All Aboard!

Board books abound for babies and toddlers. The sleek design and artful photography that made Penny Gentieu's Baby! Talk and Wow! Babies! just right for this sturdy format also applies to her record of baby's first year, Grow! Babies! Key monthly milestones (smiling, rolling over, crawling, etc.) are marked throughout. (Crown, $5.99 22p ages 6 mos.-4 yrs. ISBN 0-375-82208-9; Aug.)

Two handsize titles by Todd Parr feature his signature design and offbeat humor. Funny Faces unfold in color-saturated spreads with cartoon-like expressions drawn in a thick black line. Going Places focuses on transportation, from a plane to a magic carpet. (Little, Brown/Tingley, $4.95 each 14p ages 6 mos.-3 yrs. ISBN 0-316-69199-2; -69138-0; Sept.)

Good Night, Poppy and Max: A Bedtime Counting Book by Lindsey Gardiner highlights the duo's nightly ritual: "It's time for bed, but first Poppy... drinks one glass of milk" (followed by two cookies, three doggy treats, etc.). The border of each spread gradually fills up with 10 different items. (Little, Brown, $6.95 22p ages 6 mos.-3 yrs. ISBN 0-316-60122-5; Sept.)

Jewish delicacies create a smorgasbord in Let's Nosh! by Amy Wilson Sanger, the latest addition to the World Snacks series. " 'Carrot tsimmes,' calls my tummy,/ 'Let's nosh on kasha knish'/ Look how I made/ mish-mosh/ of my gefilte fish!" Colorful collages of fabrics, ribbon and more whet the appetite. (Tricycle, $6.95 20p ages 1-3 ISBN 1-58246-081-7; Sept.)

John Schindel follows up Busy Penguins with Busy Monkeys, photographed by Luiz Claudio Marigo. Playful couplets enumerate their activities: "Monkey hiding/ Monkey riding/ Monkey leaping/ Monkey creeping." Full-color photographs of South American and African monkeys transport readers to the rain forest. (Tricycle, $6.95 20p ages 1-3 ISBN 1-58246-082-5; Aug.)

More animals turn up in Who Hoots? and Who Hops?, converted from picture books by Katie Davis. Neon-bright colors make the creatures stand out. A question ("Who hoots?") triggers a series of correct statements, one per page ("Dogs don't hoot"). A wrong answer ("Owls don't hoot") signals the turning point and sets the stage for an ecological primer ("Yes they do! Owls have swively necks and stay up all night, and they definitely hoot!"). (Harcourt/Red Wagon, $5.95 each 34p ages 6 mos.-3 yrs. ISBN 0-15-216616-5; -216608-4; Sept.)

Humorous rhymes and an unusual conclusion combine in a boy's search for his stuffed toy in the forest in Where's My Teddy? by Jez Alborough, now available as a board book. (Candlewick, $6.99 24p ages 2-4 ISBN 0-7636-1868-3; Aug.)

A cumulative wordless tale of an animal chase builds in 123 Follow Me! by Philippe Dupasquier. Cleverly constructed, one chick (featured with the numeral and word "one") is chased by a hen (for "two"), who are followed by a cat ("three") and so on, in overlapping number-shaped pages that grow progressively longer with the addition of each new animal, up to 10 (and a surprise ending). (Candlewick, $6.99 20p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-7636-1797-0; Aug.)

One Bear, One Dog by Paul Stickland also introduces animals one at a time, in a rhyming text ("One kitten,/ One goose,/ One monkey,/ One moose"); different colored print distinguishes each creature. At the end, a mirror lets little ones join the parade. (Ragged Bear, $9.95 24p ages 6 mos.-5 yrs. ISBN 1-929927-48-7; Sept.)

Boredom Banished

A companion to Family Fun Parties: 100 Party Plans for Birthdays, Holidays & Every Day, Family Fun Boredom Busters: 365 Games, Crafts & Activities for Every Day of the Year, ed. by Deanna Cook and the staff of Family Fun magazine helps while away the hours. Grouped by category (Backyard Games, Rainy-Day Play, Brain Boosters, etc.), the activities (spiral-bound inside a hardcover casing) include playing a game of Octopus Tag (#66, "a cross between red rover and tag"), staging an "Indoor Camp-Out" (#118) and performing an "Amazing Eggs-periment" (#324), which uses the laws of physics to stuff a hard-boiled egg through the neck of a milk bottle. (Disney, $24.95 223p all ages ISBN 0-7868-5361-1; July)

For Smallest Hands Youngest booklovers can interact with several new titles. Kipper the winsome pup stars in two touch and feel titles based on the books by Mick Inkpen. In Kipper's Surprise, textured fabrics help readers keep pace with Kipper on his way to a party ("Is he going to the beach?" accompanies patches of scratchy sandpaper that comprise a sandcastle). In Kipper's Kite, the pooch dresses up in a "woolly scarf" and "scrunch[es] through leaves" on his way to the park. (Harcourt/Red Wagon, $7.95 each 10p ages 6 mos.-3 yrs. ISBN 0-15-216615-7; -216607-6; Oct.)

For Teddy-loving toddlers, Tickle Teddy: A Touch and Feel Book by David Ellwand is a sturdy board book with photos of the stuffed animals in action; textured fabric swatches invite little ones to tickle the bear's nose, toes and more. (Handprint, $12.95 10p ages 1-4 ISBN 1-929766-57-2; Sept.)

A big dog and his best friend reunite in Hooper Has Lost His Owner!: A Touch-and-Feel Pull-Tab Book by Marsha White. Rendered in acrylic, pastel and collage, humorous illustrations show the wayward pet at play in the park, then searching for his owner. He finds Prince and Poppy, the Poodles, at the hairdresser's with their owner, Mrs. Pinktop; readers lift dome dryers to touch the trio's curly coifs. (Little, Brown/Tingley, $13.95 22p ages 2-4 ISBN 0-316-06561-7; Sept.)

Gator is new to the neighborhood and he's looking for friends in Meet Gator: A Picture Clues Touch and Feel Book by Dorothea DePrisco, illus. by James Lee Croft. Illustrated flaps conceal key words in the text; colorful scenes include elements to touch. (Piggy Toes, $9.95 10p ages 3-up ISBN 1-58117-123-4; Aug.)

For winding down, The Sleepy Book by Diane Muldrow, illus. by Patti Ann Harris, offers a lulling, rhyming text: "Look out the window—/ it's the end of the day./ The sun is slowly fading away." Each spread offers a touch-and-feel element, from the sun in the opening spread, to a Teddy bear's tummy at the end. (Scholastic/'Cartwheel, $8.95 14p ages 1-4 ISBN 0-439-39494-5; Sept.)