For Those Who Dig Holes

Fans of Louis Sachar's Holes can bide their time until the movie's premiere by reading Stanley Yelnats' Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake, also by Sachar, illus. by Jeff Newman. "If you're reading this book, chances are you've been convicted of a crime and have been sentenced to the Camp Green Lake Juvenile

Correctional Facility.... Maybe you're innocent—more likely not," Stanley states in the voice his followers have come to love. Tips on digging holes, identifying various rattlesnakes and an appendix of who's who in the novel Holes are just some of the highlights in this bible of the Texas desert. B&w drawings bring the dangers to life. (Doubleday, $11.99 96p ages 10-up ISBN 0-385-90140-2; Dell/Yearling, $4.99 ISBN 0-440-41947-6; Mar.)

Stay Tuned...

Novel sequels and series additions will keep young readers riveted. In a starred review of Philip Ardagh's debut title in the Eddie Dickens Trilogy, A House Called Awful End, illus. by David Roberts, PW said, "Adult fans of Bleak House and Oliver Twist will appreciate Ardagh's clever crafting, and kids who lap up Lemony Snicket's series will take quickly to this tale and clamor for the next." Well, here's the next: Dreadful Acts. First, 12-year-old Eddie's home erupts in a gas explosion. Then, he meets the Great Zucchini, an escape artist whose coffin is propelled from the back of a passing hearse by the force of the blast. (Holt, $14.95 144p ages 9-14 ISBN 0-8050-7155-5; May)

The fourth in the Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Princess in Waiting, finds Mia highly respected in Genovia for her fashion sense but criticized for her views on installing parking meters. Her heartthrob keeps canceling their dates, algebra looms, and Grandmère insists upon additional princess lessons due to the parking-meter debacle. What's a royal to do? (HarperCollins, $15.99 240p ages 12-up ISBN 0-06-009607-1; paper $6.99 -054065-6; Apr.)

Little Red Ink Drinker by Éric Sanvoisin, illus. by Martin Matje, also the fourth in a series—begun with The Ink Drinker—finds Odilon and Carmilla (mates since A Straw for Two) poised to drink the ink of "Little Red Riding Hood," when they find themselves slurped inside the book! (Delacorte, $9.95 48p ages 9-12 ISBN 0-385-72967-7; Jan.)

Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris present Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast, the third title in their Young Heroes series, which began with Odysseus and the Serpent Maze. Twelve-year old Atalanta befriends a bear, whom she names Urso, and enlists him as a partner in the search for the creature that killed her father. (HarperCollins, $15.99 256p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-06-029454-X; Mar.)

The titular heroine and friends vie for the coveted Centauri Cup in an intergalactic race in the latest series adventure Akiko and the Alpha Centauri 5000 by Mark Crilley. Akiko's greatest concern is their safe return to Earth, but when fellow traveler Spuckler discovers he's racing against an old rival, winning becomes his obsession. (Delacorte, $9.95 160p all ages ISBN 0-385-72969-3; Mar.)

Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception marks the eighth title about the spunky detective. To fulfill an assignment, the sleuth attends an art opening. When a bandit crashes the event and yanks paintings from the wall, Sammy attacks. But the real detective work begins when Sammy seeks the truth about a so-called painter. (Knopf, $15.95 272p ages 10-up ISBN 0-375-81176-1; Apr.)

A rare breed of bats invades Middleburg, Ind. (or have they?), that horrible hymn still rings from the belfry (but why?), and Bernie and his friends are determined to figure out why the town's gone batty in Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Bernie Magruder & the Bats in the Belfry, a follow-up to Bernie Magruder & the Case of the Big Stink. (S&S/ Atheneum, $16.95 144p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-689-85066-2; Mar.)

Tamora Pierce concludes the Circle Opens quartet with Shatterglass. When lightning strikes glassmaker Kethlun Warder's shop, the bolt's energy infuses his work with magic. Tris teaches him to harness his power and, together, the two track a murderer. (Scholastic, $16.95 368p ages 10-up ISBN 0-590-39683-8; Mar.)

