September Publications

A trio of titles in the handsize paper-over-board Tales of Christopher Bear series by Stephanie Jeffs, illus. by Jacqui Thomas, links a boy's love for his teddy bear to divine love. In I Love You, Christopher Bear, Joe loses Christopher Bear but the joyful reunion prompts Mom to explain just how much God loves everyone; A Bad Day for Christopher Bear! occasions a similar lesson about seeking forgiveness from individuals and from God; and in Christopher Bear's First Christmas, the bear follows along as Joe's preschool class enacts a simple Nativity pageant. (Augsburg, $5.99 each 32p ages 3-5 ISBN 0-8066-4366-8; -4367-6; -4349-8; Sept.)

On the heels of The Littlest Pair's winning the 2002 National Jewish Book Award in the picture-book category comes The Littlest Candlesticks, another title in the Littlest series by Sylvia Rouss, illus. by Holly Hannon. Couplets describe a girl's wish for her own Sabbath candlesticks, like her mother and her older sisters (" 'Abby, just wait 'til you're a little older./ You'll have candlesticks,' her mother gently told her"). Abby's patience pays off the next week in preschool (her class is girls only, with all of them in modest dresses), when each girl receives a pair of "see-through glass" candlesticks to paint. Hannon compensates for uneven draftsmanship with radiantly colored compositions that almost shine with Abby's family's warmth. (Pitspopany, $14.95 32p ages 3-6 ISBN 1-930143-48-6; paper $9.95 -49-4; Sept.)

Often breathtaking watercolor-and-collage illustrations by Holly Meade illuminate On Morning Wings by Reeve Lindbergh, a verse adaptation of Psalm 139 that previously appeared in Lindbergh's In Every Tiny Grain of Sand: A Child's Book of Prayers and Praise (2000). Meade's visual story line shows four children spending an idyllic summer day together outdoors. The striking use of light, reflected in water or filtered by a campfire, conveys the natural reverence of the text with seeming spontaneity. (Candlewick, $15.99 32p ages 4-8 ISBN-0-7636-1106-9; Sept.)