Historic Moments

Kenneth C. Davis once again uses a Q&A format, this time detailing the lives of the 43 men who have led the nation, in Don't Know Much About the Presidents, illus. by Pedro Martin. Alongside amusing stories (e.g., "By the time Washington became president, he had only one tooth of his own"), each section also includes each president's term, a timeline of major events and opens with a presidential quote. (HarperCollins, $15.95 64p ages 6-9 ISBN 0-06-028615-6; Jan.)

The latest installment of the Young American Voices series, Rose's Journal: The Story of a Girl in the Great Depression, by Marissa Moss, covers the "Dirty Thirties." Set on a Kansas farm, Rose's pink-lined pages contrast with her handwritten account of dust storms and drought so severe that birds, lacking their usual materials, made nests of barbed wire. Captioned sketches and historical b&w photographs lend authenticity to this well-researched account. (Harcourt/Silver Whistle, $15 48p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-15-202423-9; Oct.)

Also set in Kansas, author Celia Barker Lottridge bases The Wind Wagon on the true story of Sam Peppard's dream to sail west across the windy prairies on his eye-catching invention in 1859. B&w illustrations by Daniel Clifford show wheels whizzing as the boat-like carriage passes horse-drawn wagons. (Groundwood [PGW, dist.], $3.95 paper 46p ages 8-11 ISBN 0-88899-234-3; Oct.)

The oversize volume The Story of the Titanic by Eric Kentley opens with brief stories of actual passengers; icons assigned to each allow readers to "follow their different fates" as the tragic tale unfolds. Steve Noon's double-page illustrations offer cutaway views of the "Ship of Dreams" and its lavish interiors. Inset text provides a chronology of the events, from loading the ship to the final exodus. Back matter provides a follow-up history (including the individuals introduced at the beginning) as well as a glossary and index. (DK, $17.95 32p ages 5-8 ISBN 0-7894-7943-5; Oct.)

The latest installment in the Great Explorers series, Despite All Obstacles: La Salle and the Conquest of the Mississippi, by Joan Elizabeth Goodman and illus. by Tom McNeely, traces the life and journeys of the intrepid French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, better known as La Salle. McNeely's watercolors effectively evoke the frontier landscape, and a cleverly designed fold-out map allows readers to follow expedition routes alongside each page of text. (Mikaya [Firefly, dist.], $19.95 48p ages 8-up ISBN 1-931414-01-7; Dec.)

Guided by the stories of four families known to live in the titular tenement, author Linda Granfield provides an illuminating look at life at the turn of the century and beyond in 97 Orchard Street, New York: Stories of Immigrant Life. Arlene Alda's sensitive b&w photographs of the building, which has been preserved as the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, share space with historical images and artifacts from the museum's collection, as well as photographs of the neighborhood today. (Tundra, $15 paper 56p all ages ISBN 0-88776-580-8; Nov.)

Born to Fly: The Heroic Story of Downed U.S. Navy Pilot Lt. Shane Osborn by Shane Osborn with Malcolm McConnell tells the story of a young American pilot, his life-long love of flying and the fateful events that led him to receive the Navy's highest airmanship honor. Michael French adapted the book for young readers from the simultaneously published adult title, Born to Fly: The Untold Story of the Downed American Reconnaissance Plane. (Delacorte, $15.95 192p ages 10-up ISBN 0-385-72999-5; Nov.)

Aviation enthusiasts will also welcome The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Book of Flight by Judith Rinard. Packed with over 400 photographs and illustrations, this informative offering looks at humankind's earliest airborne efforts, including a sidebar about Leonardo da Vinci's famous sketches of "ornithopters," or "flapping-wing machines," and the Wright Brothers' 1903 flight at Kitty Hawk. Later sections focus on postwar barnstormers, Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. (Firefly, $24.95 128p ages 10-up ISBN 1-55209-619-X; $14.95 paper -599-1; Nov.)

Money Matters

A grandmother realizes her goal—to give her grandchildren money and teach them the "language of business"—in The Young Investor: Projects and Activities for Making Your Money Grow by Katherine Bateman. Here, Bateman, a former vice president of a major investment firm, translates five years' worth of research about saving, investing, the economy and the stock market and translates it into language that "tweens"—and financially challenged adults—can understand. A glossary, bibliography, Web sites and phone numbers are also included. (Chicago Review, $13.95 paper 144p ages 9-up ISBN 1-55652-396-3; Nov.)

Just for Fun

Tim Weare creates a pair of Hand-Puppet Books that kids can bring to life. There's a friendly-looking monster hiding inside Hide-and-Seek with Leo. Kids simply stick a fist inside its latex head to make him speak. Various backdrops allow him to hide out in the toy closet and behind the bathroom door. A google-eyed brown bear waits inside Sweet Dreams, Honey Bear. (Scholastic/Cartwheel, $14.95 each 10p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-439-29719-2; -29720-6; Oct.)

Sure to stir the stomach, Roald Dahl's Even More Revolting Recipes, with excerpts from Roald Dahl's oeuvre, an introduction by Felicity Dahl and recipes by Lori-Ann Newman, features foods from the author's best-loved books. Derived from James and the Giant Peach, "Pickled Spines of Porcupine" is made of meringue; "Toad-in-the-Hole"—a meat stuffed potato—comes from Danny the Champion of the World. Quentin Blake's humorous illustrations transform full-color photographs by Jan Baldwin. (Viking, $17.99 64p all ages ISBN 0-670-03515-7; Oct.)

Treasure Hunt Mazes by Roger Moreau places young puzzlers on a quest to reclaim hidden treasure from guardian Baron Von Maze. Moreau's intricately illustrated full-color stumpers include a skeleton-strewn jail, rat-infested interiors and a room full of scattered weapons. Back pages provide solutions. (Sterling, $7.95 paper 80p ages 7-12 ISBN 0-8069-6633-5; Nov.)

Jean Marzollo's riddles and Walter Wick's smashing photography combine from an amalgam of previous hits in I Spy Year-Round Challenger! A Picture Book of Riddles. "I spy three walnuts, four almonds, four bows," begins January's riddle, and "The Holly and the Ivy" is from I Spy Christmas. In November's "Nature Close Up": "I spy a pencil, four blueberries, a bee/ And a winged pair of seeds from a maple tree." (Scholastic/Cartwheel, $13.95 40p ages 5-up ISBN 0-439-31634-0; Nov.)