Welcome Back!

A host of picture books return in new editions. Margaret Wise Brown's The Wonderful House (1950), illus. by J.P. Miller, reappears in a larger trim size. Opening with a farmhouse ("Who lives here? A boy and a girl live here"), the book proceeds with a view of the barn and an assortment of animal homes (a nest, a turtle shell, etc.). (Random/Golden, $12.95 40p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-307-10326-9; Apr.)

Another Margaret Wise Brown book, Sneakers, the Seaside Cat, taken from the 1955 publication Sneakers: Seven Stories About a Cat, gets full-bleed illustrations by acclaimed artist of felines Anne Mortimer. As the family cat visits the ocean for the first time, his attention to detail and exploration of his surroundings (attempting to catch a fish, listening to the call of seagulls) lead readers to a sensory experience. (HarperCollins, $15.99 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-06-028692-X; Apr.)

First published as part of the I Can Read series in 1959, Emmett's Pig by Mary Stolz, illus. by Garth Williams, is now available as an oversize picture book with watercolor wash added by Rosemary Wells. "May I have a pig in my room?" pleads Emmett, a pig-obsessed city dweller. When his parents explain that pigs live on farms, Emmett fears he'll never see a real one. But on his birthday, his parents take him on a very special excursion. (HarperCollins, $15.99 32p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-06-028746-2; Mar.)

Ellen's Lion (1959) by Harold and the Purple Crayon author Crockett Johnson, chronicles the conversations—in 12 stories—between an imaginative child and her stuffed animal. Johnson makes the most of his three-color palette, with scenes in pumpkin-orange, brown and shades of gray, all rimmed in his confident black line. (Random/Knopf, $12.95 64p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-375-82288-7; Feb.)

In Ezra Jack Keats's mixed-media collage conveys the miraculous transformation of Jennie's Hat (1966), from a plain, broad-brimmed number to something stylish, with a bit of help from her feathered friends. (Viking, $15.99 40p ages 3-8 ISBN 0-670-03625-0; Mar.)

Another of James Marshall's beloved books returns, Wings: A Tale of Two Chickens (1986), in which Winnie the chicken, who doesn't read, finds herself prey to a fox. It's up to feathered Harriet to rescue her pal. "There is more here than just a hilarious plot," wrote PW upon its original 1986 publication. "Very real characters, a plug for reading, a warning about strangers and animated, breezy art full of detail. Marshall is in top form here." (Houghton, $15 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-618-22587-0; paper $4.95 -31659-0; Mar.)

Now appearing in full color, Cat Count, originally published in b&w in 1981, gets a makeover from Betsy Lewin, who revisits her drawings and adds watercolor wash backgrounds to dazzling effect, especially as "Five cats. Jive cats. Very-much-alive cats" groove under a sparkly disco ball. There are 60 in all. (Holt, $14.95 32p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-8050-6747-7; Apr.)

Caldecott Medalist Emily Arnold McCully's Picnic, initially published in 1984 as the first in a series of wordless books about an endearing mouse family, returns here in a larger format with text added by the author/artist. The smallest member of the mouse family gets lost, but the family soon reunites for a cloudless meal al fresco. (HarperCollins, $15.99 32p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-06-623854-4; Apr.)

At the end of WWII, a boy and his family move from Lithuania's Vilna ghetto to Israel and begin planting trees in barren land in The Never-Ending Greenness: We Made Israel Bloom (1997) by Neil Waldman. But even before the trees grow, Waldman depicts Van Gogh—esque landscapes of waving fiesta-bright lines and confetti-like skies. An author's note explains that the tradition continues in the annual tree-planting ceremony for the holiday of Tu b'Shvat. (Boyds Mills, $16.95 32p ages 6-up ISBN 1-59078-064-7; Apr.)

The Gingerbread Rabbit by Randall Jarrell, illus. by Garth Williams, originally published in 1964, tells the story of a mother who wishes to surprise her beloved daughter with a rabbit-shaped cookie, but the cookie surprises her instead when he springs to life. (HarperCollins, $16.99 64p ages 3-up ISBN 0-06-052768-4; Feb.)

A young turtle complains of a toothache and nobody in his family believes him in Albert's Impossible Toothache (1974) by Barbara Williams, illus. by Doug Cushman. "I wish that he would remember he's a turtle," his toothless mother laments. When Grandmother Turtle visits, she gets to the bottom of things. (Candlewick, $15.99 40p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-7636-1723-7; Apr.)

Adolescent Earthquakes

In a dozen mesmerizing short stories, 10 of which were previously published and three of which have won O. Henry Awards, Joyce Carol Oates's Small Avalanches and Other Stories features females on the brink of adulthood from different eras and locales, who find themselves in painful, even desperate, situations—many of them sexual. In "Small Avalanches," Nancy is pursued by a strange man while walking down a Colorado road; in "Capricorn," Melanie meets a soulmate online who takes a predatory interest in her cousin. Oates often captures the essence of a character in a phrase: "Everything about her had two sides to it, one for home and one for anywhere that was not home," she writes of the beautiful 15-year-old in "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (which served as inspiration for Sweet Talk, a film starring Treat Williams and Laura Dern). (HarperTempest, $16.99 400p ages 14-up ISBN 0-06-001217-X; Mar.)