Native American Girl

The American Girls Collection welcomes a new character: Kaya, a member of the Nez Perce tribe. Billed as the "first" American Girl, Kaya's story takes place in 1764, before European-Americans made their way to the Pacific Northwest. The series, written in consultation with the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee, includes six titles by Janet Shaw, illus. by Bill Farnsworth. The first, Meet Kaya, introduces Kaya as she and her horse take part in a dangerous bareback race and she leaves her twin brothers unattended. The boys wander off, and Kaya faces punishment by her people. Kaya's Escape!; Kaya's Hero; Kaya and Lone Dog; Kaya Shows the Way; and Changes for Kaya will be released simultaneously. Each contains a "Looking Back" section, with photographs, that provides historical details about the Nez Perce tribe. (Pleasant, $12.95 each 80p ages 7-12 ISBN 1-58485-424-3; Escape -426-X; Hero -428-6; Dog -430-8; Way -432-4; Changes -434-0; paper $5.95 each -423-5; -425-1; -427-8; -429-4; -431-6; -433-2; Sept.)

They're Back!

Young readers will welcome this fall batch of reissues. Written when she was just 14, Elizabeth Taylor's Nibbles and Me provides an innocent account of the child actress's experiences and her adventures with her pet chipmunk. The memoir—first issued in 1946—contains Taylor's original b&w sketches as well as photographs of the two friends together. Chapter titles include "Concerning, Among Other Things, My Most Wonderful Birthday." (S&S, $15.95 96p all ages ISBN 0-689-85334-3; Oct.)

Anthony Browne's Gorilla reappears this fall, nearly 20 years after its original publication. The surreal story captures Hannah on the eve of her birthday and follows her escapades with a toy gorilla gift that comes to life; art and film fans will enjoy seeing gorilla mugs in place of the faces on the Mona Lisa, Whistler's mother and Superman, among others. (Candlewick, $14.99 40p ages 5-8 ISBN 0-7636-1813-6; Sept.)

If I Had a Gorilla by Mercer Mayer, reissued on the occasion of the book's 35th anniversary, chronicles the wistful desires of a boy in need of bully protection. "If I had a gorilla, I'd take him to school. Then the big kids wouldn't pick on me—if I had a gorilla." Other Mercer Mayer titles being reissued are You're the Scaredy-Cat; Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-a-Zoo; and One Monster After Another. (McGraw-Hill, $15 each 40p ages 4-8 ISBN 1-57768-686-1; -689-6; -687-X; -688-8; May)

Return Engagements

Favorite characters enjoy all-new adventures in a handful of companion books. The hapless hen returns in her sixth title, Minerva Louise and the Red Truck by Janet Morgan Stoeke, in which she unwittingly mistakes golfers for farmers at work in the field and a construction site for a playground. "I love to slide," she says when she sees a cement truck unloading. (Dutton, $14.99 32p ages 2-6 ISBN 0-525-46909-5; Sept.)

Fans of Angelina Ballerina will want the 12th installment in the series, Angelina and Henry by Katharine Holabird, illus. by Helen Craig. Here, Uncle Louis takes the mouse cousins camping on Big Cat Mountain. When the two lose their way and a thunderstorm closes in, Angelina must assuage Henry's fears. (Pleasant, $12.95 24p ages 3-up ISBN 1-58485-523-1; Aug.)

Ten years and 10 titles later (including Froggy Learns to Swim) a favorite amphibian is still kicking in Froggy Goes to the Doctor by Jonathan London, illus. by Frank Remkiewicz. Froggy's nervousness subsides—and the check-up turns cheeky—when he engages in his trademark antics. (Viking, $15.99 32p ages 2-6 ISBN 0-670-03578-5; Sept.)

Optimism shines forth in Nicky and the Rainy Day by Valeri Gorbachev. "Let's go to the desert," Nicky suggests. "[It] is sunny and bright, with beautiful yellow sand, and it never rains there." The star of Nicky and the Big, Bad Wolves leads his siblings on an indoor adventure, and when the weather clears, the family heads outside. (North-South/Cheshire, $15.95 32p ages 4-7 ISBN 0-7358-1644-1; July)

Newbery Medalist Jean Craighead George extends the audience for My Side of the Mountain with Frightful's Daughter, a picture book starring a peregrine offspring of that novel's feathered heroine. When two of Frightful's three babies are stolen, Sam Gribley (Frightful's human buddy from the novel) captures Oksi for safekeeping, bringing her to his home deep in the forest. Daniel San Souci's watercolors portray the falcon's grace and the beauty of the natural setting. (Dutton, $16.99 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-525-46907-9; Sept.)