The Story Goes On...

Fans will cheer a host of sequels and series additions hitting the shelves this fall. Graduates of Nursery Tales from Around the World by Judy Sierra, illus. by Stefano Vitale, will appreciate the fine sequel, Can You Guess My Name?: Traditional Tales Around the World. Sierra's division of these 15 impeccably researched tales into five categories, such as "Can You Guess My Name?: Tales Like 'Rumpelstiltskin,' " demonstrate common elements that link the globe-spanning stories; they subtly echo each other without overlapping. Vitale honors each tale's country of origin with his stunning oil-on-wood illustration style, painting blue-faced Sri Lankan ogresses and poised Swedish princesses with equal aplomb. (Clarion, $20 112p ages 7-up ISBN 0-618-13328-3; Oct.)

New York City's Central Park guinea pig PeeWee meets his match—and his dreams of starting a family come true—in PeeWee & Plush, the third installment in the Park Pals Adventure series by Johanna Hurwitz, illus. by Patience Brewster. (North-South/ SeaStar, $14.95 144p ages 7-10 ISBN 1-58717-191-0; Oct.)

Set in the mid 1800s, E. Cody Kimmel's One Sky Above Us, illus. by Scott Snow, picks up where To the Frontier—the inaugural title in The Adventures of Young Buffalo Bill series—left off. Now, Bill and his abolitionist family must fight for their land as pro-slavery forces seek to drive them off the Kansas territory. (HarperCollins, $15.99 208p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-06-029119-2; Oct.)

A pair of titles join Gail Carson Levine's Princess Tales series, illus. by Mark Elliott: The Fairy's Return, a spoof on "The Golden Goose"; and For Biddle's Sake, based on a little-known German tale, "Puddocky," about a girl who must put her own magic to work in order to fight off her guardian fairy's penchant for turning people into toads. (HarperCollins, $9.99 each 112p ages 7-12 ISBN 0-06-623800-5; -000094-5; Oct.)

Alice fans (and their younger friends) are in for a treat as Phyllis Reynolds Naylor turns back the clock on the popular series hero: Starting with Alice documents the ups and downs of Alice's third-grade year. Two additional prequels are planned, to bring the younger Alice up to the point where the original series opener, Alice in Agony, begins (see Children's Books, p. 27). (S&S/Atheneum, $15.95 192p ages 7-up ISBN 0-689-84395-X; Sept.)

Princess Sylvie and her family, characters in the out-of-print storybook introduced in The Great Good Thing, are overjoyed when their tale is republished. This sequel, Into the Labyrinth by Roderick Townley, explores the special challenges—and unimaginable threats—faced by the characters when they are uploaded onto the World Wide Web. (Atheneum/Jackson, $16.95 272p ages 10-up ISBN 0-689-84615-0; Oct.)

Young detective Flavia Gemina and her sidekicks Jonathan, Nubia and Lupus return in The Secrets of Vesuvius, the second in The Roman Mysteries series after The Thieves of Ostia. Here the quartet travels across the Bay of Naples to spend time with Flavia's uncle near Pompeii. They investigate a potentially treasure-yielding riddle, but when Vesuvius erupts, the friends run for their lives. (Millbrook/Roaring Brook, $15.95 192p ages 11-14 ISBN 0-7613-1583-7; Oct.)

The second in a planned quartet of historical novels set in Scotland (which began with Queen's Own Fool: A Novel of Mary Queen of Scots), Girl in a Cage by Jane Yolen and Richard J. Harris finds the 11-year-old daughter of the newly crowned King of Scotland kidnapped, imprisoned and put on display in an English town square by angry rivals in 1306. (Philomel, $19.99 240p ages 10-up ISBN 0-399-23627-9; Sept.)

Carolyn Meyer's Young Royals series continues with Doomed Queen Anne, based on the tragic events of Anne Boleyn's life. Told in the first person, Meyer's novel sensitively portrays Boleyn's childhood (at 13, she declared she would one day be Queen of England) through to the moments before her infamous end: death by beheading. (Harcourt/Gulliver, $17 240p ages 12-up ISBN 0-15-216523-1; Oct.)

