Happy Anniversary, Charlotte & Wilbur

E.B. White's enduring classic celebrates in style with the release of the Charlotte's Web 50th Anniversary Retrospective Edition. The handsome volume sports a clothbound cover framing original jacket art; inside, Rosemary Wells adds country color to Garth Williams's original b&w illustrations. An afterword by Peter F. Neumeyer illuminates White's life and work, including photographs of the author on his farm in Maine as well as pages from the seminal manuscript. (HarperCollins, $29.95 224p all ages ISBN 0-06-000698-6; May)

Outdoor Adventures

Fans of Will Hobbs's wilderness adventure novels will welcome his Wild Man Island. Its hero, 14-year-old Andy Galloway, kayaks his way through an Alaskan strait and ends up on Admiralty Island on a quest inspired by the death of his archeologist father. (HarperCollins, $15.95 192p ages 10-up ISBN 0-688-17473-6; Apr.)

For the younger set, Little Raccoon by Lilian Moore, illus. by Doug Cushman, unites three previously published nature adventures (Little Raccoon and the Thing in the Pool; Little Raccoon and the Outside World; and Little Raccoon and No Trouble at All). Humorous b&w vignettes appear throughout the beginning chapter book. (Holt, $15.95 64p ages 7-10 ISBN 0-8050-6543-1; Apr.)

Encore Engagements

Valeri Gorbachev reassembles the winsome cast of Where Is the Apple Pie? in One Rainy Day, a romp of a counting book. "Why didn't you hide under a tree?" Goat asks when Pig, sopping wet, turns up on his porch. "I did," Pig replies, then launches into a list of the unlikely creatures who took shelter with him, from a mouse and two hedgehogs to a trio of water buffaloes, etc. (Philomel, $15.99 40p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-399-23628-7; May)

And two series—nearly 40 years apart in origin—receive new additions. In Patrick at the Circus by Geoffrey Hayes, part of the Adventures of Patrick Brown series, the excitement mounts as the bear family goes to the circus and Patrick's father, a former performer, stands in for the clown who's just quit. Even Patrick gets in on the act, running into the ring to nab the mischievous monkey who has stolen his father's wallet. (Hyperion, $15.99 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-7868-0716-4; May)

First published in 1947, Pookie Puts the World Right by Ivy Wallace follows the titular bunny as he banishes Winter for blowing down trees and leaving several residents of Bluebell Wood homeless. (Trafalgar Square, $8.95 paper 32p ages 5-8 ISBN 0-00-664735-9; Apr.)

The Writing Life

Joan Lowery Nixon, the four-time Edgar winner, reveals the life behind the craft in her memoir The Making of a Writer. An epilogue sharing the author's "Top Ten Writing Tips" encourages young hopefuls. (Random, $14.95 160p ages 10-up ISBN 0-385-73000-4; May)


Originally published in French as Le Grand Fossé (1980), the full-color graphic novel Asterix and the Great Divide by Albert Uderzo, trans. by Anthea Bell and Derek Hockbridge, returns to the days of the Gauls to document the attempts by the titular hero to unite a fractious town around the marriage of Histrionix and Melodrama, the son and daughter of rival leaders. The series also includes Asterix and the Black Gold (featuring the druid Getafix, the Phoenician merchant Ekonomikrisis and the Roman secret agent Dubbelosix) and Asterix and Son. (Orion [Sterling, dist.], $9.95 each paper 48p ages 10-up ISBN 0-75284-773-2; -774-0; -775-9; May)

Ana Maria Machado, winner of the 2000 Hans Christian Andersen Award, tells of a 10-year-old girl who becomes possessed by competing voices after finding a photo of her great-grandmother in Me in the Middle, trans. by David Unger, illus. in b&w by Caroline Merola. The first voice belongs to her Bisa Bea, who tells Bel stories of long ago but also tries to correct her behavior; the second helps Bel find her strength. First published in Brazil in 1982. (Groundwood, $14.95 112p ages 8-11 ISBN 0-88899-463-X; $5.95 paper -467-2; Apr.)

For the Love of the Dance

Two offerings aim to please dance enthusiasts. The first, Footnotes: Dancing the World's Best-Loved Ballets by Frank Augustyn and Shelley Tanaka, goes behind the scenes at seven ballets (including Giselle, Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet) to provide a history of the art. Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Margot Fonteyn are spotlighted as a look at the lives of dancers, choreographers, costume designers and others drives the informative text. A library edition of the book appeared last year. (Millbrook, $17.95 96p ages 10-up ISBN 0-7613-1646-9; Apr.)

