Toddie (The Wicked Big Toddlah) is pretty conspicuous, looming above the New York City crowds, Ma and Pa lose sight of him. Alarmed at first, the boy soon makes friends with normal-sized toddlers then climbs the Empire State Bunding and spies his retieved parents. There's great humor in Hawkes's energetic, cartoony illustrations of the winsome giant and the spacious scenes he dwarfs. Review 5/11. JRL

Hayes, Karel The Summer Visitors 32 pp. Down East ISBN 978-0-89272-918-0 $16.95

(3) Except for a few spare sentences, Hayes's illustrations tell most of the story of a bear family (presumably from The Winter Visitors) watching humans vacationing at a summer cottage. The bears cleverly - and humorously - appropriate the people's possessions only to return everything (mostly) at the end. Readers will enjoy interpreting the looks of dawning comprehension on the humans' faces. NB

Helquist, Brett Bedtime for Bear 32 pp. HarperCollins/Harper ISBN 978-0-06-050205-8 $16.99

(3) Though Bear has retreated to bed for the winter, his raccoon friends get him to come out and play in the snow. Afterward, he's so exhausted that he sleeps through their next attempt to lure him outside. This rather slim plot hinges on the considerable entertainment value of Helquist's snow-splattered illustrations featuring a pajamaclad bear who sleeps with a security bunny. NB

Highway, Tomson Fox on the Ice I Maageesees Maskwameek Kaapit 32 pp. Fifth House ISBN 978-1-897252-65-9 $19.95

(3) Illustrated by Brian Deines. Brothers Joe and Cody, their parents, and pet dog Ootsie, along with the family's eight-husky sled-dog team, go ice fishing. When the dogs spy a fox, they take off after it - dragging Mama and Joe along. The book, with its bilingual format (English text followed by Cree translation), cream-colored paper, and richly textured paintings, is handsome and useful, MG

Hill, Susanna Leonard April Fool, Phyllis! 32 pp. Holiday ISBN 978-0-8234-2270-8 $16.95

(3) Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler. Thinking Punxsutawney Phyllis's April first blizzard warnings are a prank, the town goes ahead with its spring treasure hunt; throughout the story are clues readers can follow. When the groundhog kits are caught in a snowstorm, it's clever Phyllis who leads them back to the burrow. The accompanying brown-hued acrylic illustrations are rich in detail and texture, RRW

Hodgkinson, Jo The Talent Show 32 pp. Andersen ISBN 978-0-7613-7487-9 $16.95

(4) Bandmates Bear, Lion, Snake, and Croc dismiss Red Bird because of his diminutive size. Eventually they realize that the bird's singing voice could give their rockin' band that little something extra to win the talent show. Even meter and vivid, amiable illustrations help make up for a couple of uninspired rhymes in the text and for the story's obvious lesson, RRW

Hogan, Jamie Seven Days of Daisy 32 pp. Down East ISBN 978-0-89272-919-7 $14.95

(5) A little girl who lives on an island (presumably off the coast of Maine) describes her summer activities (sailing, dancing in tide pools, etc.) as she counts down the days until Nana's visit. The author's love of the island shines through; unfortunately, little else does, and the narrator's voice feels forced. The pastels - black-outlined images with chalky shading - deserve attention, NB

Hoppe, Paul The Woods 40 pp. Chronicle ISBN 978-0-8118-7547-9 $16.99

(3) When a boy can't find his stuffed bunny at bedtime, he heads to the woods. There he encounters scary beasts (a bear, giants, etc.), who end up being just as frightened as he is; together they rescue the bunny from a monster. With his atmospheric art and illuminating final illustration, Hoppe manages to make this familiar subject matter his own. NB

Horowitz, Dave The Pretty Pretty Bunny 32 pp. Putnam ISBN 978-0-399-25276-1 $12.99

(3) It's one thing for egomaniacal bunny Narcissa to openly insult various forest animals' appearance, but when she disses a magical frog ("Now, YOU are one ugly dude!") who is poised to grant her a wish, he takes revenge. All this is funny enough, but the wild-card ending will keep kids in stitches over multiple reads. The pointedly average-looking Narcissa resembles a floppy-eared snowman, NB

Horvath, David, and Sun-Min Kim Babo's Cookie Problem 24 pp. Random ISBN 978-0-375-85429-3 $12.99

(5) Cookie freak Babo gets his hands on a "super giant cookie." He selfishly refuses to share, but inevitably learns his lesson. The plot rolls along; unfortunately, the message-y ending rings entirely false: "He was happier sharing his cookie than he ever would have been eating it alone." Illustrations feature cartoon likenesses of the popular plush toys invented by the book's creators, NB

Hosford, Kate Big Bouffant 32 pp. Carolrhoda ISBN 978-0-7613-5409-3 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown. Annabelle is a budding fashionista who shuns boring braids and childish overalls. This sassy character first whips her hair into a bouffant then creates a long, colorful gown to wear to school. Some of the text's rhymes are uninspired, but the illustrations are vibrant and the story speaks to young readers looking to make an impression of their own. SJW

Hoyle, Geoffrey 2011: Living in the Future 64 pp. Darling ISBN 978-1-59583-430-0 $15.95

(5) Illustrated by Alasdair Anderson. Reissue (1973, Parents). For this book's first edition (2020: Living in the Future), Hoyle tried to predict forty-odd years ahead. Today's readers will enjoy tallying his hits (computers enable people to take classes from home) and misses (traffic disappears). Neither the stilted prose nor the cartoonish black-and-white illustrations shaded with orange is worthy of Hoyle's creative ideas, which may spur readers' own predictions for the future. Ind. NB

Huelin, Jodi, Adapter Rio: The Movie Storybook 48 pp. HarperFestival ISBN 978-0-06-202270-7 $8.99

(5) Rio de Janeiro-born Blu, a rare blue Spix's Macaw, is captured by poachers and shipped to Minnesota. He ends up back in Rio during Carnavale where he meets the last female of his species. Instead of hitting it off, the two squabble like cats and dogs - until they're bird-napped. The story is very slight; movie-still illustrations are cheesily slick but decently reproduced, ERG

Huget, Jennifer LaRue The Best Birthday Party Ever! 40 pp. Random/Schwartz & Wade ISBN 978-0-375-84763-9 $16.99 LE ISBN 978-0-375-95763-5 $19.99

(3) Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Although it's five months away, a girl starts planning her birthday party, which she would like to include thousands of balloons, fifty-seven guests, etc. In a refreshingly down-to-earth turn, she isn't disappointed (hence readers won't be either) when her party resembles that of a typical middle-class child. Pham's illustrations make the real party look just as much fun as the fantasy version, NB

Humphrey, Corinne Shoot for the Moon!: Lessons on Life from a Dog Named Rudy 24 pp. Chronicle ISBN 978-0-8118-7783-1 $15.99

(4) Nicely designed pages with monochromatic backgrounds and large type create the backdrop for fairly unoriginal truisms: "s-t-r-e-t-c-h yourself, / take the leap, / and shoot for the moon!" Most of the sayings aren't particularly dog-specific, the exception being "just roll with it," showing Rudy, a tan and white pup, rolling around on a carpet, PR

Huxley, Aldous The Crows of Pearblossom 40 pp. Abrams ISBN 978-0-8109-9730-1 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. New ed. (1967, Random). Two crows, assisted by an owl, outsmart the snake that's eating their eggs. The crows go on to have a large family - and to use the snake as a clothesline. This is an at-times humorous, if somewhat mean-spirited tale with primary appeal to Huxley's adult fans; the original small-format edition included art by Barbara Cooney. Blackall's Chinese ink and watercolor illustrations lighten the text's mood, MVK

Ingman, Bruce When Martha's Away 32 pp. Candlewick ISBN 978-0-7636-5135-0 $16.99

(3) Reissue (1995, Houghton). Published fall 2010. An orange tabby cat tells owner Martha what he really does after she goes to school. She believes he spends the time sleeping; instead, he follows a lively routine that includes driving Martha's toy car and giving piano concerts for other cats. With humor and spontaneity, the large, spacious illustrations combine line drawings, simple shapes, and bright, textured colors, MFS

Jackson, Ellen The Seven Seas 32 pp. Eerdmans ISBN 978-0-8028-5341-7 $15.99

(4) Illustrated by Bill Slavin and Esperança Melo. A rabbit student daydreaming during geography class envisions seven color-themed bodies of water; for example, the Yellow Sea: "They say it's made of lemonade / and quite all right to sip." Vivid-hued (bordering on garish) textured paintings on gessoed paper illustrate the rhymes. Facts about real seas and oceans complete the somewhat amusing package. Reading list, MFS

Jacobson, Ryan Bluebird Finds a Home 32 pp. Adventure ISBN 978-1-59193-314-4 $14.95 PE ISBN 978-1-59193-311-3 $8.95

(5) Illustrated by Joel Seibel. Nature Squad series. The nicest thing to say about this book is that it teaches readers to consider the implications of decisions they make concerning the natural world. That worthy message is conveyed with the plodding heavy-handedness of a nineteen-fifties filmstrip. The illustrations resemble Hanna-Barbera cartoons, and the dialogue's as wooden as the trees Jacobson encourages readers to help save for bluebird nesting sites, MLB

Jahn-Clough, Lisa Felicity & Cordelia: A Tale of Two Bunnies 40 pp. Farrar/Foster ISBN 978-0-374-32300-4 $16.99

(3) Homebunny Cordelia would rather stay on terra firma than join her bunny BFF Felicity on a hot-air balloon ride. While Cordelia worries, Felicity gets more of a thrill than she bargained for. She finally makes it home for pie. . . and is soon planning her next adveture. The childlike charm of Jahn-Clough's unfussy story and cozy paintings is authentic and satisfying, KF

Janni, Rebecca Every Cowgirl Needs Dancing Boots 32 pp. Dutton ISBN 978-0-525-42341-6 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Lynne Avril. Every suburban cowgirl knows "you can't go dancin' all alone," especially not in brand-new boots. However, the "glitter girls" across the street prefer ballet to boot-scootin'. Undeterred, our cowgirl plans a barn dance and invites the neighborhood. The result is chaotic fun, with a happy ending and a new friend. The text twangs, and the cartoon-style illustrations jump with action. AK

Johnson, Lindsay Lee Ten Moonstruck Piglets 32 pp. Clarion ISBN 978-0-618-86866-7 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Carli Cneut. Spirited verse tells of ten piglets drawn outside by the moonlight to frolic the night away. Cneut's acrylic illustrations are striking; the pale piglets and the glowing moon against a backdrop of deep, brilliant blues and black lend an eerie energy to the midnight romp. The straight-faced piglets, dressed in old-timey PJs, recall Victorian-era picture book animals, SRA

Jules, Jacqueline Picnic at Camp Shalom 32 pp. Kar-Ben ISBN 978-0-7613-6661-4 $17.95 pe isbn 978-0-7613-6662-1 $7.95

(4) Illustrated by Deborah Melmon. Sara and Carly become fast friends after meeting at Camp Shalom. That is, until Sara thinks Carly has made fun of her last name (Frankfurter) and subsequently ignores her. At a Shabbat singing session, Carly reveals her own meat-related surname, and the friendship is restored. The very slight, if warmhearted, story is accompanied by friendly cartoon illustrations featuring emotive, big-round-headed campers, RLS

Kann, Victoria Silverlicious 40 pp. HarperCollins/Harper ISBN 978-0-06-178123-0 $17.99 LE ISBN 978-0-06-178124-7 $18.89

(5) After stealing her brother's cookie, Pinkalicious takes one bite and loses her loose tooth; since it's her sweet tooth, the cookie "tastes like. . . dirt!" This precipitates SOS letters to the tooth fairy and others. The story is both laborious and facile - which describes the art as well; maybe Pink's fans won't notice. We've had 'Pinkalicious, Purplicious, Goldalicious - it's time to stopalicious. NB

Kaplan, Michael B. Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake 32 pp. Dial ISBN 978-0-8037-3407-4 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Stephane Jorisch. Betty Bunny doesn't like new foods as a rule. When she tastes chocolate cake, though, it's love at first bite: "I am going to marry chocolate cake!" She ferrets away a slice and winds up with a chocolate mess in her pocket. Jorisch renders the bunny's reaction perfectly with a delicate line, colorful palette, and enough detail to match Kaplan's clever text, SJW

Kasbarian, Lucine, Reteller The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale 32 pp. Cavendish ISBN 978-0-7614-5821-2 $17.99

(3) Illustrated by Maria Zaikina. In an original story using Armenian folklore characters, the titular bird parlays the thorn a kind baker removes from its foot into items of increasing worth (bread, a sheep, a bride) - until the creature's satisfying comeuppance. In the well-defined illustrations, figures are outlined in black, then filled in with glowing textured color; each character vividly expresses his or her bemusement, guile, or resignation, JRL

Keane, Dave Daddy Adventure Day 32 pp. Philomel ISBN 978-0-399-24627-2 $15.99

(4) Illustrated by Sue Ramá. The narrator's first baseball game is as much about what his (somewhat distracted) dad buys him - and what is spilled - as it is about watching the action. The boy's surprise at the stadium's enormity rings true; less convincing is the narrative voice, which strains to sound childlike. Watercolor and digital collage illustrations convey a child's pleasure at a day spent with Dad. MLB

Kimmelman, Leslie The Three Bully Goats 32 pp. Whitman ISBN 978-0-8075-7900-8 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Will Terry. This variation turns the traditional story on its head: three tough-guy goats intimidate a friendly little ogre. The ogre triumphs when he leads the bullies to a group of skunks. The color-saturated illustrations verge on garish but help temper the message-laden plot with comedie exaggeration, BTK

