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Patrick McDonnell, . . Little, Brown, $14.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-316-00509-8

McDonnell (The Gift of Nothing ) continues a winning run of books about friendship starring the clown-nosed cat Mooch. Abandoning dialogue and experimenting with ink-wash sketches, McDonnell introduces a bird whose flock has flown south without him. Scene after scene delivers an emotional wallop as the bird realizes with a shock that his friends have departed (petite drops of sweat leap off his head), collapses in tears (the words “weep weep weep” appear above him), then gazes in amazement at Mooch’s extended paw, a wordless offer to take him to his friends. This small-format book is as neatly paced as a Chaplin movie, with the same tugging at the heartstrings and silent humor. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)