Sequel to The Breadwinner, Parvana's Journey by Deborah Ellis follows the eponymous 12-year-old girl who, disguised as a boy, sets off from Kabul in search of her missing mother and siblings in Taliban-era Afghanistan. When war breaks out, she bands together with other displaced children. Royalties from the sale of the book go to Women for Women, a relief organization benefiting women in Afghanistan. (Groundwood, $15.95 176p ages 10-14 ISBN 0-88899-514-8; paper $5.95 -519-9; Oct.)

New Cheese for Teens

Spencer Johnson, M.D., adapts his bestselling adult title for a teenage audience, in Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens. Here a teenage student presents the parable (identical to that featured in the adult version) in the high school cafeteria: two mice and two "Littlepeople" (Hem and Haw) who search for cheese in a maze and react to change in distinctly different ways ("The Cheese stands for whatever's important to you—like getting on a team, having a boyfriend or girlfriend, getting into college..."). In a concluding discussion, the friends apply the parable to specific situations in their lives. The author's message about the importance of anticipating, accepting and using change to improve one's life can surely benefit this audience. (Putnam, $16.99 96p ages 10-up ISBN 0-399-24007-1; Oct.)

Happy Anniversary!

Break out the candles and cake: this season, old favorites mark special occasions in an array of anniversary editions. A gold-embossed cover and a limited-edition print suitable for framing embellish the 10th-anniversary edition of Can't You Sleep Little Bear? by Martin Waddell, illus. by Barbara Firth. PW wrote of this tale of Big Bear and exuberant toddler Little Bear settling down on a wintry night, "Move over, Goodnight Moon. Margaret Wise Brown's enduring bedtime classic may have found a worthy successor." (Candlewick, $15.99 32p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-7636-1929-9; Oct.)

Fuzzy felt on the cover lets readers pet the "biggest, reddest dog" on the block in Clifford the Big Red Dog 40th Anniversary Edition by Norman Bridwell. In this original 1963 text, young Emily proudly introduces her oversize pet and his unusual tricks. Through December 2002, a portion of the proceeds from sales of the book will benefit Reading Is Fundamental. (Scholastic/Cartwheel, $14.95 32p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-439-40396-0; Oct.)

From actor Alan Arkin, the 30th-anniversary edition of Tony's Hard Work Day is reissued with new illustrations by debut artist AnnMarie Infanger. When no one will accept his offer to help, Tony takes matters into his own hands. Infanger's full-bleed and panel paintings chart Tony's progress as he lays the foundation of "[his] own house," a log cabin with a chimney; even his b&w spotted dog gets in on the act, weaving a rug from tall grasses. (Gibbs Smith, $15.95 32p ages 5-8 ISBN 1-58685-181-0; Aug.)

On the eve of its 40th anniversary, Joan Walsh Anglund's Cowboy's Secret Life (1963) finds the hero of The Brave Cowboy and Cowboy and His Friend decked out in appropriate hat and spurs; he perceives more than others see. Anglund uses a splash of green in her pen-and-ink drawings to reveal a dragon at the bus stop or knights defending the school. (Andrews McMeel, $6.95 60p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-7407-2680-3; Sept.)

Peachtree's first release, If I Found a Wistful Unicorn: A Gift of Love (1978) by Ann Ashford, illus. by Bill Drath, extends a plethora of thoughtful propositions ("If I found a wistful unicorn and/ brought him to you, all forlorn.../ Would you pet him?") coupled with breezy watercolors. This hand-size volume is just right for presenting to someone special. (Peachtree, $8.95 32p all ages ISBN 1-56145-271-8; Sept.)

What in the World?

Several titles offer a perspective on history and world culture. The Little Encyclopedia of Our World by Angela Wilkes introduces curious youngsters to such subjects as the solar system and rain forests, along with ideas on "Saving Our Planet." The compact volume presents information in visually appealing chunks alongside color illustrations and simple activities. (Kingfisher, $11.95 paper 128p ages 5-8 ISBN 0-7534-5570-6; Sept.)

