Familiar Faces

For fans of Parts, Tedd Arnold returns with More Parts, continuing the theme of twisted idioms that strike fear in the heart of the uninitiated child. For example, when Dad asks his son to "Please give him a hand!" the bug-eyed boy is shown holding his unhinged appendage by the thumb. (Dial, $15.99 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-8037-1417-3; Sept.)

Rosemary Wells's popular rabbits return for Bunny Party. This time around, Max and Ruby host a birthday bash for Grandma. But each time Ruby sets the table, Max not only replaces Ruby's guests with his own, he also adds a few more in the process. (Viking, $15.99 32p ages 3-8 ISBN 0-670-03501-7; Sept.)

The two witches mix things up in Alice and Greta's Color Magic by Steven J. Simmons, illus. by Cyd Moore. In an attempt to get back at Alice, Greta casts a spell that drains the world of color—including her favorite green. Mayhem ensues until Alice and Greta decide to work together to set things right. (Knopf, $14.95 32p ages 5-8 ISBN 0-375-81245-8; Sept.)

The star of A Cuddle for Claude returns for two board books with interactive parts. In What Will You Wear, Claude? each article from the pint-size polar bear's wardrobe (a running suit, party costume, swimsuit) comes permanently attached to the back cover with a colorful ribbon. Stick it in the slot on each page and Claude is instantly clad. A sturdy dresser in the back lets children "Help Claude to put away all his clothes!" In Whatever the Weather, Claude! children match a different toy to each seasonal spread. (Dutton, $7.99 each 10p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-525-46670-3; -46668-1; Sept.)

Laura Numeroff's What Grandmas Do Best and What Grandpas Do Best, both illus. by Lynn Munsinger, return in miniature gift editions. Unlike the two-titles-in-one original, Grandma and Grandpa get separate treatment in these two distinct books. Still, the text remains the same, describing how grandparents "play hide-and-seek" and "help you build a sandcastle." (S&S, $6.95 each 24p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-689-84700-9; -84701-7; Sept.)

The exuberant heroine of Jamela's Dress returns in a new adventure, What's Cooking, Jamela? by Niki Daly, that finds her determined to save Christmas, her pet chicken, from a starring role in the family's holiday meal. In a most satisfactory ending, Mama and Jamela prepare a vegetarian meal for the family instead. The tale opens a window on South African culture, from a school nativity play ("Jamela played Mary and carried baby Jesus on her back like a real mama") to brightly patterned fabrics and a sprinkling of colorful Xhosa and Zulu vocabulary. (FSG, $16 32p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-374-35602-5; Oct.)

Baku the crocodile and Taki from The Heart of Friendship reunite for Friends Again? by H.J. Arrington, illus. by JoAnn E. Kitchel. Baku has been banished from his village, but he's certain he will be welcomed back if Taki can help him find a cure for the crocodiles' dying leader. The tropical landscape brims with leafy tendrils, ripening fruit and vibrant red flowers. (Pelican, $14.95 32p ages 5-8 ISBN 1-56554-834-5; Nov.)

The gentle primer Red Is a Dragon by Roseanne Thong, illus. by Grace Lin, does for colors what their Round Is a Mooncake did for shapes, in a felicitous meeting between East and West. The girl who narrated the previous book here serves as tour guide through 10 hues, each of which dominates a spread redolent with the saturated colors and intricate patterns of Chinese textiles and paintings. (Chronicle, $13.95 40p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-8118-3177-9; Oct.)

The Mind Behind HP

In a highly accessible Q&A format, the author of the Harry Potter books reveals what it was like for her growing up—her family life, pets and school days—as well as her career as a writer in Conversations with J.K. Rowling by Lindsey Fraser. Excerpts from her interviews with Oprah, Newsweek and Larry King, among others, are also included, along with brief plot descriptions of books one through four. (Scholastic, $4.99 paper 96p all ages ISBN 0-439-31455-0; Sept.)

Babar Is Back!

A trio of reissues bring back the beloved elephant in a starring role. The last book to be published before his death, Jean de Brunhoff's Babar and Father Christmas (1940) follows the hero in search of Santa as he attempts to bring Yuletide cheer to Elephants' country. A few spreads were finished by de Brunhoff's then 12-year-old son Laurent. (Random, $15.95 48p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-375-91444-7; Sept.)

That 12-year-old boy grew up to create some Babar books of his own. In Babar and the Ghost by Laurent de Brunhoff, first published in 1981, the pachyderm and family meet a friendly spirit in a haunted castle. But only the children can see him. Pom, Flora and Alexander find a reclusive forest animal in Babar and the Wully-Wully (1975) also by Laurent de Brunhoff. When they bring it home to Celesteville, Rataxes the rhino captures him for his own. Fortunately, Flora finds a peaceful solution. (Abrams, $16.95 each 40p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-8109-4398-0; -4397-2; Oct.)

Good for Grownups

In a moving collection of more than 20 speeches and essays, seven of which have never appeared in book form, The Invisible Child: On Reading and Writing Books for Children by two-time Newbery Medalist and National Book Award winner Katherine Paterson provides insight into why and for whom she writes. A volume every bit as inspiring as her other collections of speeches, A Sense of Wonder and Gates of Excellence. (Dutton, $24.99 272p ages 10-up ISBN 0-525-46482-4; Nov.)

Focusing on the lives of girls aged 10-14, What I Wish You Knew: Letters from Our Daughters' Lives, and Expert Advice on Staying Connected presents over 200 letters to the editors of American Girl magazine alongside expert advice and practical suggestions for parents. Psychologists, educators, doctors and the girls themselves weigh in on such topics as dating and sexuality, and smoking, drinking, and drugs. This useful resource concludes with a list of books for further reading and organizations that specialize in helping teens. (Pleasant, $12.95 paper 220p ISBN 1-58485-329-8; Sept.)

The newly revised and updated fifth edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease uses his trademark Q&A format to address such issues as television, library funding and the Harry Potter phenomenon. A "Treasury of Read-Alouds" in the back of the book suggests starting points for parents. (Penguin, $15 320p all ages ISBN 0-14-100161-5; Sept.)