Geared to a younger audience, Alexa Brandenberg's Ballerina Flying brings readers to the narrator's Tuesday ballet class. "My name is Mina and I love to dance.... But I like ballet dance best of all./ To me, ballet dance is like flying." Watercolor vignettes depict her preparations; on double-page spreads, Miss Viola demonstrates positions on the verso page; opposite, her students practice. French pronunciations are provided. (HarperCollins, $15.95 40p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-06-029549-X; May)

Living History

History comes to life in a trio of titles. Where Poppies Grow: A World War I Companion by Linda Granfield illustrates the tragic era in scrapbook style. Throughout, vintage postcards (written by soldiers to their loved ones at home), photographs and memorabilia—such as propaganda posters, books and "Infantry Training" cards that were inserted in cigarette packs—share space with accessible and informative text. The title references a line from "In Flanders Fields," which Granfield calls "the most popular poem of the Great War." (Stoddart Kids, $16.95 48p ages 8-up ISBN 0-7737-3319-1; May)

Now available in paperback, Scholastic's My America series gives primary-grade readers a firsthand feel for the events that shaped the nation. Our Strange New Land: Elizabeth's Jamestown Colony Diary by Patricia Hermes; Five Smooth Stones: Hope's Revolutionary War Diary by Kristiana Gregory; Freedom's Wings: Corey's Underground Railroad Diary by Sharon Dennis Wyeth; and My Brother's Keeper: Virginia's Civil War Diary by Mary Pope Osborne each inaugurate ongoing story lines. (Scholastic/My America, $4.99 paper each 112p ages 7-10 ISBN 0-439-36898-7; -36905-3; -36907-X; -36903-7; May)

Based on the true story of the 1894 forest fire that killed more than 400 residents of Hinckley, Minn., Firestorm by Jan Neubert Schultz follows a 13-year-old girl and her family on their desperate attempt to flee the lumber town aboard a crowded train. (Lerner/Carolrhoda, $15.95 204p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-87614-276-5; Apr.)

Cool Collections

Brer Rabbit and friends return in The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris. Originally issued in 1955 and compiled by folklorist Richard Chase, the collection includes all the original stories (the first of which appeared in 1880), b&w artwork and glossary. Barbara McClintock provides updated jacket art. (Houghton, $35 848p ages 8-up ISBN 0-618-15429-9; May)

Fans of Philippa Pearce will savor each of the 37 tales in Familiar and Haunting: Collected Stories. The volume brings together entries from The Rope and Other Stories, published in Great Britain in 2001; and from three books previously published in the U.S. as well: What the Neighbors Did and Other Stories (1973); The Shadow Cage and Other Tales of the Supernatural (1977); and Who's Afraid? and Other Strange Stories (1987). (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $16.95 400p ages 10-up ISBN 0-06-623964-8; May)

Michael Cadnum, Jane Yolen, Patricia A. McKillip and 15 others interpret an enduring legend through short stories and poetry in The Green Man: Tales From the Mythic Forest, ed. by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, illus. by Charles Vess. Brief biographies accompany the work of each author. (Viking, $18.99 400p ages 12-up ISBN 0-670-03526-2; May)

Readers will soak up the 11 stories collected in Island Boyz by Graham Salisbury, five of which have been previously published. Set on the Hawaiian beaches of his youth, the fiction revisits the terrain of Under the Blood-Red Sun and other Salisbury novels. (Random/Lamb, $16.95 288p ages 10-up ISBN 0-385-72970-7; Apr.)

In You Are Here This Is Now: The Best Young Writers and Artists in America, ed. by David Levithan, contemporary teens weigh in with 60 short stories, poems and essays plus photographs and paintings. The contributors, middle- and high school students, are winners of the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. A color insert is included. (Scholastic/Push, $6.99 258p ages 12-up ISBN 0-439-37618-1; Apr.)

Rise Up Singing!

Two new titles recast well-known numbers. Straight from The Wizard of Oz, Over the Rainbow by E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen pairs the timeless lyrics with gauzy watercolors by Julia Noonan (illus. of Mary Chapin Carpenter's Dreamland). Noonan imagines the narrator as a girl in denim overalls, dreaming of herself wearing a pink tutu and tiny gold crown doing a pas de deux with a toy kitten. Musical notation included. (HarperCollins, $15.95 32p all ages ISBN 0-06-028949-X; June)

A bear chases a girl up a tree and an unlikely savior sets her free in The Bear: An American Folk Song by Kenneth J. Spengler. "The other day,/ I met a bear—/ A way down there,/ A great big bear!" Humorous illustrations add a modern touch to the classic campfire call-and-repeat; musical notation rounds out the presentation. (Mondo, $15.95 ages 4-8 ISBN 1-59034-190-2; May)