Kirsch, Vincent X. Forsythia & Me 40 pp. Farrar ISBN 978-0-374-32438-4 $16.99

(3) Chester appreciates his multi-talented friend Forsythia, who can decorate elaborate birthday cakes, perform piano concertos, and grow prizewinning roses in winter, among other stupendous feats. Chester shines, though, when Forsythia falls ill. Intricate gray-scale illustrations with wellincorporated pops of vibrant color invite repeat viewing in this story about the give-and-take relationship shared between friends, SMG

Kneen, Maggie Chocolate Moose 32 pp. Dutton ISBN 978-1-525-42202-0 $16.99

(4) Misreading a sign ("Wanted: One Mouse"), Moose applies for a position in a tiny bakery. As a moose in a mouse's space, he does more harm than good, but Mrs. Mouse won't let him be discouraged and finds him the perfect job. The text meanders, but the illustrations of stuffed-animal-esque Moose, detailed and warm, are eyepleasing, SJW

Knudsen, Michelle Argus 32 pp. Candlewick ISBN 978-0-7636-3790-3 $15.99

(3) Illustrated by Andréa Wesson. Each of Mrs. Henshaw's students receives a chicken egg to study for science. Sally's "looks different," and it hatches into a dragon. Knudsen's text includes lots of humor ("Don't be difficult," repeatedly responds Mrs. Henshaw whenever Sally indicates her hatchling's divergent and destructive qualities). Wesson, using impeccable lines, expertly details the implements and appliances of a grade-school science project, NB

Kornell, Max Bear with Me 48 pp. Putnam ISBN 978-0-399-25257-0 $15.99

(3) A boy's parents disrupt his comfortable life when they bring home a bear named Gary. After a rough start sharing toys, a bedroom, and parent time, the two unlikely mates learn to enjoy each other's company. Ink, watercolor, and acrylic illustrations, pictured in frames and double-page spreads, humorously highlight the challenges and rewards of adjusting to a new family member, SMG

Kredensor, Diane Olite & Moon 32 pp. Random ISBN 978-0-375-86698-2 $15.99 LE ISBN 978-0-375-96698-9 $18.99

(4) Photographs by Sandra Kress. Friends Oltie and Moon (who look tike block-headed cats) take Paris as the former tries to get the latter to guess his big surprise for her. The two cartoony characters frolic against gorgeous color photos of Paris - clearly this rather limply plotted story's true raison d'être. Still, Oltie and Moon's exchanges, including occasional potty humor, are droll. NB

Krensky, Stephen The Great Moon Hoax 32 pp. Carolrhoda LE ISBN 978-0-7613-5110-8 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon. In 1835, newsboys Jake and Chartie sell lots of New York Sun papers thanks to a story about animals on the moon. (The newspaper truly ran this hoax report.) While adults marvel at the "news," the boys engage in daydreamy dialogues about it. The text can be abstract and wordy, but it's generally engaging. Brownand sepia-heavy collages establish the gritty milieu. NB

Krensky, Stephen Play Ball, Jackie! 32 pp. Millbrook ISBN 978-0-8225-9030-9 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Joe Morse. Dynamic drawings of players and fans are the stars of this story about a boy who's able to attend Jackie Robinson's first Major League game only because his father's colleague doesn't want to see an African American play for the Dodgers. There's some heavy-handedness to the text, but the book provides a decent entry for discussions about prejudice, MLB

Kroll, Steven Super-Dragon 32 pp. Cavendish ISBN 978-0-7614-5819-7 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Douglas Holgate. Little dragon Drago wants to participate in a flying contest, but his family says he's too young to get airborne. Drago sneaks away to train with a bird; he then surprises everyone by winning the contest - and his family's respect. Bold comic-style illustrations, complete with speech-bubble dialogue, give this conflict-lite story some welcome loft, BTK

Kumin, Maxine Oh, Harry! 32 pp. Roaring Brook/Porter ISBN 978-1-59643-439-4 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Barry Moser. Poet Kumin describes, in rhymed couplets, the humorous personatity and highly entertaining exploits of horse Harry. The old plug calms skittish colts and - In a satisfying, horse-centric twist -tames the stable owner's ornery grandson. The horse's sly looks break the fourth wall in Moser's realistic watercolors, revealing the goofier side of horse ownership, ALB

Kuryla, Mary, and Eugene Yelchin The Next Door Bear 40 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-125925-8 $16.99

(4) Though Emma feels unwelcome in her new neighborhood, her fantasy life gives her confidence: "If I could make friends with someone tike Mr. Bear, I guess I could make friends with some neighborhood kids." The problem is resolved too easily, but the essential point about imagination being a source of strength is a keeper. The art's flowergarden hues nicely counterpoint the urban gray, NB

Laminack, Lester L. Three Hens and a Peacock 32 pp. Peachtree ISBN 978-1-56145-564-5 $15.95

(3) ulustrated by Henry Cole. The hens throw a fit about the farm's preening newcomer: "That lazy peacock gets all the attention and we do all the work!" When Dog suggests the hens try being the flashy ones, they (and the peacock) all end up with a greater appreciation for one other. Cole's illustrations depicting the deluded hens in their farm finery rule the roost, NB

Latimer, Alex The Boy Who Cried Ninja 32 pp. Peachtree ISBN 978-1-56145-579-9 $15.95

(3) Every time his parents accuse him of wrongdoing, Tim blames a ninja (or an astronaut or a giant squid) - but he's telling the truth. He tries lying - accepting the blame - but he still gets in trouble. What's a kid to do? Latimer's solution is subitine, and his clean-lined ulustrations make the story's mayhem navigable, NB

Layne, Steven L. Share with Brother 32 pp. Pelican ISBN 978-1-58980-860-7 $16.99

(5) Illustrated by Ard Hoyt. Having heard "share with brother and someday brother will share with you" often enough, big brother bunny very reluctantly snares his tiger mask, his ice cream, and a book with his tittle brother. In return, little brother shares his chicken pox. Readers may relate to the sibling rivatiy issue; however, neither illustrations nor text offers a convincing argument in favor of sharing. RRW

Lee, Spike, and Tonya Lewis Lee Giant Steps to Change the World 40 pp. Simon ISBN 978-0-689-86815-3 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Sean Quails. Insptiational (if somewhat cryptic) text encapsulates the principles by which world leaders and heroes live: determination, fortitude, humanitarianism, courage, etc. The front and back endpapers provide pithy quotes from such figures (e.g., Harriet Tubman, Albert Einstein, Langston Hughes). Qualls's symbolism-rich mixed-media illustrations help underscore the interconnectedness of all people, HMS

LeFrak, Karen Best in Show 32 pp. Walker ISBN 978-0-8027-2064-1 $16.99 LE ISBN 978-0-8027-2065-8 $17.89

(3) Illustrated by Andrew Day. Convinced that poodle puppy Gem will be a champion, Abby helps groom and tram her for dog shows. When Gem's handler injures his ankle at the grandest show of the year, Abby steps in to help the pup take Best-in-Show. Lighthearted text and watercolor and pencil ulustrations accurately depict the world of dog competitions for canine lovers, RRW

* Lehman, Barbara The Secret Box 48 pp. Houghton isbn 978-0-547-23868-5 $15.99

(2) In this wordless story, a long-ago boy hides a box of amusement-park memorabilia under an attic floorboard. Time passes: fields give way to buildings and horses to automobiles before a trio of youngsters finds the box. Spare, rectilinear pictures, with ruled lines, pared down forms, and simply expressed faces, demand not only careful observation but logical thought to decode the visual narrative. Review 7/11. jrl

Lester, Alison Running with the Horses 32 pp. North-South isbn 978-0-7358-4002-7 $16.95

(3) While her father leads four Lipizzaner stallions to safety during WWII, Nina rescues a cart-horse named Zelda, who ends up saving their lives along the arduous trek. The Lipizzaners play second fiddle to Zelda in the text; an appended author's note reminds readers that the story is fictional. Lester's mixed-media illustrations, including black-and-white figures on colored backgrounds with some photo elements, are striking, alb

Lichtenheld, Tom Cloudette 40 pp. Holt/Ottaviano isbn 978-0-8050-8776-5 $16.99

(3) While Cloudette doesn't mind being small, she aspires to do something big-cloud important, like make a garden grow or a waterfall flow. When she comes across a desperate frog in a dried-out pond, she finally finds her inspiration - and lets loose. Invitingly unfussy mixed-media illustrations, heavy on the sky-blue, and thoughtful book design, including entertaining cloud-peanut-gallery comments, give flavor to Cloudette's journey, sra

Lloyd-Jones, Sally How to Get a Job - By Me, the Boss 40 pp. Random/Schwartz & Wade isbn 978-0-375-86664-7 $17.99 le isbn 978-0-375-96664-4 $20.99

(4) Illustrated by Sue Heap. In this successor to two other How to. . . books, the narrator, a "Super-Ballerina-SoccerMermaid-Fairy Princess," introduces a wealth of professions. The joke - basically the narrator's serious articulation of silly ideas ("You shouldn't EVER bite the Boss when he is talking to you") - goes on a little long, but there are lots of funny moments. Heap's vignettes of kids demonstrating the jobs are entertaining, nb

Loewen, Nancy The Last Day of Kindergarten 32 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5807-4 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa. A girl who sounds twice as old as she's supposed to describes her last day of kindergarten, first in melancholy terms and then with postgraduation-ceremony excitement. The story may resonate with rising first graders; more likely it's really intended to help parents deal with the fact that their kids are growing up. Yoshikawa's digital mixed-media illustrations nail a classroom's multicolored paraphernalia. NB

London, Jonathan Froggy Goes to Hawaii 32 pp. Viking isbn 978-0-670-01221-3 $15.99

(3) Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz. Froggy is psyched to be going with his family on vacation. Even in Hawaii, though, trouble finds the ever-lovable amphibian - coconuts, waterfalls, volcanoes, and ill-packed suitcases. Froggy fans will be shaking their heads at his excitable ways while knowing readers will agree with Froggy's father's assessment: sometimes one needs a vacation from vacation. Bright, expressive illustrations capture the antics. RRW

Long, Ethan Chamelia 40 pp. Little isbn 978-0-316-08612-7 $16.99

(4) Flamboyant chameleon Chamelia doesn't want to blend in. But when standing out causes trouble (e.g., she loses a purple sequined pump during a soccer game), she decides to find "a way to join in and be herself." This somewhat dispiriting epiphany leads to the taming of Chamelia's breathtaking Edith Head-caliber wardrobe, which Long presents via beautifully built digital collages. NB

Look, Lenore Polka Dot Penguin Pottery 40 pp. Random/Schwartz & Wade isbn 978-0-375-86332-5 $16.99 le isbn 978-0-375-96332-2 $19.99

(4) Illustrated by Yumi Heo. When a little girl has writer's block, her grandparents take her to a paint-your-ownpottery place. There she gets her artistic groove back. The book's premise strains credulity and the vertical format seems rather pointless, but the up-with-creativity message is worthwhile. Heo's illustrations recall the best detail work at a kids' art show. NB

Loth, Sebastian Clementine 32 pp. North-South isbn 978-0-7358-4009-6 $14.95

(4) Snail Clementine, who's fascinated by all things round (like her), enlists her snake friend Paul to help figure out how to get to the moon; a rocket finally does the trick. There's not much to the story - there's no conflict en route, no quandary once she gets there. Loth's clear, unfussy illustrations, including gatefold pages devoted to Clementine's journey, are visually impressive. NB

Luciani, Brigitte What a Team! 32 pp. Lerner le isbn 978-0-7613-5627-1 $25.26 pe isbn 978-0-7613-5633-2 $6.95

(5) Illustrated by Eve Tharlet. Graphic Universe: Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox series. Fox cub Ginger wants to build a boat. She enlists her new step-siblings, badger cubs Bristle and Grub. Bristle complains that Ginger doesn't like his ideas, while Ginger thinks he's too bossy. In the cartoonpanel illustrations, the animals are cute, but they all look similar, making it hard to tell them apart and the message-y story difficult to follow. PR

Lynch, Kelly Mighty Mike Builds a Ball Field 32 pp. ABDO/Magic Wagon le isbn 978-1-61641-128-2 $28.50

Lynch, Kelly Mighty Mike Builds a Library 32 pp. ABDO/Magic Wagon le isbn 978-1-61641-129-9 $28.50

Lynch, Kelly Mighty Mike Builds a Nature Trail 32 pp. ABDO/Magic Wagon le isbn 978-1-61641-130-5 $28.50

Lynch, Kelly Mighty Mike Does What's Right! 32 pp. ABDO/Magic Wagon le isbn 978-1-61641-131-2 $28.50

(5) Ulustrated by Casey Lynch. Looking Glass Library: Mighty Mike series. In each of these simpUstic picture books, Mighty Mike - "the mightiest heavy equipment operator of them all" - faces a problem or dUemma that he solves with construction tools, hard work, and determination. Cartoonish Ulustrations lend the stories some Uvetiness and the buUding detaUs may appeal to some readers, but the narrative is unexciting and the moral lessons too transparent. Glos. CJ

Macdonald, Maryann The Pink Party 40 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5814-2 $16.99

