Vintage Sendak

HarperCollins kicks off its two-year program to reissue 22 of the inimitable Maurice Sendak's early works with four new hardcover editions (see Children's Books, May 28). The offerings include three books written by other authors and illustrated by Sendak: the 1954 I'll Be You and You Be Me by Ruth Krauss, one of Sendak's mentors; the 1963 How Little Lori Visited Times Square by Amos Vogel; and Isaac Bashevis Singer's 1967 Newbery Honor book, Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories. The fourth book is 1967's Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, which Sendak both wrote and illustrated. (HarperCollins: I'll Be You $14.95 40p ages 3-8 ISBN 0-06-028459-5; Little Lori $14.95 64p all ages -028462-5; Zlateh the Goat $15.95104p all ages -028477-3; Higglety Pigglety Pop! $14.95 80p ages 3-8 -028479-X; June)

Encore Performances

Katie (from Katie and the Mona Lisa and Katie Meets the Impressionists) goes on another art appreciation adventure in Katie and the Sunflowers by James Mayhew. This time she steps in and out of post-impressionist paintings, including Van Gogh's Sunflowers, Cézanne's Still Life with Apples and Oranges and Gauguin's Tahitian Pastorals. (Orchard, $15.95 32p ages 4-7 ISBN 0-531-30325-X; May) Rabbit, who loves daytime, and Hedgehog, who prefers the night, make their third appearance (after A Little Bit of Winter and The Birthday Presents) in Rabbit's Wish by Paul Stewart, illus. by Chris Riddell. Here a flood brings about the unlikely fulfillment of Rabbit's wish that he spend a whole day with Hedgehog. (HarperCollins, $12.95 32p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-06-029518-X; May) Those sports-loving series heroes introduced in Rhinos Who Surf are back in Rhinos Who Play Soccer by Julie Mammano. "Kick-off begins with a bang!/ They zigzag all over the pitch." Readers are in for a wildly colorful game; the terminology is explained in a glossary labeled "Turf Talk." (Chronicle, $12.95 32p ages 2-6 ISBN 0-8118-2779-8; June)

The striped kitten from Cleo the Cat frolics once more in Come Here, Cleo! by Stella Blackstone, illus. by Caroline Mockford. Minimal rhyming text and broad brushstrokes in striking colors show the kitten climbing a tree, chasing a butterfly and, in the end, kissing his owner. (Barefoot, $14.99 24p ages 6mos.- 4yrs. ISBN 1-84148-329-X; May) The big friendly fellow from Bear in a Square and Bear on a Bike enjoys all kinds of weather in Bear in Sunshine, also by Blackstone, illus. by Debbie Harter. Bear sings in the rain, makes snow-bears in winter and stands on his head in the moonlight. A final spread reviews the seasons. (Barefoot, $14.99 24p ages 6mos.-4yrs. ISBN 1-84148-321-4; May)

Strange Bedfellows

Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti mix with penguins in Some Folk Think the South Pole's Hot: The Three Tenors Play the Antarctic by Elke Heidenreich, illus. by Quint Buchholz, trans. by Aubrey M. Woolman, when the trio heads south to perform La Traviata. The rhyming text may be forced a bit, but fans of the formal-looking birds or of Verdi's opera will want to get a gander at Buchholz's detailed paintings. Not to be missed: the scene of Alfredo (played by Carreras) carting off a fading (but by no means frail) Violetta (played by Pavarotti). (Godine, $17.95 64p all ages ISBN 1-56792-170-1; June)

Learning Made Fun

"Ten seeds,/ one ant./ Nine seeds,/ one pigeon." As the countdown begins in Ten Seeds by Ruth Brown, children watch the seeds (then seedlings, shoots and plants) disappear from various encounters. The last seed survives, turning into a sunflower and then dropping 10 seeds so the cycle will begin again. Printed on sturdy stock, the book's full-spread art gives readers an up-close look at gardening. (Knopf, $9.95 24p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-375-80697-0; May) With pull-tabs, a flap and a pop-up, Do You Have My Quack? by Keith Faulkner, illus. by Rob Hefferan, teaches young children animal sounds. A 10-inch square format allows large-scale illustrations of the protagonist, Little Duckling, and the farm animals she meets, all of them presented in a whimsical style. (Scholastic/Cartwheel, $10.95 12p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-439-24085-9; May) In We'll Go Sailing by Maggee Spicer and Richard Thompson, illus. by Kim LaFave, a rhyming text about three friends at sea and spreads enhanced with gatefold flaps focus readers' attention on colors. (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $16.95 32p ages 2-5 ISBN 1-55041-662-6; May)