Welcome Additions

The adventurous black lab from Sally Goes to the Beach heads to the range in Sally Goes to the Mountains by Stephen Huneck. Here she discovers an evasive rabbit, has a humorous exchange with an owl and takes a swim, and the final pages offer readers a surprise. Huneck's woodblock prints capture the rolling landscape and incorporate some abstract twists (such as a tree that grows dog food). (Abrams, $17.95 38p ISBN 0-8109-4485-5; May)

The dynamic duo that first met in the beginning reader Iris and Walter are back in Iris and Walter: True Friends by Elissa Haden Guest, illus. by Christine Davenier. With Walter's help, Iris slowly befriends a horse called Rain, then works up to riding her; and Iris heads to her new school. The two are as engaging as ever. (Harcourt, $14 44p ages 6-9 ISBN 0-15-202121-3; May)

Laurence Yep continues the adventures of Chinese-American ballet student Robin Lee, previously met in Ribbons and The Cook's Family, in Angelfish, a twist on "Beauty and the Beast." Robin has just landed the role of Beauty in a ballet recital when she accidentally breaks the window of a pet-fish store belonging to the beastly Mr. Tsow, who sentences her to three months of work to make up for the damage. Aided by her Chinese-born grandmother, Robin discovers that Mr. Tsow had been a ballet star in China until the Cultural Revolution forced his "reeducation," and with this knowledge she brings about his transformation. (Putnam, $16.99 224p ages 10-up ISBN 0-399-23041-6; June)

Quinney Todd, the level-headed middle-grader introduced in Totally Confidential, finds her friendships in trouble in Bad Girl Blues by Sally Warner. She, Marguerite and Brynn have always been best friends, but then Marguerite starts acting reckless. Brynn wants nothing to do with Marguerite, but Quinney doesn't have that option—because her parents take Marguerite in to shield her from her own father's anger. A subplot includes Quinney's volunteer job at an animal shelter. (HarperCollins, $15.95 224p ages 10-14 ISBN 0-06-028274-6; June)

Two additions to the Poetry for Young People series include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. by Frances Schoonmaker, illus. by Chad Wallace, and Robert Browning, ed. by Eileen Gillooly, illus. by Joel Spector. Both follow the format of previous titles, beginning with a brief biography and incorporating a generous sampling of the poet's works. The first volume features an excerpt from Longfellow's "The Song of Hiawatha" and his complete "Paul Revere's Ride." Browning's "My Last Duchess" and his relationship to his wife, poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, gain attention in the latter volume. (Sterling, $14.95 each 48p ages 8-up ISBN 0-8069-5543-0; -5543-0; May)

Concepts Made Fun

Two entries in the Slide-the-Spot Book of Colors series use interactive die-cut pages to teach simple concepts. In Spots and Slots by Sam Williams, illus. by Manya Stojic, youngsters can slide a yellow spot across a die-cut track into a slot, and the spot disappears into the next spread. When they turn the page, the spot, as if by magic, has changed to purple, and so on. The one caveat: all the spots must be put back into their original places before the book can be read again. In Happy Cat, Me! by Ken Wilson-Max, also illus. by Stojic, the spot is the face of a cat that is not satisfied with its body. Youngsters get to try placing Pussycat's face on the bodies of other animals. (Scholastic/Cartwheel, $9.95 each 10p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-439-24064-6; -24065-4; May)

With sample chalk drawings and a piece of chalk included, Sidewalk ABC and Sidewalk 123 by Julie Markes, illus. by Jennifer Markes, offer ideas for children to practice their letters and numbers al fresco or on the bound-in chalkboard. A spread in ABC shows an apple for "A" and a butterfly for "B"; each spread of 123 shows the numeral opposite the number of objects it represents (e.g., a dozen stars appear for "12"). (HarperCollins, $8.95 ages 3-5 ABC 24p ISBN 0-694-01455-9; 123 12p -01500-8; May)

A plastic block, attached by a ribbon, shows through the die-cut window at the center of four Busy Block Books: Faces, Shapes, Colors and Animals, all by Patty Smith, illus. by James Lee Croft. Children must figure out which side of the block best fits into each picture. For example, in Animals, the cube has a body part on each side. One page contains a missing "tail," so children have to find the side of the block that completes the picture. (Running Press, $8.95 each 12p ages 1-3 ISBN 0-7624-0933-9; -1008-6; -1009-4; -1010-8; July)