(4) IUustrated by Judy Stead. New ed. (1994, Hyperion). Rose and Valentina compete for the most pink items. At Valentina's "Pink Party," Rose's jealousy comes to a head, and she stomps home to pout. After the party, apologies are offered. Stead's new Pepto-pink-heavy digital Ulustrations (some with sparkles) wül appeal to gtils who love the hue as much as the protagonists (who were named Lisa and Amy in the previous edition). ERG

Malnor, Carol L., and Sandy F. Fuller The Blues Go Extreme Birding 32 pp. Dawn isbn 978-1-58469-133-4 $16.95 pe isbn 978-1-58469-134-1 $8.95

(4) Ulustrated by Louise Schroeder. Armed with a twelveitem checktist, a team of five cartoon bluebUds flies worldwide to view avian extremes such as "fastest-moving" and "pinkest." Useful sidebars include "Field Guide" compareand-contrast detaUs about the record-setting creatures; serious bUders wiU likely want to skip the forced story and focus theU attention on the facts. Ulustrations dtiferentiate between the cartoon animals and theU quarry. FFB

* Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior 40 pp. Dial isbn 978-0-8037-3480-7 $16.99

(2) Fourteen picture book artists present theU visions of behavior rules. Each attacks the topic with humor and gusto, often demonstrating the results of bad behavior. Etiquette for the playground, the school bus, a party, and even the doctor's office are included. Unlike many manners books, this is one kids wül enjoy poring over to find the funny detaUs. Review 7/11. SDL

Marciano, John Bemelmans Madeline at the White House 32 pp. Viking isbn 978-0-670-01228-2 $17.99

(4) Madeline and her classmates visit the president's lonely daughter and get a tour of Washington, DC, as a bonus. The story's logic is a stretch; the appearance of "Madeline's magician" disguised as a rabbit obscures the plot even more. StiU, mention of the White House Easter Egg RoU and paintings of the national monuments give the book some appeal. MVK

Marcus, Kimberly Scritch- Scratch a Perfect Match 32 pp. Putnam isbn 978-0-399-25004-0 $16.99

(3) IUustrated by Mike Lester. The tale begins with a fleaflustered stray dog and ends with a friendship. The action/ reaction rhyming scenario foUows the itchy pup who lands "THUD! OH CRUD!'" on a man who later notices, "Now I see. / A bite from a flea made you land on me." Energetic sketchlike cartoons capture the story's frenetic itch and the bumbling - yet ultimately satisfying - mess that ensues. CHS

Martin, Steve Late for School 32 pp. Grand Central isbn 978-0-446-55702-3 $17.99

(4) IUustrated by C. F. Payne. PubUshed faU 2010. A song on Martin's 2010 Grammy-winning banjo album "The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo" receives reinterpretation as a picture book. The goofbaU verse isn't quite matched by the exaggerated-RockweUian Ulustrations, but there's some humor in the story of a kid who rushes to school only to discover it's Saturday. Martin strums and sings on an accompanying CD. CLS

Mason, Margaret H. These Hands 32 pp. Houghton isbn 978-0-547-21566-2 $16.99

(3) Ulustrated by Floyd Cooper. Grandfather demonstrates the things his hands can do (e.g., play piano, perform card tricks) then relates for his grandson what they were forbidden from doing whUe working at the segregated Wonder Bread factory: namely, touch the bread dough. Cooper's oUwash ulustrations in sepia tones reflect gentleness, strength, warmth, and history. An appended author's note teUs more about the story's true events. HMS

Matthies, Janna The Goodbye Cancer Garden 32 pp. Whitman isbn 978-1-8075-2994-2 $16.99

(4) Ulustrated by Kristi VaUant. When Mom's doctor anticipates she'U be cancer-free by "pumpkin time," Janie thinks of a way to pass the months during treatment: plant a vegetable garden. As they plan, dig, plant, nurture, and harvest the garden, Mom has surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments, finishing when the pumpkins are ripe. Ultracheery Ulustrations underscore the upbeat bibtiotherapeutic message. GBH

Mayer, Mercer Octopus Soup 24 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5812-8 $16.99

(4) In this wordless story, a young octopus seeks adventure. Finding himself in the clutches of a determined (walrus) chef, he must make his way home. Some of the cartoon-panel illustrations are a little hard to read, but the action is mostly clear. Mayer's illustrations feature personified animals out to get the little green octopus on land, and undersea creatures welcoming him back. SJW

McAllister, Angela My Mom Has X-Ray Vision 32 pp. Tiger Tales isbn 978-1-58925-097-0 $15.95 pe isbn 978-1-58925-428-2 $7.95

(3) Illustrated by Alex T. Smith. Matthew's sure his mom has X-ray vision. How else could she know he was standing up in the tub or jumping on the bed? When his test of this theory apparently fails, Matthew surmises (incorrectly), "She's just an ordinary mom, like all the rest." Cheery patterned mixed-media illustrations display the hair-bobbed, pearl-wearing superheroine. CHS

McClure, Nikki To Market, To Market 40 pp. Abrams isbn 978-0-8109-9738-7 $17.95

(3) In this homage to local, small-scale farming, a boy shopping with his mother at the farmers' market describes the sources of the items they buy. The narrative alternates between conventional picture book storytelling and detailed (somewhat lengthy) descriptions of food production. McClure's intricate cut-paper illustrations successfully express her appreciation for fresh food and the people who cultivate it. MVK

* McDonnell, Christine Goyangi Means Cat 32 pp. Viking isbn 978-0-670-01179-7 $16.99

(2) Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. Soo Min, a little girl from Korea, is joining her new parents in the states. The process is made easier with the help of the family cat (goyangi in Korean). When Goyangi slips out of the house, Soo Min fears that he's gone forever. Gentle collage illustrations contain patterns "selected to reflect the Eastern and Western worlds of Soo Min." Review 7/11.r. SMITH

McKee, David Elmer and the Rainbow 32 pp. Andersen isbn 978-0-7613-7410-7 $16.95

(4) Elmer the patchwork elephant sets out to help a rainbow find its colors. The other animals are afraid that Elmer will lose his own, but of course selflessness wins the day. There's not a lot of tension to the story, but the pacing - and the lively rainbow-hued illustrations - will likely keep readers' attention. BLS

McLeod, Heather Kiss Me! (I'm a Prince!) 32 pp. Fitzhenry isbn 978-1-55455-161-3 $18.95

(3) Illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan. A frog, hoping to be restored as a prince, asks Ella for a kiss; he even offers her princesshood in return. She doesn't comply, though, because she prefers a talking frog - and her freedom to play - to a life of royalty. The text provides enough twists to satisfy fairy-tale fans, while the illustrations of freckle-faced, jeans-wearing Ella will draw them in. SF

McMullan, Kate Bulldog's Big Day 32 pp. Scholastic/Orchard isbn 978-0-545-17155-7 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre. Bulldog's job-search lands him stints as a firefighter, window washer, sign painter, and bookseller. Each ends in a mess, prompting Bulldog to provide cookies as a peace offering. The treats are a hit, and Bulldog is back in business. The volume's outsized format, with pages filled with friendly animals going about their busy days, is reminiscent of Richard Scarry. CHS

McPhail, David Waddles 32 pp. Abrams isbn 978-0-8109-8415-8 $15.95

(3) Raccoon Waddles, a loyal friend, offers to sit atop best duck pal Emily's nest while she finds food. He fends off a fox and is on site when the ducklings hatch. The sensitive and rewarding narrative is organized seasonally, conveying the duckling's growth, migration, and return to the idyllic pond setting. McPhail's artistic command of expression and characterization is on full display. SMG

Meade, Holly If I Never Forever Endeavor 32 pp. Candlewick isbn 978-0-7636-4071-2 $15.99

(3) Meade plays with word order, alliteration, and vocabulary in her entertaining text about a young bird psyching itself up to leave the nest and attempt to fly: "If in all of forever, / I never endeavor / to fly, I won't know if I can." Attractive collage illustrations, featuring watercolors and linoleum block prints, help express the fledgling's ambivalent emotions. MFS

Meadows, Michelle Piggies in the Kitchen 32 pp. Simon isbn 978-1-4169-3787-6 $14.99

(3) Illustrated by Ard Hoyt. Five pig children take advantage of Mama's absence to cook up a messy surprise for her birthday. The rhymes, including sound effects ("Swish, swish, oink, oink"), are bouncy: "Squeeze out sticks of butter, / flour in the bowl. / Carton takes a tumble, / eggs begin to roll." Spirited pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations add to the story's all-around exuberance. MFS

Meddaugh, Susan Leader of the Pack 24 pp. Houghton isbn 978-0-547-64100-3 $12.99 pe isbn 978-0-547-21069-2 $3.99 Adapted by Emily Flaschner Meyer.

Meddaugh, Susan Pool Party 24 pp. Houghton isbn 978-0-547-62830-1 $12.99 pe isbn 978-0-547-43882-5 $3.99 Adapted by Karen Barss.

(5) Martha Speaks series. Martha goes back to her roots by tracing her family tree in Leader; in Pool she comes to the rescue when Alice turns orange (from self-tanner, applied by mistake). These TV tie-ins, with their so-so story lines, aren't nearly as well conceived or produced as the original Martha picture books (the show's fans may not mind). BB

* Medina, Meg Tía Isa Wants a Car 32 pp. Candlewick isbn 978-0-7636-4156-6 $15.99

(2) Illustrated by Claudio Muñoz. The young narrator, who lives in America with her aunt and uncle, describes how Tía Isa wants a car, one that's "the same shiny green as the ocean." However, they don't have enough money - yet. The narrator incorporates Spanish words naturaUy, giving the dialogue an authenticity that is neither laborious nor stilted. Soft watercolor Ulustrations mUror the text. Review 7/11. BC

Metzger, Steve The Ice Cream King 32 pp. Tiger Tales isbn 978-1-58925-096-3 $15.95 pe isbn 978-1-58925-427-5 $7.95

(4) IUustrated by JuUe Downing. Teddy can have anything he wants Ui the ice cream shop, "just for me." WhUe deciding what to order, he envisions a pastel-hued ice cream land where he reigns as king. Singsongy text touts the joys oí not sharing - until Teddy finds himself alone and decides that two spoons are better than one. The stight story is enhanced by creatively composed Ulustrations. SJW

Milord, Susan Happy 100th Day! 40 pp. Scholastic isbn 978-0-439-88281-1 $16.99

(3) ulustrated by Mary NeweU DePalma. "I hate school, and I'm sure not looking forward to the 100th day of it," thinks Graham on the first day of school whUe his teacher plays up the later-in-the-year celebration. Graham's not a strong reader, yet he must get through one hundred books before the big day - also his bUthday. Creatively composed mixed-media Ulustrations reflect Graham's emotions while demonstrating potential hundredth-day projects. SN

Moore, Jodi When a Dragon Moves In 32 pp. Flashlight isbn 978-0-979974-67-0 $16.99

(4) Ulustrated by Howard McWUUam. A dragon moves into a boy's "perfect sandcastle," but his famUy doesn't believe him. The roaring they hear is waves crashing, the dragon's feather is from a seagull, and its teeth "are just broken shells." WhUe the concept certainly isn't original, the digital Ulustrations do a good job extending the humor of the situation. RRW

Morales, Melita Jam & Honey 32 pp. Tricycle isbn 978-1-58246-299-8 $15.99 le isbn 978-1-58246-390-2 $18.99

(3) Ulustrated by Laura J. Bryant. A girl, picking berries for jam, encounters a bee. MeanwhUe, the bee, coUecting nectar for honey, is frightened by the girl. But the gtil knows to stand still and the bee knows to fly high, and both are fine. This gentle rhyming story is divided into two parts, united by the watercolor Ulustrations that show the same scenes from dUferent points of view. PR

Moritz, Dianne Hush, Little Beachcomber 32 pp. Kane/Miller isbn 978-1-935279-81-5 $14.99

(5) Ulustrated by HoUy McGee. Beachgoers of aU ages share a fun-fiUed day by the sea; smaU setbacks merely provide new opportunities for adventure ("U that sea spray stings our eyes, / let's make a bunch of beach-sand pies"). The text, to the tune of "Hush, Little Baby," is cheery but forced. Scribbly Ulustrations faU somewhere between chUdHke and amateurish. TLD

Morrison, Blake The Yellow House 32 pp. Candlewick isbn 978-0-7636-4959-3 $15.99

(3) IUustrated by Helen Craig. Reissue (1987, Harcourt). A tittle gtil is fascinated by an empty house she walks past with her mother and baby sister. One day, beckoned by a tittle boy (garden gnome come to IUe?), she explores the grounds and finds various unexpected wUdtife. Craig's soft etchings and aquatints convey the surprises around every corner of a story that is aU about imagination. MVK

Morrow, Tara Jaye Panda's Valentine's Day 24 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-4315-3 $6.95

(4) Ulustrated by Aaron Boyd. Young Panda wants to present the perfect Valentine's Day card to his mother. Though his homemade card is clumsily crafted ("I tried to make it pretty and fun tike you, but it just kept falling apart"), Panda learns, with the help of Mama, that his thoughtful words and acts are what counts. The text and Ulustrations are bland but heartfelt. SMG

Muir, Leslie Barry B. Wary 32 pp. Hyperion isbn 978-1-4231-2756-7 $16.99

(3) Ulustrated by Carrie Gifford. Spider Barry B. Wary loves to eat bugs - "Crispy ctick beetles! Mayflies in June! / A firefly soufflé by the tight of the moon!" When he falls for a butterfly, he reconsiders his eating habits - for a while, at least. This funny, morbid tale features tastefuUy tinted black-outlined ulustrations recalling the somberly fastidious work of Edward Gorey. NB