Readers travel back to Ancient Rome: Exploring the Culture, People and Ideas of This Powerful Empire by Avery Hart and Sandra Gallagher, illus. by Michael Kline, via accessible text, cartoon-like illustrations and activities—including the construction of an arched bridge and Roman road. The legend of Romulus and Remus, and "Rome's Decline and Fall" are among the interesting sidelines. (Williamson/Kaleidoscope Kids, $10.95 paper 96p ages 7-14 ISBN 1-885593-60-9; Sept.)

Youngsters get a bird's eye world-view in Earth from Above for Young Readers, concept and photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, text by Robert Burleigh, illus. by David Giraudon, and adapted from their adult title, Earth from Above: 365 Days. Stunning full-color photos reveal cotton crops on the Côte d'Ivoire that look like giant cauliflower from the air, and New York's Yankee Stadium, where a lone outfielder dots the center of a seemingly striped expanse of green. (Abrams, $12.95 80p ages 9-12 ISBN 0-8109-3486-8; Sept.)

Welcome Back!

Old favorites are being reissued in force this fall. Elizabeth Enright's Melendy Quartet follows siblings Mona, Rush, Miranda (Randy, for short) and Oliver. First published in 1941, The Saturdays kicks off the series and centers on the foursome's Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club (I.S.A.A.C.), an allowance-endowed venture formed so one lucky Melendy can enjoy a solo sojourn each week. In The Four-Story Mistake (1942) the family moves from their city brownstone to the country; Then There Were Five (1944) describes what happens when the siblings befriend an orphan; and in Spiderweb forTwo: A Melendy Maze (1951), when everyone else leaves for school, Randy and Oliver are left to solve a mystery. The author's charming pen-and-inks punctuate all four volumes. (Holt, $16.95 each 182p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-8050-7060-5; -7061-3; -7062-1; -7063-X; Sept.)

College-bound Angie Morrow falls in love for the first time in the perennially popular Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly (1942), written while the author was still in college herself. Diary-like entries depict the trials and tribulations of adolescent amour. (S&S, $17.95 320p ages 12-up ISBN 0-689-85383-1; Sept.)

Based on the Russian folk figure Baba Yaga and Vasilissa, among others, The Dream Stealer by Gregory Maguire, originally published in 1983, tells of the Blood Prince, a murderous wolf bent on destroying the village of Miersk. Only Pasha and Lisette have the courage to fight him off and save their neighbors. (Clarion, $15 144p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-618-18188-1; Oct.)

Bruce Coville's first novel, The Monster's Ring: A Magic Shop Book, about a bullied boy whose purchase of a green ring in a magic shop ensures a trouble-free future, returns in an expanded 20th anniversary edition. (Harcourt, $16 128p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-15-204618-6; Sept.)

Out of print for more than two decades, Diana Wynne Jones's first novel, Witch's Business (1973), makes a welcome comeback. Siblings Jess and Frank start an underground business to help customers seek revenge, after their father cuts off their allowance. But the duo soon learns they're horning in on a real witch's livelihood. (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $15.99 208p ages 8-up ISBN 0-06-008782-X; Sept.)

When it first appeared in 1990, PW called Bilbo's Last Song by J.R.R. Tolkien, illus. by Pauline Baynes, "a must for all fans of Tolkien's vast, epic fantasy." The poem, purportedly written by Bilbo Baggins (hero of The Hobbit) just before he takes ship from Middle-earth to the Undying Lands at the end of The Lord of the Rings, gives rise to Bayne's medieval-flavored paintings. "The effect is stirring, the mood elegiac and the imagery riveting," said PW. (Knopf, $12.95 32p all ages ISBN 0-375-82373-5; Sept.)

Auntie Mame author Patrick Dennis offers a sarcastic send-up of the holidays in The Joyous Season. First published in 1964, the novel stars 10-year-old Kerry ("which is short for Kerrington, for cripes sake, spelled with a K and an E and not with a C and an A") and his younger sister Missy—New York sophisti-kids who move to Massachusetts after their parents decide to divorce on Christmas Day. (Green Mansion [Midpoint Trade Books, dist.] $23 256p ages 12-up ISBN 0-9714612-2-8; Oct.)