In another animal-themed approach, Animal Match by Simone Abel asks youngsters to place 16 magnetized animal pieces (all on a pull-out tray that acts as the book's front cover) on four spreads of different habitats (each gets a spread in an oversize chunky board book). Color and picture clues will aid youngest readers, while older children can match animals to their habitats based on questions (e.g., "What swings through the trees and lives in a group?"). (Dial, $14.99 8p ages 2-8 ISBN 0-8037-2645-7; May)

Hershey's kisses and miniature clowns introduce simple addition concepts in The Hershey's Kisses Addition Book by Jerry Pallotta, illus. by Rob Bolster. For example, a clown starts out on a skateboard juggling three kisses while his friend, holding one kiss, whizzes past, and all four kisses, plus the knocked-down clowns wind up together in a heap. (Scholastic/Cartwheel, $10.95 32p ages 5-8 ISBN 0-439-26728-5; May)

In another food-related board book, Toucan Sam, the familiar face on the cereal box, introduces colors: Kellogg's Froot Loops: Color Fun Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath, illus. by Frank Mazzola Jr. A rhyme on each spread asks toddlers to find a specific colored Froot Loop and then place it into a matching die-cut opening. (HarperCollins/Festival, $5.99 16p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-694-01577-6; June)

With 30 flaps and tabs and more than 80 hidden objects, Colors by Robert Crowther also presents colors to young children. Each spread is a solid hue, but when youngsters pull the tabs and lift the flaps, the name of the color shows through on the left and, on the right, color-coordinated objects stand out in their die-cut frames. For example, on the blue spread, a sapphire, a swimming pool and a peacock appear, each clearly labeled. (Candlewick, $12.99 16p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-7636-1404-1; June)

Two new board books by Petr Horácek burst with color, shrinking pages and clever designs. In What Is Black and White?, young readers learn that "the night is black" and "the goose is white" as the die-cut pages grow smaller. The last spread shows a zebra whose body is partly made up of the graduated pattern formed by the edges of the previous die-cut pages. Luscious fruit fills the shaped pages in Strawberries Are Red. A die-cut on the last spread reveals a fruit salad. (Candlewick, $4.99 each 14p ages 2-up ISBN 0-7636-1460-2; -1461-0; June)

Unfold the die-cut shaped pages of Richard Scarry's Longest Counting Parade Ever! by Richard Scarry and watch the parade march on... and on... and on. This eight-foot-long book invites readers to count from "One big batonmaster!" to "Ten toot-tooting tubas!" with some of Scarry's best known characters. (S&S/Little Simon, $12.95 12p ages 4-7 ISBN 0-689-84362-3; June)

It's All About Trucks

Youngest children can have a turn at the wheel in Drive This Book by Wernher Krutein and Bill Goidell. If they press a tire on each of 10 vehicles, they can hear the engines roar, including an ambulance, school bus and fire trucks. (Chronicle, $7.95 10p ages 3 mos.-3 yrs. ISBN 0-8118-2861-1; May)

The sights and sounds of a construction site come to life in Big Noisy Trucks and Diggers. Children take the driver's seat as the text, along with road sign cues, tells them what to do while operating the five different machines. The "excavator," the "off-highway truck and front shovel" and others are pictured in full color, with a sound button for each. (Chronicle, $12.95 14p ages 2-6 ISBN 0-8118-3173-6; May)

Big Trucks and Diggers in 3D by Mark Blum allows readers to view a "TH103 Telescopic Handler" (named for an extension that stretches out like a telescope) and a "854G Wheel Dozer" through a pair of 3D lenses built into the front-cover flap. After looking at these massive machines, children can find out how each one operates. (Chronicle, $14.95 56p ages 6-up ISBN 0-8118-3172-8; May)

Aspiring artists can learn how to draw a "Track-Type Tractor" and a "Soil Compactor" in the spiral-bound volume Drawing Trucks and Diggers, A Book of 10 Stencils. Each die-cut stencil page acts as a frame for a color photograph and a drawn illustration of the machine (with the parts labeled, along with a description of what each does) on either side of it, so that it frames both photograph and drawing perfectly. (Chronicle, $9.95 30p ages 5-up ISBN 0-8118-3174-4; May)

I Love Trucks! by Philemon Sturges, illus. by Shari Halpern, now in paperback, shows bright and colorful black outlined illustrations of a tow truck, a street sweeper and a backhoe in action. From the same team and in the same format ("I like trains that hoot and roar/ as they rumble by my door"), I Love Trains! demonstrates a flatcar carrying a veiled massive airplane ("secret stuff that's under wrap"), among other cargo. The books show the featured trucks and train cars on the endpapers. (HarperCollins, both 32p ages 3-6 Trucks $5.95 Trophy paper ISBN 0-06-443758-2; Trains $12.95 -028900-7; May)