Mullin, Michael, and John Skewes Larry Gets Lost in Texas 32 pp. Sasquatch isbn 978-1-57061-680-8 $16.95

(5) ulustrated by John Skewes. Pete and his dog Larry (Larry Gets Lost in Seattle) are again separated, this time whUe the famüy drives across Texas. Searching for Pete, Larry visits several popular Texas spots, aU shown Ui retrocartoonish Ulustrations. Young Texans may enjoy identifying the landmarks, but the lackluster rhymes won't appeal much to anyone else. Texas facts are scattered throughout the book. LBC

Murguia, Bethanie Deeney Buglette the Messy Sleeper 32 pp. Tricycle isbn 978-1-58246-375-9 $15.99 le isbn 978-1-58246-394-0 $18.99

(4) A neat and tidy bug by day, Buglette has wUd dreams that turn her into a messy-sleeping one by night. Concerned she'U wake a snoozing predator, her famUy tries to contain her nightly commotion. It doesn't work, and a hungry crow descends; but Buglette's nighttime adventures help save the day. Though the story line is a stretch, Murguia's neat-andtidy watercolors are inviting. CHS

Myer, Andy Picklicious!: A Dilly of a Book 32 pp. Running isbn 978-0-7624-4018-4 $15.95

(4) Alec is obsessed with pickles. He eats them at every meal and can't understand why his friends don't get it. After stowing away aboard a cucumber truck bound for a pickling factory, he meets a like-minded pal. Cartoonish Ulustrations, with theU abundance of green, are well matched to the quUky story, but the joke (and repeated use of picklicious) wears a tittle thin. SJW

Myers, Walter Dean Looking for the Easy Life 40 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-054375-4 $16.99

(4) ulustrated by Lee Harper. Though things were good on Monkey Island, Oswego Pete lures everyone toward finding "the Easy LUe, where a monkey don't have to work hard for nothing." They set out, only to encounter taU-eating sharks and boring "Hip-Hop Hippos." WhUe the story's aUegory is strong, disjointed delivery and an odd ending mar the message, ulustrations of personality-rich primates enUven the tale. CHS

Na, Il Sung Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons 24 pp. Knopf isbn 978-0-375-86786-6 $15.99

(3) Ui this picture book, brief text tells how dUferent animals survive the cold winter: some hibernate, some seek a warmer climate, and so on. DigitaUy compUed coUage ulustrations combine textures and patterns in bright, eyecatching compositions. Each scene features a plump rabbit; in a pleasing touch on the last page, its winter-white fur turns brown, just as spring arrives. MFS

Napoli, Donna Jo The Crossing 40 pp. Atheneum isbn 978-1-4169-9474-9 $16.99

(4) IUustrated by Jim Madsen. Sacagawea's infant son, carried on her back, narrates this story. Napoti's prose is more evocative than explanatory: "We try dugouts / against the mighty spring current. / The current wins. / We buy horses / and ride . . ." The language, whUe poetic and imagistic, can be puzztingly abstract. Digital Ulustrations with the appearance of expansive oü paintings depict the shtiting landscape. ERG

* Nargi, Lela The Honeybee Man 40 pp. Random/Schwartz & Wade isbn 978-0-375-84980-0 $17.99 le isbn 978-0-375-95695-9 $20.99

(2) ulustrated by Kyrsten Brooker. Beekeeper Fred's busy daUy round, beginning with a cozy cup of tea, makes an appealing frame for the main event: tending his "tiny city" of three hives on his Brooklyn roof to harvest enough honey to share with neighbors. Textured detaUs in the coUage Ulustrations - and a cheerfuUy upbeat main character - enhance the story. The accurately detaUed text is nicely supplemented by clear endpaper diagrams. Review 3/11. JRL

Nesquens, Daniel My Tattooed Dad 48 pp. Groundwood isbn 978-1-55498-109-0 $18.95

(4) Translated by Elisa Amado. IUustrated by Magicomora. A boy relates the fantastical (and sometimes violent) stories that his peripatetic dad tells him, many of which are about his various tattoos. The writing is solid (U wordy), but the stories tend to blur together. Evocative digitaUy colored pencU drawings on tea-stain-colored pages caU to mind oldfashioned promotional cUcus posters. NB

Nevius, Carol Soccer Hour 32 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5689-6 $16.99

(3) IUustrated by Bill Thomson. Through rhymed couplets, the narrator offers a first-person account of the rigors and joys faced by a developing soccer squad. Phrases such as "pass and trap" and "mark up, Blue" provide readers with an authentic summary of the skiUs needed to produce a winning "GooooaaU!" Accent colors on baUs and jerseys stand out against stunning sepia and black-and-white images. NLH

Newman, Lesléa Donovan's Big Day 32 pp. Tricycle isbn 978-1-58246-332-2 $15.99 le isbn 978-1-58246-392-6 $18.99

(3) Ulustrated by Mike Dutton. Donovan has many tittle jobs to do - wash his face, don a suit - en route to his "BIG job": he's the ring bearer at his moms' wedding. Donovan's excitement is palpable throughout Newman's text. Dutton succeeds at making the main character look tike a kid trying to feel tike hünseU in a penguin suit. NB

Numeroff, Laura, and Nate Evans The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff 32 pp. Abrams isbn 978-0-8109-9765-3 $16.95

(4) IUustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Best friends Emily (a dog), Anna (rabbit), Bitsy (pig), and Nicole (cat) - a.k.a. the JeUybeans - explore the activities offered by Camp Pook-AWow. Soccer-lover Nicole convinces the camp dUector to let her form a team to play against Camp Mookie-Wanna. There's minimal conflict in the bland story, but Nicole's perseverance may insptie readers. Spacious watercolors UTustrate the summertime tale. CAL

A Numeroff, Laura, and Nate Evans Ponyella 40 pp. Hyperion isbn 978-1-4231-0259-5 $16.99

(2) Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. In this twist on Cinderella, it's not a prince needing a bride but a princess needing a pony. Pretty pony Ponyella's idyllic days come to an end when new owners arrive at the farm, bringing along two disagreeable ponies. Luckily, Ponyella's fairy "godmare" comes to the rescue. Munsinger's illustrations feature plenty of pink and purple as well as sweetly dainty main characters. Review 1/11. SDL

Nyikos, Stacy Rope 'Em! 32 pp. Kane/Miller isbn 978-1-935279-64-8 $15.99

(5) Illustrated by Bret Conover. In this undersea-set Western, seahorse Scout and octopus Virgil, "The O.K. Coral's best cowhands ever," constantly try to one-up each other. When Bullface the shark swims into town, the two must swallow their pride and work together. It's a cute idea, but the forced cowboy twang and some grownup-aimed jokes, in addition to overly cartoony illustrations, leave the execution lacking, CHS

O'Connor, Jane Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist 32 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-191526-0 $12.99

O'Connor, Jane Fancy Nancy: Stellar Stargazer! 32 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-191523-9 $12.99

(4) Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. In Artist, Nancy turns her clubhouse into an art studio. Stargazer finds Nancy, little sis, and Dad planning to camp in the backyard. Nancy's giddy narration is spiked with facts; however, the more her books strive to educate readers, the less she sounds like a real kid. Glasser's frilly-frothy art is appropriate accompaniment for both texts, NB

OHora, Zachariah Stop Snoring, Bernard! 32 pp. Holt isbn 978-0-8050-9002-4 $16.99

(4) Bernard is driving the other zoo otters bonkers with his snoring; he tries to find a new berth, but the rest of the zoo animals are no less irritated by his din. The book ends unimaginatively: the otters track down Bernard and tell him that they miss him. OHora's handsome, thickly outlined acrylic paintings have the eye-pleasing appearance of woodcuts. NB

O'Malley, Kevin The Great Race 32 pp. Walker isbn 978-0-8027-2158-7 $16.99 LE ISBN 978-0-8027-2159-4 $17.89

(4) In this "Tortoise and the Hare" retelling, nothing gets on Nate Tortoise's nerves more than the gloating of celebrity racer Lever Lapin. Nate, fed up, inadvertently challenges Lever to a race; the rest is history. Contemporary details including personal assistants, paparazzi, and overzealous fans add some humor (for adults more than kids). Watercolor and ink illustrations display Nate's frustration and Lever's braggadocio. AC

Orloff, Karen Kaufman Talk, Oscar, Please! 32 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-6563-6 $14.95

(3) Illustrated by Tim Bowers. A boy imagines what fun he and his dog Oscar would have if Oscar could talk. The pup could go with the boy to school, help out on the soccer field, even be on a quiz show. Orloff's rhymes are tight and jaunty; most verses end with the refrain, "... talk, Oscar - please." Bowers's cheerful illustrations of boy and dog are humorous and warm-hearted, PR

Palatini, Margie Goldie and the Three Hares 32 pp. HarperCollins/Tegen isbn 978-0-06-125314-0 $16.99 LE ISBN 978-0-06-125315-7 $17.89

(3) Illustrated by Jack E. Davis. The story begins with Goldilocks, after being chased by three bears, falling down a rabbit hole. A hare family takes the golden-tressed diva into their home. Her not "too hard" nor "too soft" demands quickly escalate to cashmere blankets and arugula. Humorously exaggerated illustrations capture the lengths the kind bunnies go to first satisfy - then rid themselves of - the spoiled guest, CHS

Palatini, Margie Hogg, Hogg, & Hog 32 pp. Simon isbn 978-1-4424-0322-2 $15.99

(4) When the craze they invented - oinking - becomes passé, three porcine bigwigs have to brainstorm a new idea to stay in the limelight. The story's poke at fads and fame is amusing for adults but will likely fly over the heads of children. Boldly outlined digital illustrations in muted shades of aqua, purple, and pink show the hogs decked out in old-school corporate attire. TDA

Papp, Lisa The Town That Fooled the British: A War of 1812 Story 32 pp. Sleeping Bear ISBN 978-1-58536-484-8 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Robert Papp. Tales of Young Americans series. St. Michaels, Maryland, a shipbuilding community on the Chesapeake Bay, is targeted by the British Navy during the War of 1812. While bringing a message to his soldier father, young Henry Middle makes a tactical suggestion that saves the town. Though the text is overwrought and the illustrations are uneven, the book effectively highlights how one child's act can make a difference, JSK

Paul, Donita K., and Evangeline Denmark The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari 32 pp. WaterBrook isbn 978-0-307-44645-9 $11.99

(5) Illustrated by Vincent Nguyen. Turtle Roger and dragon Padraig are "on safari" in the backyard. They pretend that all the animals they hear and see (owl, squirrel, raccoon) are actually exotic creatures (howler monkey, giraffe, elephant). Cartoonlike illustrations provide some humor in their depiction of the animals; the story is otherwise lackluster and difficult to follow. A moral lesson based on Scripture is appended. BLS

Pearson, Susan How to Teach a Slug to Read 32 pp. Cavendish ISBN 978-0-7614-5805-0 $16.99

(5) IUustrated by David Slonim. "When you teach a slug to read, you should: 1. Start out by putting labels on his favorite things." So begins a ten-rule lesson given by a tittle boy (who appears toward book's end) to a mama slug - at least that's what seems to be happening Ui this utterly confusing book. The acryUc and charcoal Ulustrations do include some clever book-themed, slug's-eye-view touches, NB

Pelley, Kathleen T. Raj the Bookstore Tiger 32 pp. Charlesbridge isbn 978-1-58089-230-8 $15.95

(4) Ulustrated by Paige Keiser. Raj, a marmalade-striped cat, retishes IUe as a bookstore's beloved "tiger." When cranky SnowbaU joins the staff, the new cat's jeers pummel Raj's confidence, but Raj's loving owner helps him embrace his inner tiger. While the message isn't subtle, this gentle story may resonate with readers. Expressive watercolor Ulustrations depict the cats in theU bookstore habitat. BTK

Perl, Erica S. Chicken Butt's Back! 32 pp. Abrams isbn 978-0-8109-9729-5 $12.95

(4) Illustrated by Henry Cole. The potty humor continues in this sequel to Chicken Butt! The protagonist acquiesces to Mom's warning: "No more 'Chicken Butt!' my dear. . ." However, he grabs the reins and takes off with such homophone hijinks as "Deer Butt" and "Witch Butt." The text (tike the boy) sometimes gets ahead of itseU, but Cole's exuberant cartoons enhance the silliness. CHS

Pfister, Marcus Questions, Questions 32 pp. North-South ISBN 978-0-7358-4000-3 $16.95

(3) Rhyming couplets - one per double-page spread - ask questions about natural phenomena: "Does a whale make up a song / so other whales will sing along?" Answers aren't provided; the book simply points out nature's wonders and (one hopes) stimulates curiosity. The striking, uncluttered Ulustrations are a departure for Pfister: applying acrylic paint to cardboard shapes, he stamps bright images onto a white background. MFS

Pfister, Marcus Rainbow Fish and the Whale 24 pp. North-South isbn 978-0-7358-4016-4 $6.95

(5) New ed. (1998). Rainbow Fish settles a misunderstanding between his sparkly fish friends and a whale who has moved to their feeding ground. As in the previous Rainbow Fish books, the story is simplistic and takes a back seat to the tranquil but cutesy underwater world decorated with silver foil fish scales. This smaller-format "Tuff Books" edition features rounded corners and sturdy, glossy pages. CMH

Phillipps, J. C. Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to Nap 40 pp. Viking isbn 978-0-670-01192-6 $15.99

(4) Wink (The Ninja Who Wanted to Be Noticed) is now the star of the Lucky Dragon CUcus. As Grandmother reminds the sleepy boy, even ninjas need naps; however, Wink is unable to shake his adoring fans. The story is stight, but the cut-paper collages illustrating the teddy-bear-toting ninja's attempts to trick his foUowers and score a tittle snooze are clever. CHS

Pirotta, Saviour, Reteller If You Love a Horse Tale: Black Beauty and The Knight's Mare 24 pp. Barron's isbn 978-0-7641-6387-6 $18.99

(4) Illustrated by Susanna Lockheart. Two horse stories, respectfully abridged, are here presented in picture book format. The somewhat gimmicky volume includes amiable illustrations; every other page has an oval die-cut gatefold that, when opened, creates a second illustrated scene. Although Black Beauty is a tired choice for abridgment, The Knight's Mare is a little-known traditional tale whose inclusion freshens the volume, ALB

Plecas, Jennifer Pretend 32 pp. Phtiomel isbn 978-0-399-23430-9 $15.99

(4) Jimmy and his dad pretend their couch is a boat that takes them on an exciting voyage. As far as imagined adventures go this one's nothing to write home about (they fend off a shark, paddle to an island, buUd a fort, etc.), but the father-son emotional bonding is sincere. Plecas's ink and watercolor illustrations alternate between Jimmy's fantasies and his real-life setting. NB

Polacco, Patricia Just in Time, Abraham Lincoln 48 pp. Putnam ISBN 978-0-399-25471-0 $17.99

(4) A train trip seems "way cool" until Grandma scolds, "No electronics. . . no texting, no tweeting, no e-maiting." Stopping at the Harpers Ferry Civil War Museum is boring compared to video games - until a time-stip adventure brings the protagonists face-to-face with Abraham Lincoln. Though the text can be heavy-handed, Polacco 's fans won't be disappointed by the fantasy adventure or her sketchlike illustrations. TLD

Poydar, Nancy No Fair Science Fair 32 pp. Holiday isbn 978-0-8234-2269-2 $14.95

(4) Otis lags in starting his science fall project, despite his teacher's coaching and classmates' teasing. Settling on a milk-carton bird feeder, he ultimately wins the "Stick-with-it Prize" when even the birds are tardy. Cheery gouache and pencil illustrations add some verve to the bland story line. An appended activity challenges readers to recaU the other students' science projects, FFB

Protopopescu, Orel Thelonious Mouse 32 pp. Farrar isbn 978-0-374-37447-1 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf. "Thelonious was some cool cat - for a mouse." While his parents tiptoe around feline Fat Cat, Thelonious can't stop dancing and scatsinging. Patient readers (and the text does go on) will be rewarded with the revelation that cat and mouse make beautiful music together. This tribute to jazz great Thelonious Monk features bebop-ish lines of text and comparatively subdued art. NB

Pulley, Kelly The Cycling Wangdoos 32 pp. Gauthier/Frog Legs Ink isbn 978-0-9820812-1-1 $16.95

(5) The Cycling Wangdoos win every race on their sixseater bicycle: "They worked as a team, knowing teamwork works best, / And they each did their part to support all the rest." After individual Wangdoos start looking out for number one, everyone learns a (predictable) lesson. There's some humor, especially in the mountain-set illustrations' vertiginous perspectives, but the wordy text meanders. NB

A Pulver, Robin Happy Endings: A Story About Suffixes 32 pp. Holiday isbn 978-0-8234-2296-8 $16.95

(2) Illustrated by Lynn Rowe Reed. Mr. Wright's students "tackle" word endings. The endings (personified), worried that being tackled will hurt, slip off the blackboard and into the weight room to beef up. Sunny acrylics keep the story light and humorous as the suffixes, often drawn with eyes or highlighted in different colors, dance around the pages. Grammar is a lot less boring with this book at hand. Review 3/11. R. SMITH

Quattlebaum, Mary Pirate vs. Pirate: The Terrific Tale of a Big, Blustery Maritime Match 40 pp. Hyperion isbn 978-1-4231-2201-2 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Alexandra Böiger. Bad Bart and Mean Mo engage in a blustery battle of the sexes to determine who is the biggest and baddest. Readers fond of pirate language and lore should enjoy spirited read-alouds of the text (set in an appropriately named typeface "CC Treasure Trove"). The caricature illustrations imbue the stormy sea - and the stormy relationship - with just the right atmosphere, SF

Ransome, James E. New Red Bike 32 pp. Holiday isbn 978-0-8234-2226-5 $16.95

(3) Young Tom is excited to ride his new bike to pal Sam's house. While waiting at Sam's door, Tom's bike disappears (temporarily). The spare text will hold readers' attention - "He zooms down the hill / around the curve / and back up" - while unfussy watercolor and pencil illustrations with lots of white space enhance accessibility. SN

Rausch, Molly My Cold Went on Vacation 32 pp. Putnam isbn 978-0-399-25474-1 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Nora Krug. A little boy imagines where his cold goes after it leaves his body: "Is it on a train to Canada?" "Is it climbing mountains in the Alps?" It's a cute concept that goes on a bit too long. Krug depicts the cold as a green, potato-like mass with tubular limbs and a needle nose - a personification that seems just right. NB

Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan The Secret River 56 pp. Atheneum isbn 978-1-4169-1179-1 $19.99

(3) Illustrated by Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon. New ed. (1955, Scribner). In this 1956 Newbery Honor Book (originally slightly longer and with art by Leonard Weisgard), Florida forest-dweller Calpurnia, with her dog Buggy-horse, finds the Secret River and a source of fish for her family and neighbors. The Dillons extend the story through their art, both in terms of setting (the eerie enchantedness of a Florida swamp) and characterization. Review 8/55. HMS

Rayner, Catherine The Bear Who Shared 32 pp. Dial isbn 978-0-8037-3576-7 $16.99

(3) Bear Norris knows that good things - like delicious "plorringes" - come to those who wait, but Tulip and Violet also want a taste of the just-ripened fruit. Norris is as generous as he is patient, and the three become fast friends. Rayner's illustrations bolster the spare text; energetic lines and blocks of luminous color surrounded by white space allow for great expressiveness and use of perspective. KLB

Reed, Lynn Rowe Roscoe and the Pelican Rescue 32 pp. Holiday isbn 978-0-8234-2352-1 $14.95

(3) In coastal Louisiana visiting his cousin, a boy finds his much-anticipated summertime activities replaced by efforts to rescue pelicans affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill disaster. The text manages to encompass both the drama of the event and the process of animal rescue without being dispiriting or didactic. Reed's trademark acrylics, too, while rather subdued, still incorporate much cheer and humor, RRW

Reid, Alastair Supposing. . . 48 pp. NYRB isbn 978-1-59017-369-5 $15.95

(3) Illustrated by Bob Gill. New ed. (1960, Little). Published fall 2010. The unnamed narrator imagines a random string of eventualities - some fanciful ("Supposing I had fur instead of skin. . ."), some possible ("Supposing I went bald. . ."). Reid's quirky stream-of-consciousness text won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it will get some readers thinking. The writing is suitably paired with Gill's new illustrations, simple-looking line drawings with occasional solid blocks of one or two colors. MVK

Riphagen, Loes Animals Home Alone 24 pp. Seven Footer isbn 978-1-934734-55-1 $15.95

(3) Riphagen offers a qutiky take on an ever-popular theme: What do the animals do when theU human family is away from home? A number of entertaining stories unfold on the pages of this nearly wordless book, revealing the shenanigans of the famUy pets, some ornery household insects, and even a few animals that climb out of pictures around the room, MFS

Rocco, John Blackout 40 pp. Hyperion isbn 978-1-4231-2190-9 $16.99

(3) One summer night, when there's a blackout in the city, a famUy abandons its electrical gadgets and spends time together, venturing outside to join a spontaneous neighborhood party. After the electricity comes back on, everyone decides to ignore it and play a board game instead. The comic strip format enhances the spare text, whUe the Ulustrations are dramaticaUy iUuminated by candles and flashlights. MFS

Rodman, Mary Ann Camp K-9 32 pp. Peachtree isbn 978-1-56145-561-4 $15.95

(4) Illustrated by Nancy Hayashi. Roxie is excited about camp but worried the other pups wiU discover her security blankie. Most of her feUow campers are friendly, but poodle Lacy ruins everything with her bullying and mean-spirited remarks. However, as is usuaUy the case with this sort of story, Lacy has an embarassing (and unoriginal) secret of her own. Watercolor, pen, and colored-pencil illustrations perfectly capture the pups' personalities. CAL

Rodriguez, Béatrice Fox and Hen Together 32 pp. Enchanted Lion isbn 978-1-59270-109-4 $14.95

(3) In this foUow-up to the likewise wordless The Chicken Thief, Hen sets out to look for food, entrusting Fox with her egg. The story is equally satisfying as adventure and comedy (the sea monster with whom she tussles ultimately becomes Hen and Fox's dinner). Rodriguez injects every inch of this squat, wide book with action, feeling, and judiciously chosen color, nb

Rogerson, Gillian You Can't Eat a Princess! 32 pp. Price Stern isbn 978-0-8431-9881-2 $9.99

(4) Illustrated by Sarah Mclntyre. When her father, King Cupcake, is kidnapped by atiens, Princess Spaghetti takes the royal rocket to find him in outer space, where his captors are threatening to eat him. The story has the requisite kid aUure (a princess heroine, comical villains with multiple googly eyes, desserts), but it adds up to a little less than the sum of its parts. NB

Rosenberg, Liz Tyrannosaurus Dad 32 pp. Roaring Brook/Porter isbn 978-1-59643-531-5 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Matthew Myers. Like many dads, Tobias's father works aU the time; unlike other dads, Tobias's father is a (grumpy) T-rex. At Field Day, the dino dad ends up saving the day after a gang of bullies descends. The story's focus is scattered; however, the painterly Ulustrations of the tie-wearing, newspaper-reading, lawn-mowing suburban T-rex are almost worth the price of admission, CHS

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse Al Pha's Bet 32 pp. Putnam isbn 978-0-399-24601-2 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Delphine Durand. "After the twenty-six letters had been invented," Al Pha takes up the chaUenge of putting them in order. His logic is often a stretch (E next to F because they look alike, P because "just then, nature caUed"), but it may stiU help readers make sense of the alphabet's seemingly arbitrary order. AcryUc Ulustrations of characters shaped like thumbs enhance the humor, SF

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse This Plus That: Life's Little Equations 40 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-172655-2 $14.99

(3) Illustrated by Jen Corace. A series of simple equations and companion illustrations sum up various chUdhood experiences ("barefoot + screen door + popsicles = summer") and life lessons ("blaming + eye rolling f sincere apology"). The equation/art pairings serve, in effect, as mini-vignettes, and are thoughtful and well chosen. Corace's illustrations have a (mostly) retro vibe that works well with Rosenthal's arithmetical musings, TDA

Ross, Tony I Want to Do It Myself!: A Little Princess Story 32 pp. Andersen isbn 987-0-7613-7412-1 $16.95

(3) Refusing all assistance, Little Princess sets off on a solo camping trip. Various castle help follow, secretly providing aU the key items (tent, food, sleeping bag) she has forgotten, leading the princess to betieve that she fared pretty well on her own. Ross's expressive bright and humorous illustrations depict the rather unpleasant protagonist's relatable quest for independence, RRW

Rostoker-Gruber, Karen Ferret Fun 32 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5817-3 $17.99

(3) Illustrated by Paul Rátz de Tagyos. House-pet ferrets Fudge and Einstein nervously welcome visiting cat, Marvel, into their home. When Marvel mistakes them for rats ("I love tasty. . . rats"), the two must show her who's boss in order to save their necks. Fudge and Einstein's humorous exchanges with each other and with Marvel will entertain readers. Clean-lined marker and ink cartoon-panel illustrations add to the tiveliness. SN

Rubin, Adam Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door 32 pp. Clarion isbn 978-0-547-42922-9 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. Bird-loving Old Man Fookwire (Those Darn Squirrels!) continues to be exasperated by the creatures that terrorize his feathered friends. When a new neighbor with a bully of a cat moves in, Fookwire ends up being grateful to his former enemies. Humorous watercolor, gouache, and colored-pencil drawings (see: squirrels with wedgies), along with silly text, play up the goofiness. CAL

Ruddra, Anshumani Dorje's Stripes 48 pp. Kane/Miller isbn 978-1-935279-98-3 $15.99

(3) Illustrated by Gwanjo Park and Jung-a Park. Dorje, a Royal Bengal tiger, lives with the monks in a Buddhist monastery. The creature's stripes have disappeared, signaling the decline of its species. However, one hopeful day, a monk notices a stripe on Dorje's back. With a combination of myth, magic, ecology, and spirituality, the book shares the endangered animal's true-life plight. Rich-hued, impressionistic paintings highlight the tiger's magnificence, MJS

Runton, Andy OwIy & Wormy, Friends All Aflutter! 40 pp. Atheneum isbn 978-1-4169-5774-4 $15.99

(4) OwIy and Wormy hope that butterflies will be attracted to their garden; they get caterpillars instead. The protagonists eventually become friends with the caterpillars, and this makes their disappearance all the more unsettling - until the creatures reappear as butterflies. In this mostly wordless book, the illustrations, featuring a giant-eyed owl and its amorphous friends, can be hard to decode, RRW

* Ryan, Pam Muñoz Tony Baloney 40 pp. Scholastic isbn 978-0-545-23135-0 $16.99

(2) Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. The trials and tribulations of middle children get zesty, energetic treatment in this story of a penguin chick, Tony, whose only ally is his favorite stuffed animal. Expansive digital illustrations marked by cheery blocks of primary color chart Tony's endurance, which inevitably reaches a snapping point. Readers will be happy when Big Sister Baloney finally gives Tony a break - even if her benevolence can't last. Review 3/11. CMH

Sacre, Antonio A Mango in the Hand: A Story Told Through Proverbs 32 pp. Abrams isbn 978-0-8109-9734-9 $16.95

(3) Illustrated by Sebastià Serra. Young Francisco, on his saint day, is entrusted to retrieve mangos from the tree past his "crabby Tía Clara's house." Bees buzz around the tree, and Francisco must figure out how to outsmart them. Proverbs in Spanish appear throughout the text as family members help him accomplish his goal. Eye-pleasing digitally colored pencil and ink illustrations feature lots of mangoshaped, rounded edges, ERG

Sattler, Jennifer Pig Kahuna 32 pp. Bloomsbury isbn 978-1-59990-635-5 $14.99 le isbn 978-1-59990-636-2 $15.89

(3) When a surfboard washes up on the beach, pig brothers Fergus and Dink name it Dave and incorporate it into their sand play. After tenderhearted Dink sets Dave free in the ocean, Fergus must face his fear: "the lurking, murky ickiness factor of the water." Sattler's acrylic and colored-pencil art makes this humorous story about dealing with outsize fears even funnier - and surprisingly touching, NB

Sauer, Tammi Mr. Duck Means Business 32 pp. Simon/Wiseman isbn 978-1-4169-8522-8 $15.99

(3) Illustrated by Jeff Mack. Mr. Duck enjoys his daily routine - and his peace and quiet - until uninvited farm animals show up and start frolicking in his pond. When Mr. Duck first protests then regains his privacy, the solitude gets to him, and he devises a win-win solution. Mack's illustrations (especially in Mr. Duck's expressions, gestures, and homemade signs and charts) effectively convey his utter exasperation - and, eventually, his total contentment, SRA

Scanlon, Liz Garton Noodle & Lou 32 pp. Simon/Beach Lane isbn 978-1-4424-0288-1$15.99

(3) Illustrated by Arthur Howard. Noodle feels glum about his worm characteristics ("My head has no eyes. . . and I don't have a beak. . . also - no feet"). Luckily his supportive feathered friend Lou is there to reassure the invertebrate of his positive attributes: "But you're long, and so sleek, which is perfect for you!" Expressive watercolor illustrations show the two bosom chums engaged in snappily rhymed backand-forth dialogue, SMG

Schmid, Paul A Pet for Petunia 40 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-196331-5 $12.99

(3) Petunia has a toy skunk, but she "wants, wants, wants!" a real one. Despite her promises that she'll feed and walk it, her parents refuse. Miffed, she leaves home, and in some nearby woods encounters a skunk - and "A humongous stink!" Schmid's take on the kid-era ves-a-pet tale is amusing, and his spare drawings, punctuated with purple and occasional dashes of orangey-brown, are eye-catching, TDA

Schoonmaker, Elizabeth Square Cat 32 pp. Simon/ Aladdin isbn 978-1-4424-0619-3 $14.99

(4) EuIa, a square cat, wants to be round. Her friends try to help by giving her hoop earrings and a beehive hat. When those don't work, they don square boxes to demonstrate Eula's assets ("square cats are easy to stack"). The text tries too hard to be quirky and offbeat, but Schoonmaker's geometric illustrations help soft-pedal the celebrate-yourindividuality message, TDA

Schwartz, Joanne City Numbers 64 pp. Groundwood isbn 978-1-55498-081-9 $18.95

(3) Photographs by Matt Beam. The team behind City Alphabet takes another look around town, this time at numbers zero through twenty, including degrees therein (e.g., neon tubing behind a loan-office window brings us "2.5%"). Beam's color photos are evidence of a keen eye and a mind sufficiently open to spot beauty in the least likely places; this book encourages readers to do the same, nb

Scotton, Rob Splish, Splash, Splat! 40 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-197868-5 $16.99 le isbn 978-0-06-197869-2 $17.89

(3) In his latest romp, cat Splat and his nemesis, Spike, bond over a mutual fear of the water when they take swimming lessons. Most of the story is from Splat's perspective; there's a quick switch to Spike's point of view that is somewhat jarring. However, the art - featuring puffball kitties with dorky expressions and even dorkier swim attire - offsets any missteps, nb

Segal, John Pirates Don't Take Baths 32 pp. Philomel isbn 978-0-399-25425-3 $16.99

(4) A pig insists: "I'm a pUate. And pUates NEVER EVER take baths." Brought back to reatity by his parent ("PUates don't get seasick either. But you do"), the pig changes his tune: "Okay. Then I'm a. . . cowboy!" FinaUy, he decides to be an underwater treasure hunter. Though the concept stretches a bit thin, the pig's imaginings, shown m pencil and watercolor Ulustrations, are creative, sf

Shaw, Hannah School for Bandits 32 pp. Knopf isbn 978-0-375-86768-2 $16.99 le isbn 978-0-375-96768-9 $19.99

(3) Ralph is not a typical raccoon; he's neither sneaky nor rude. in school Ralph fails at his lessons (burping, throwing food). However, he wins a competition by using his best means - manners. Young readers wiU enjoy the twist on behavioral expectations whUe theU parents wiU be reassured that good manners win in the end. ComicaUy detailed mixed-media illustrations follow the antics, chs

Sheridan, Sara I'm Me! 32 pp. Scholastic/Chicken House isbn 978-0-545-28222-2 $17.99

(4) IUustrated by Margaret Chamberlain. Auntie Sara's house presents a world of make-believe opportunities, from dressing up to taming dragons. However, on this day little Imogen proclaims: "I just want to be. . . ME!" They agree to have a special baU-playing, ice-cream-eating day, "for you to be you and me to be ME." The story hammers home its point, but playfulness m the text and pink-heavy Ulustrations add levity, chs

Shore, Diane Z., and Jessica Alexander This Is the Game 32 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-055522-1 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Owen Smith. Shore and Alexander touch on historical elements of baseball along with hightighting a handful of players including "Dizzy" Dean ("his fastball is mean!"), Babe Ruth ("the Sultan of Swat"), and Jackie Robinson ("This is the Dodger / fulfilling a dream. . ."). This appealing paean to the "ages-old pastime that captures us all" is ulustrated with big-blue-sky, lush-green-grass paintings. ERG

Simpson, Lesley Yuvi's Candy Tree 32 pp. Kar-Ben isbn 978-0-7613-5651-6 $17.95 pe isbn 978-0-7613-5652-3 $7.95

(3) illustrated by Janice Lee Porter. Five-year-old Yuvi narrates her Jewish family's flight from Ethiopia, traveling the desert with tittle food, harassed by robbers, and ending up m Jerusalem. Throughout her travalls, Yuvi is reassured by her grandmother's refrain: "We have angels with us. We'll fly home." Flowing illustrations in browns, blues, and oranges bring this story, based on one woman's experience with Operation Moses, to Ille. ak

Singer, Marilyn Tallulah's Tutu 40 pp. Clarion isbn 978-0-547-17353-5 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Alexandra Böiger. Tallulah's deslle for a tutu leads to ballet lessons. She diligently practices - still no tutu. Tallulah quits in a huff, but her love of dance remains; she keeps working and eventually gains her prize. The story's tight tone, along with colorful illustrations filled with movement, wül reward bauet fans (though they shouldn't follow Tallulah's example for first position - she should bring her heels together), ak

Sit, Danny Tucker: Little Dog Lost & Found 32 pp. Sterling isbn 978-1-4027-5999-4 $9.95

(4) Tucker is a tittle Jack Russell terrier longing to explore the world outside his front door. Worn out from imagining adventures, Tucker wanders onto a train to take a nap and wakes up far from home. The forced text, narrated by Tucker ("Gee, that was swell"), takes a back seat to fashion photographer Sit's crisp pictures of an expressive pup. cal

Smallcomb, Pam Earth to Clunk 32 pp. Dial isbn 978-0-8037-3439-5 $16.99

(3) ulustrated by Joe Berger. Pressured by his teacher, the narrator becomes pen pals with an atien. The two exchange ostensibly off-putting gifts that end up cementing an unlikely friendship. The stranger the action the straighter Smallcomb plays it, making the story all the funnier. Berger keeps up with the text, right down to depicting the "disgusting glob of something" on the boy's sister's head, nb

A Smallcomb, Pam I'm Not. 32 pp. random/schwartz & wade isbn 978-0-375-86115-4 $15.99 le isbn 978-0-375-96115-1 $18.99

(2) Illustrated by Robert Weinstock. Published fall 2010. Outgoing and imaginative, Evelyn is a lot of things that her practical friend, the unnamed narrator, is not: e.g., fashion guru, artist, circus performer. The narrator recognizes that their unique qualities are what make the two great friends. Spare but animated illustrations (replete with amusing speech bubbles) lend additional humor to the witty narrative, reminiscent of James Marshall's George and Martha books. Review 3/11. CR

A Smith, Alex T. Foxy and Egg 32 pp. Holiday isbn 978-0-8234-2330-9 $17.95

(2) Charming Foxy DuBois invites bow tie-sporting Egg into her home. Foxy decides that she'd like to fatten Egg up, so she feeds him a splendid dinner. Sadly for Foxy, Egg grows tremendously, and inside is something unexpected. Children will love poring over the illustrations to find the many chicken-y details in Foxy's home décor, and adults will enjoy the droll touches. Review 5/11. sdl

Smith, Michael Relativity 32 pp. East West isbn 978-0-9799339-8-1 $16.95

(5) Illustrated by Octavio Oliva. This book explores the idea that everything is relative: "The sky is high, the trees are low. / The trees are high, the grass is low." It's an intriguing idea and the book has its moments, but they're few and far between; mostly the rhymed text confuses the issue, and the blurry digital-looking illustrations are just odd. RRW

Smith, Michael Thomas the T. Rex: The Journey of a Young Dinosaur to Los Angeles 40 pp. East West isbn 978-0-9821675-3-3 $19.95

(5) Illustrated by Gayle Garner Roski. Junior Scientist Club members Thomas and Rita help paleontologists from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County discover, excavate, transport, and assemble the fossilized skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex. Stiff, amateurish watercolors do little to enhance the overlong, plodding text. The appended photographs and notes outlining the museum's actual expedition are a lot more interesting, rrw

Soetoro-Ng, Maya Ladder to the Moon 48 pp. Candlewick isbn 978-0-7636-4570-0 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Yuyi Morales. One night, young Suhaila meets her loving grandmother (who has died), and they climb a ladder to the moon. From there, they reach down to Earth, connecting with people of various cultures and helping those in trouble. Memorable art, full of rounded, powerful human figures, illustrates this abstract teaching tale in which the story line is primarily a vehicle for the (worthy) message, mfs

Soman, David Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad 40 pp. Dial isbn 978-0-8037-3419-7 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Jacky Davis. In her fourth outing, Lulu (a.k.a. Ladybug Girl) has clear ideas in mind for a "Bug Squad" playdate she's planned for her friends. Things go smoothly until the other kids start to voice their own creative ideas. Although the tension is resolved easily and unrealistically, the story, with its bright, energetic, superchipper illustrations, has some appeal, smg

Souza, Claudia Princess to the Rescue 24 pp. Second Story isbn 978-1-897187-93-7 $15.95

(5) Illustrated by Christelle Ammirati. An omniscient narrator spends pages informing readers that, despite the fairytale tradition, princesses can indeed be rescuers. Unfortunately, Souza spends little time reinforcing this point with a story and doesn't even bother with an ending for the one she tells - "I'm sure you can figure it out for yourself." Sketchlike illustrations don't help this right-minded but poorly executed offering, nb

Sperring, Mark The Sunflower Sword 32 pp. Andersen isbn 978-0-7613-7486-2 $16.95

(3) Illustrated by Miriam Latimer. A "knight" (a kid with a colander on his head) wants to fight dragons using a sword; his mom won't let him. Her sunflower alternative is met with skepticism until the boy's imagination takes over. Sperring may have a pacifist agenda, but the preachiness is refreshingly minimal. Latimer gives the child's fantasy life a cartoonishly loose medieval treatment, nb

Spinelli, Eileen Now It Is Summer 32 pp. Eerdmans isbn 978-0-8028-5340-0 $16.00

(3) Illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma. In summertime, a mouse peppers his mother with autumn questions (e.g., "Will I leap laughing into leaves / heaped high in the backyard?"). Patiently, she urges him to savor the now: "You can tippy-toe into the gurgling surf. . . / There are soap bubbles to blow. . ." Spinelli's lyrical text evokes both seasons, while DePalma's luminous acrylics show the mice reveling in summer activities, mfs

Spires, Ashley Small Saul 32 pp. Kids Can isbn 978-1-55453-503-3 $16.95

(3) Cheerful, thoughtful Small Saul loves the sea - but he's too short for the Navy. He devotes his talents to the pirates, who throw this pint-sized hero overboard before sheepishly rescuing him. The case for individuality is clear without being pedantic, while ink and watercolor illustrations highlight the comical juxtaposition of clean Saul and the lesstidy buccaneers, btk

Spooner, J. B. The Little Black Dog Has Puppies 32 pp. Arcade isbn 978-1-61145-006-4 $16.95

(4) ulustrated by Terre Lamb Seeley. lli her thild book, the Little Black Dog detivers nine pups. The Captain stealthily discovers the hidden bilthing spot and brings the pups and mother safely inside from the chilly weather. The grainy illustrations have some awkward moments, but they suitably capture the unpretentious story's Martha's Vineyard setting, smg

Spurr, Elizabeth Monsters, Mind Your Manners! 24 pp. Whitman isbn 978-0-8075-5251-3 $15.99

(4) ulustrated by Simon Scales. "Look out, children, / here they come, / bringing pandemonium! / Lock doors and windows, run and hide. / Do not let these creeps inside!" Children, aghast, look on as four monsters draw on walls, talk in school, throw food, etc. Bad behavior drives the story, but the ending fizzles. Digital-looking ulustrations (some a little blurry) with a Disney-meets-anime quality dutifully depict the monsters' antics, rrw

Stead, Philip Christian Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat 32 pp. Roaring Brook/Porter isbn 978-1-59643-562-9 $16.99

(3) When Jonathan's parents trade his teddy bear for a toaster, he takes the Big Blue Boat in search of Frederick, enlisting unlikely (goat, elephant, whale) helpers along the way. Although the premise and writing are too twee, the text's simpticity and rhythm have appeal. Stead's glorious painted-collage illustrations involve all manner of seaworthy papers: stamps, timetables, maps, and nautical charts, rs

Stevens, April Edwin Speaks Up 40 pp. Random/Schwartz & Wade isbn 978-0-375-85337-1 $16.99 le isbn 978-0-375-95633-1 $19.99

(2) ulustrated by Sophie Blackall. Though Edwin's just a baby, he's the one who notices the car keys in his brother's shoe, his mother's purse on top of the car, etc. He tries to tell Mom- "Figbutton noo noo POCKY BOOKY froppm ROOF" - but all she hears is babbling. Blackall's delicately lined ulustrations, in Chinese ink, watercolor, and gouache, feature a lively famlly of (elegantly garbed) ferrets. Review 7/11. KF

* Stevens, Janet, and Susan Stevens Crummel The Little Red Pen 56 pp. Harcourt isbn 978-0-15-206432-7 $16.99

(2) illustrated by Janet Stevens. With a stack of papers to grade, Little Red Pen calls for help from her friends the stapler, scissors, eraser, etc.; thell excuses quickly mount up. After Little Red falls into the trashcan, though, the lazy office supplies rescue her. This rollicking read-aloud, with humor-filled watercolors, includes enough plays on words to keep even the most jaded reader chortling. Review 3/11. R. SMITH

Stuchner, Joan Betty Can Hens Give Milk? 32 pp. Orea isbn 978-1-55469-319-1 $19.95

(3) illustrated by Joe Weissmann. When Shlomo's brilllant idea is to feed the hens grass so they'll produce milk, readers know they're in Chelm, a vülage from Jewish folklore populated by wise fools. Shlomo's daughter tries to help, bringing along the rabbi who swaps a goat for some of the hens. Everyone's satisfied. . . until Shlomo has another idea. Colorful cartoon-style illustrations of Old World scenes underscore the humor, ak

Sulllvan, Sarah Passing the Music Down 32 pp. Candlewick isbn 978-0-7636-3753-8 $16.99

(2) Illustrated by Barry Root. As Sullivan explains in an excellent note, musician Jake Krack was only nine when he traveled to hear noted fiddler Melvin Wine, then eightysix. Insptied by that friendship, Sullivan depicts just such an old man and gifted boy. The story is told in the lyrical, laconic tilt of its Appalachian setting, also captured in gentle golden-tinged gouache and watercolor paintings. Websites. Bib. Review 5/11. jrl

Tan, Shaun Lost & Found: Three by Shaun Tan 128 pp. Scholastic/Levine isbn 978-0-545-22924-1 $21.99

(2) In "The Red Tree," a gtil moves through her day with a sense of escalating ennui. In "The Lost Thing," a boy discovers a most peculiar object. "The Rabbits" (text by John Marsden) is a colonization fable. In this compllation of previously published picture books, Tan's superb art - paradoxically inviting and alienating - is tailored to each story without any loss of his signature style. Review 5/11. jh

Taylor, Sean Huck Runs Amuck! 48 pp. Dial isbn 978-0-8037-3261-2 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Mountain goat Huck is obsessed with eating flowers, which ultimately leads to a moral conundrum. The sportscaster-style omniscient narration ("He's not going to try that impossible climb, is he?"), Huck's dorky look ("Do you like his trendy beard?"), a plot point concerning underpants, a forehead-slapper of a final image - readers looking for satisfying silliness have come to the right place, nb

Teague, Mark LaRue Across America: Postcards from the Vacation 40 pp. Scholastic/Blue Sky isbn 978-0-439-91502-1 $16.99

(3) Dog-scribe Ike LaRue pens postcards to his neighbor, Mrs. Higgins, whose cats - much to Ike's chagrin - accompany him on vacation. The notes start off polite ("I am certain that they would be happier at home") and grow increasingly desperate ("Perhaps I will mall my self home"). Teague's top-notch, larger-than-life double-page-spread illustrations reveal the humorous truths behind Ike's cushy vacation, chs

Tegen, Katherine The Story of the Leprechaun 40 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-143086-2 $12.99

(4) Illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert. A greedy human snatches a leprechaun and forces him to reveal the location of his pot of gold. The wily leprechaun uses magic to prevent the man from getting away with his wealth. After this dose call, he decides the end of the rainbow would make a safer hiding spot. Delicately lined and softly shaded illustrations accompany the pedestrian story, pr

Thompson, Carol J Like You the Best 32 pp. Holiday isbn 978-0-8234-2341-5 $16.95

(4) Dolly the pig and Jack Rabbit are best friends; they love laughing together and being quiet together. When they paint one another's portraits, though, each takes offense at the depiction and stomps off, vowing never to be friends again. The expressive illustrations, showing anger slowly turning to sadness before a touching reconciliation occurs, are more successful than the somewhat haltingly paced text, pr

Tillman, Nancy Tumford the Terrible 32 pp. Feiwel isbn 978-0-312-36840-1 $16.99

(4) Cat Tumford is an unrepentant troublemaker: "Of all of the things / he thought were the worst. . . / saying Tm sorry' most surely came first." After shaming his owners, he decides to apologize and immediately feels better. The story's rhymes, generally snappy, may distract readers from the overtness of the message. Illustrations show the kitty as more curious than malicious, sjw

Tomkins, Jasper Nimby: An Extraordinary Cloud Who Meets a Remarkable Friend 56 pp. Green Tiger/Laughing Elephant isbn 978-1-59583-428-7 $15.95

(5) Reissue (1982). A cloud named Nimby, "truly a special cloud," marches to his own drum: "When everyone spread out together to make a thick fog, Nimby was a great golden fish." He's lonely until meeting a like-minded island. There is some humor, but the story is overly sentimental. The cartoony illustrations evoke clouds' luminous hues but are garish and amateurish, sf

Townsend, Michael Monkey & Elephant's Worst Fight Ever! 32 pp. Knopf isbn 978-0-375-85717-1 $15.99 le isbn 978-0-375-95717-8 $18.99

(3) A simple misunderstanding swiftly moves from sad to bad when Monkey feels excluded from his best friend's party. To "get even," Monkey puts Elephant's toys in the freezer, prompting Elephant to seek revenge. The retaliation escalates to utter chaos, forcing the other animals to fix the broken friendship. Townsend's cartoon-panel illustrations humorously display such offbeat antics as butt-painting and professional wrestling, chs

Trottier, Maxine Migrant 40 pp. Groundwood isbn 978-0-88899-975-7 $18.95

(4) Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. An author's note explains that Anna is a German Mennonite, traveling from Mexico to Canada to work the crops. This little-known group, wearing old-fashioned garb and speaking a German dialect, merits attention, and the story is sensitive to the inequities of migrant life. However, the text and pictures are distracted by too much nature imagery as Anna imagines herself to be various animals, rs

Tucker, Lindy Porkelia: A Pig's Tale 64 pp. Charlesbridge /Mackinac isbn 978-1-934133-28-6 $9.95

(4) Porkelia is in the dumps until the Wise One tells her she's "destined to be / the first piggy Rockette!" After years of struggle, Porkelia fulfills her destiny and wins fame and fortune. Though the follow-your-dreams message is childaimed, the humor and vocabulary are more adult than kidfriendly. Unfussy illustrations of the pink piglet in various costumes may entertain readers, ak

Tusa, Tricia Follow Me 40 pp. Harcourt isbn 978-0-547-27201-6 $16.99

(3) Via the motion of her swing, a girl goes on an imaginative airborne journey, beckoning readers to follow. The double-page spreads focus on colors ("I rise, I fall / in purple and gray") until the shades are "all tumbled together" in the leaf-swirling sky; then it's back to solid ground (and home). Tusa's quiet, lyrical text and warm, dreamlike color-washed illustrations are well matched, keh

Twohy, Mike Poindexter Makes a Friend 32 pp. Simon/Wiseman isbn 978-1-4424-0965-1 $15.99

(3) Because Poindexter pig is so painfully shy, he doesn't have many friends. He spends a lot of time at the library, where he finally meets a kindred spirit: a bashful turtle named Shelby who's looking for a book on how to make friends. Touches of humor and amiable watercolor and ink illustrations make the tips on friendship easy to absorb, mfs

lingerer, Tomi Adelaide: The Flying Kangaroo 40 pp. Phaidon isbn 978-0-7148-6083-1 $14.95

(3) Reissue (1959, Harper). Kangaroo Adelaide, unaccountably born with wings, flies to Paris. She stars onstage; rescues children from a burning building; negotiates her kangaroo fiance's freedom from the zoo; and ends with a pocketful of wee ones. Ungerer remains a master of suggestion: with marvelous skill, his agile pen embellishes the straightforward visual narrative, arrayed on spacious white, with a wealth of comical details, jrl

Vainio, Pirkko Who Hid the Easter Eggs? 32 pp. North-South isbn 978-0-7358-2304-4 $16.95

(4) Wanting eggs of his own, jackdaw Jack takes the eggs Grandmother has hidden for the children. Harry, a squirrel, convinces Jack to re-hide the eggs, and, introducing him to jackdaw Jackie, helps him find a better way to accomplish his goal. Soft-focus, pastel-hued ulustrations that accentuate the eggs' fine details are a good match for the rather sentimental story, rrw

Vamos, Samantha R. The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred 32 pp. Charlesbridge isbn 978-1-58089-242-1 $17.95

(3) Illustrated by Rafael López. This fresh take on the "House That Jack Built" rhyme chronicles the making of a delicious pot of arroz con leche (rice with milk). All of the farm animals, from the hen to the goat to the burro, find a way to contribute to the farm maiden's recipe (appended). Lopez's rich-hued, beautifully textured acrytic-on-grainedwood illustrations are standouts. Glos, tw

Van Camp, Katie Cookiebot!: A Harry and Horsie Adventure 32 pp. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray isbn 978-0-06-197445-8 $16.99

(3) illustrated by Lincoln Agnew. ili theti second adventure, tittle boy Harry and his stuffed pal Horsie build a robot to help them reach the all-too-distant cookie jar atop the refrigerator. When the robot goes rogue, boy and horse must regain control. The well-paced, gleeful story tine is perfectly matched by digital-looking illustrations that evoke Pop Art and retro comics, ng

van Lieshout, Maria Hopper and Wilson 40 pp. Philomel isbn 978-0-399-25184-9 $16.99

(4) After stuffed-animal friends Hopper and Wilson - an elephant and a mouse, respectively - imagine what it's tike at the end of the world, they set sail in a newspaper boat to find out. Even during this contemplative (a tittle overly so) story's most dramatic moment - Hopper falls overboard - van Lieshout's spell of calm is unbroken, thanks to her tempered colors and expanses of white, nb

Vaughan, Marcia, and Richard Vaughan Three Bears of the Pacific Northwest 32 pp. Sasquatch isbn 978-1-57061-684-6 $16.95

(4) illustrated by Jeremiah Trammell. After falling out of an RV, stuffed animal Blue Bear is determined to get back to his boy. Black Bear and Brown Bear help with the search; on the way to a happy reunion, they encounter a variety of animals, from elk and beaver to seal and orca. Cheery illustrations accompany the text, a thinly disguised introduction to Pacific Northwest animals, pr

Villnave, Erica Pelton Sophie's Lovely Locks 32 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5820-3 $16.99

(4) Sophie loves her "twirly, whirly, long, and girly" hair. She loves how it moves when she dances and curls when it rains (though she hates when it becomes a tangled, sticky mess). Girly-girl watercolors depict Sophie's love/hate relationship with her hair - and her generous decision to donate it to make a wig. There's not much story, but a lot of heart, sjw

Vischer, Frans Fuddles 32 pp. Simon/ Aladdin isbn 978-1-4169-9155-7 $15.99

(3) Housecat Fuddles, fat and spolled, decides it's high time for adventure. After some shape-up preparations, Fuddles makes his escape out the front door. He finds, however, that his temperament isn't really that of a daredevü. Expressive digital illustrations with a classic cartoon appearance aptly characterize the kitty. A clever aerial-view spread shows the feline's paw-print trail, inviting readers to track his suburban journey, s mg

Viva, Frank Along a Long Road 40 pp. Little isbn 978-0-316-12925-1 $16.99

(3) A cyclist journeys along a seaside road into a tunnel, across a bridge, through a town (where he bumps into an errant apple and momentarlly stops), and around an amusement park - before looping back home. Readers will enjoy tracing with theti fingers the thin tan road (slightly textured), which, page after page, is a continuous path. The spare text is pleasantly rhythmic, tda

? Wadham, Tim The Queen of France 32 pp. Candlewick isbn 978-0-7636-4102-3 $16.99

(2) illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. Digging in the make-believe basket, Rose emerges as the queen of France. She confronts a royal gardener (her mother) then seeks the royal physician (her father). Through witty dialogue, Wadham relates the message that it's fun to dress up, but it's also fun to be yoursell. Denton's watercolor illustrations have dainty soft hues, but her characters are sturdy and vigorous. Review 5/11. cmh

Wahman, Wendy A Cat like That 32 pp. Holt isbn 978-0-8050-8942-4 $16.99

(3) A cat muses about the qualities an ideal friend would have. This person would know the best cat games, would gently rub under his chin, and would respect his favorite hiding places. Just as the straightforward text describes (sometimes humorously) the important attributes of friendship, the appealing computer-generated illustrations with monochromatic backgrounds provide the cat with plenty of personality. pr

Wallace, Nancy Elizabeth Pond Walk 40 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5816-6 $17.99

(4) In another story starring Buddy and Mama Bear (Rocks! Pocks! Rocks!; Stars! Stars! Stars!), Wallace introduces readers to pond life, from cattails to damselflies, all shown in mixedmedia illustrations. While the plot is forced, the book could be used as a primer in ecology for classes studying habitats. Directions for making a rock turtle are appended, lb

Ward, Lindsay Pelly and Mr. Harrison Visit the Moon 32 pp. Kane/Miller isbn 978-1-935279-77-8 $15.99

(3) One evening, just before bedtime, Pelly and her dog, Mr. Harrison, discover that the bathtub has become a rocket ship. With great excitement, the two climb aboard and venture to the moon. They encounter an alien who introduces them to the wonders of living in space - moon-pie-making, gravity-leaping, and star-catching, all of which are shown in imaginative mixed-media illustrations, apf

Watt, Melanie Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party 32 pp. Kids Can isbn 978-1-55453-468-5 $16.95

(3) For his birthday, Scaredy Squirrel plans a little celebration in which nothing could possibly go wrong. Forced to confront the unexpected during his party, he comes to appreciate some spontaneity (a very, very small amount). This book, with its silly text and cheerfully busy illustrations, playfully continues the pattern and humor of the series, ng

Watt, Melanie You're Finally Here! 40 pp. Hyperion isbn 978-1-4231-3486-2 $15.99

(3) A wide-eyed, insistent rabbit begins the direct-address story on the book's cover, exclaiming to readers: "You're finally here!" The text continues in this vein, with Rabbit asking rhetorical questions ("Do you know how BORED I get when I'm waiting?"), creating a playful read-aloud experience. The digital-looking illustrations are appropriately done in understated carrot-y hues, ng

Wellington, Monica Gabby & Grandma Go Green 32 pp. Dutton isbn 978-0-525-42214-3 $16.99

(3) Gabby and Grandma's Earth-friendly day begins with sewing reusable grocery bags. They then walk to the farmers' market to buy local produce for a park lunch. Their errands end with a library visit. Wellington's gouache and photo-collage illustrations ("The computer was not used in the preparation of this artwork") enhance the text, which may be inspirational for young environmentalists, rrw

Wewer, Iris My Wild Sister and Me 32 pp. North-South isbn 978-0-7358-4003-4 $16.95

(4) When her big sister abruptly ends their play session (she gets a better offer), the jealous narrator retaliates by stealing her toothbrush. This eventually prompts a chase, which precipitates a rapprochement. The illustrations capture the younger sib's emotions by depicting her sister as different wild animals (or are those costumes? it's not always clear), making action sometimes hard to follow, nb

Wheeler, Lisa Dino-Basketball 32 pp. Carolrhoda isbn 978-0-7613-6393-4 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Barry Gott. Continuing their sports rivalry (Dino-Baseball, Dino-Hockey), the plant-earing dinosaurs and their carnivorous counterparts meet in a championship basketball game. Captured in the energetic illustrations are both teams' on-the-court mad skills, making it a tight match. Though the rhymes occasionally lumber, playby-play commentary laced with basketball lingo will score points with fans of both basketball and dinosaurs, rrw

A Wild, Margaret Harry & Hopper 32 pp. Feiwel isbn 978-0-312-64261-7 $16.99

(2) Illustrated by Freya Blackwood. When his dog Hopper dies, young Harry shuts down. After a series of ghostly middle-of-the-night visits from the dog, Harry is finally able, lovingly, to let Hopper go. The author both evokes unflinchingly and treats respectfully the emotions of a grieving child. Scrawly mixed-media illustrations capture the strength of the bond between dog and boy as well as Harry's isolation and disorientation. Review 1/11. mvp

Williams, Margery The Velveteen Rabbit 48 pp. Cavendish isbn 978-0-7614-5848-7 $17.99

(4) Illustrated by Gennady Spirin. Williams's classic tale is newly illustrated with Spirin 's lush paintings. Spirin grounds the story firmly in the Edwardian era; the child sports a sailor suit and buckled shoes and his mother wears a shirtwaist and has a Gibson Girl hairstyle. The volume is pretty, but it's more likely to appeal to sentimental adults than to children, mvk

Wilson, Karma Hogwash! 40 pp. Little isbn 978-0-316-98840-7 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Jim McMullan. A farmer decides to "spring-clean" his animals. He successfully washes the horses, ducks, and cows, but meets resistance at the pigpen. Voicing their sentiment on mud-written signs, the pigs, shown in McMullan's sassy watercolor illustrations, defy the farmer's attempts at bathing. Through the use of rhyme and clever pig-centric puns, Wilson creates an amusing standoff between farmer and hogs, apf

Wilson, Karma If I Were a Mouse 24 pp. Zonderkidz isbn 978-0-310-71603-7 $15.99

(4) Illustrated by Marsela Hajdinjak-Krec. A boy imagines being a mouse; when the mouse hears an owl, the boy wonders, "What if the owl was me?" The pattern continues as the boy contemplates being a squirrel, chickadee, and cat. Finally, the rhyming text brings readers back to the child who rejoices that God made "me Me!" The stiff full-page illustrations provide clues to the next featured animal, pr

Winstanley, Nicola Cinnamon Baby 32 pp. Kids Can isbn 978-1-55337-821-1 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Janice Nadeau. in this pretty, parentcentered book Mtiiam, a baker, entices Sebastian with the aroma of her signature cinnamon bread. The two marry and have a child; all is perfect until the baby starts crying incessantly. It's finally a "cinnamony smell" that soothes the tot (sleep-deprived caregivers may roll theti eyes). Nadeau's warm-hearted mixed-media illustrations of the multiracial family are endearing, keh

Wishinsky, Frieda You're Mean, Lily Jean! 32 pp. Whitman isbn 978-0-8075-9476-6 $16.99

(3) Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. Sisters Carly and Sandy love playing pretend. New neighbor Lily Jean loves acting out roles, too, always as the boss. When Carly gets tired of her lesser parts, she turns the game on its head in a creative and humorous way. Big-sis Sandy's selflessness, while a tittle bit idealized, is also rewarding. Denton's pencil and watercolor illustrations represent the girls' imaginings well. bls

Wood, Douglas No One But You 32 pp. Candlewick isbn 978-0-7636-3848-1 $16.99

(3) Ulustrated by P. J. Lynch. Wood's poetic prose, sentimental but effective, invites young readers to savor theti individual experiences while exploring the beauty and wonder of the natural world: "No one but you can feel the rain kiss your skin / or the wind ruffle your hair." Children of different ethnicities interacting with nature are the focus of Lynch's beautifully textured double-page-spread oil paintings, hms

Yamaguchi, Kristi Dream Big Little Pig! 32 pp. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky isbn 978-1-4022-5275-4 $16.99

(4) Illustrated by Tim Bowers. Olympic figure skater Yamaguchi tells of a pig named Poppy who "dreamed big." Although ballet dancing, singing, and modeling don't work out, Poppy, with the encouragement of her family and best friend, perseveres and becomes an ice skater. Message is foremost in this unsurprising story. Some humorous piggy wordplay ("New Pork City") and cheery pink-hued cartoon illustrations may engage readers, ak

Yankovic, Al When I Grow Up 32 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-192691-4 $17.99

(3) Illustrated by Wes Hargis. In pop-music parodist Weird Al's witty literary debut, eight-year-old Billy is asked by his teacher what he wants to be when he grows up. This query releases a veritable flood of ideas, including "big sumo wrestler or hedge-fund investor / Or smelly-p it-sniffing deodorant tester." Yankovic's toe-tapping salute to childhood curiosity features illustrations that are as warm as they are wacky, nb

Yeh, Kat The Magic Brush: A Story of Love, Family, and Chinese Characters 40 pp. Walker isbn 978-0-8027-2178-5 $16.99 le isbn 978-0-8027-2179-2 $17.89

(3) Illustrated by Huy Voun Lee. Jasmine's grandfather (agong) uses storytelling to introduce her to caligraphy. After Agong dies, Jasmine begins teaching her younger brother the same way. Attractive cut-paper illustrations cleverly incorporate Chinese characters into the objects they represent; thus, the stylized character for "horse," for example, becomes part of the horse image. Brief notes about Chinese art and food, as well as Mandarin pronunciation, are appended, mfs

Yolen, Jane The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye 32 pp. Random isbn 978-0-375-86663-0 $16.99 le isbn 978-0-375-96663-7 $19.99

(3) Illustrated by Jim LaMarche. With her "kitten days" far behind her, Tiger Rose knows "It is time" and silently bids her human family goodbye. Alone, but content, she curls up under a rosebush, "and then she was gone, / now a part of the earth, the air, the sky, the sun - / and aU." Soft, dreamlike illustrations help create the peaceful mood in this poignant story, pr

Yorinks, Arthur The Invisible Man 32 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-156148-1 $16.99

(2) Illustrated by Doug Cushman. When fruit seller Sy fades away to invisibitity one morning, it's an inexplicable inconvenience: though doctors are unfazed, Sy's customers are put off by his swathed, subsequently mummy-tike, head. The appealing premise, fey logic, and offbeat hero are much abetted by Cushman's deftly drafted iUustrations with a bright palette keyed to Sy's beloved fruit. Review 1/11. jrl

Young, Cybèle Ten Birds 32 pp. Kids Can isbn 978-1-55453-568-2 $16.95

(2) In a clever, handsomely illustrated counting book, ten birds, described in report-card lingo ("Brilliant"; "Highly Satisfactory") endeavor to cross a river. Happening on some odd mechanical devices, each contrives its own transport. It's "Needs Improvement" who's smart enough to simply walk over the bridge. This may suit fledgling surrealists better than budding engineers; Young's elegant pen-and-ink drawings are rife with entertaining incongruities. Review 5/11. jrl

Young, Judy A Book for Black-Eyed Susan 32 pp. Sleeping Bear isbn 978-1-58536-463-3 $16.95

(4) Illustrated by Doris Ettlinger. Tales of Young Americans series. The story begins with Cora's mother's death during childbirth along the Oregon Trail. Difficult decisions pioneers had to make aren't sugarcoated: Cora's father gives the baby, named Susan, to her aunt to raise. In a fairytale ending, little Susan appears in teacher Cora's classroom. There's a fair bit of sentimentality in the text and prairiethemed illustrations, but the story line is engaging, mlb

Young, Judy A Pet for Miss Wright 32 pp. Sleeping Bear isbn 978-1-58536-509-8 $15.95

(4) illustrated by Andrea Wesson. In this adult-centered story, aspiring author Mrs. Wright believes that a pet will help cure her loneliness. After a mynah bird, monkey, and others fail, a trusty canine, who happens to be an excellent writing companion (even fetching a dictionary and a thesaurus), supports the writer, and her story is accepted for publication. Patterned illustrations accented with cheery florals convey a homey setting, smg

Young, Ned Zoomer's Summer Snowstorm 32 pp. HarperCollins/Harper isbn 978-0-06-170092-7 $16.99

(4) In his second book, Zoomer's unbridled imagination again carries him away from the task at hand. This time, a snow-cone machine gone wild allows the pooch to build (from snow) a train, roller coaster, and enormous snow animals. Inventive illustrations propel the slight story, as cool snow sculptures fill Zoomer's yard on a hot summer day. chs

Zia, F. Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji 32 pp. Lee isbn 978-1-60060-443-0 $17.95

(3) Illustrated by Ken Min. Aneel's Dada-ji (paternal grandfather) tells an exaggerated story of his youth and how he gained "the power of the tiger" by eating the best roti in town. Excited by the tale, Aneel experiments in the kitchen to re-create the Indian flatbread and likewise gain superhuman strength. Warm acrylic and colored-pencil drawings zestfully capture the tale within a tale. A Hindi glossary is appended, sjw

Ziefert, Harriet Grandma's Wedding Album 40 pp. Blue Apple isbn 978-1-60905-058-0 $17.99

(4) Illustrated by Karla Gudeon. Two children discover their grandparents' wedding attire in the attic. This prompts Grandma to bring out her treasured photo album. The nostalgic narrative, told as a story within a story, highlights Grandma's first picnic with Poppy and his marriage proposal, among other milestones. Detailed paintings with flowery borders reinforce the tale's sentimentality. Back matter includes wedding traditions from twenty cultures, smg

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