Shoeless Joe and Me author Dan Gutman presents Mickey & Me, the fifth installment in the Baseball Card Adventure series, in which Joe Stoshak travels back to 1951 and meets Mickey Mantle. (HarperCollins, $15.99 160p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-06-029247-4; Mar.)

In her fourth confession (begun with Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging), Georgia Nicolson admits to Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants by Louise Rennison. Just when Georgia thought she'd settled on Rob the Sex God rather than Dave the Laugh, Rob makes himself scarce and Dave breaks up with Georgia's friend Ellen. Oh, and she takes a trip to France, too, dropping fun phrases such as "Zut, alors." (HarperCollins, $15.99 224p ages 12-up ISBN 0-06-009746-9; Mar.)

More for Budding Readers

Youngsters will welcome the return of favorite characters in an array of beginning chapter books. Stanley Lambchop deflates once more in Stanley, Flat Again, the sixth title in the series by Jeff Brown, illus. by Scott Nash. Whereas the hero flew as a kite in Flat Stanley, here he serves as a spinnaker to win a sailboat race. When a building collapses, he slips beneath the wreckage to save a classmate just before it tumbles down. A paperback version of Flat Stanley, also with illustrations by Nash, is being released simultaneously. (HarperCollins, $14.99 96p ages 7-10 ISBN 0-06-009551-2; Flat Stanley HarperTrophy, $4.99 paper -009791-4; Mar.)

In a starred review of the series launch, PW wrote, "26 Fairmount Avenue is an address readers will eagerly revisit in the series' subsequent tales," and Things Will Never Be the Same by Tomie dePaola lives up to its predecessors. In this fifth installment, young Tomie gets his first diary, in which he records the year's events, including Miss Leah's Dance Recital, the start of second grade and the opening battles of WWII—the event that inspires the titular phrase. (Putnam, $13.99 80p ages 7-11 ISBN 0-399-23982-0; Feb.)

Iris and Walter: The School Play by Elissa Haden Guest, illus. by Christine Davenier, follows the best buddies as Iris excitedly prepares to make her stage debut and helps Walter with his lines. But when the big day arrives, she awakens with a fever and must stay in bed; her teacher, however, prepares a surprise for Iris's return to school. (Harcourt/Gulliver, $15 44p ages 6-9 ISBN 0-15-216481-2; Apr.)

Joy Cowley adds a third title to her popular series of beginning chapter books: Agapanthus Hum and the Angel Hoot, illus. by Jennifer Plecas. Here, Agapanthus loses her "woggly" front tooth, transforming her trademark hum, and her father dubs the sound an "angel hoot." Together, the heroine and her pooch, Major Bark, perform their "hoot-and-howl act" for Show-and-Tell. (Philomel, $13.99 48p ages 5-8 ISBN 0-399-23344-X; Mar.)

Dressed in boy's clothing, the eponymous sheep makes an encore performance in Johnny Mutton, He's So Him! by James Proimos, the sequel to The Many Adventures of Johnny Mutton. Bright comic strip—cells and speech bubbles convey Johnny's victory in a cooking contest, his role as host at a party for his good friend Gloria, and his ability to woo local grocery store patrons by writing poems on their brown bags ("Steak and/ potatoes./ Aluminum/ foil./ I like you./ Don't let/ the milk/ spoil!"). (Harcourt, $16 48p ages 6-10 ISBN 0-15-216760-9; Apr.)

The Art of Letters

Best known for his work in Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales, English author/illustrator Edward Ardizzone (1900— 1979) was renowned among friends and family for sending one-of-a-kind letters lovingly illustrated. Fans can now see the works themselves in Sketches for Friends, selected by Ardizzone's longtime editor Judy Taylor and bound into a handsome paper-over-board volume that resembles a sketchbook. Excerpts from the missives accompany simple, b&w line drawings; several of his robust watercolors, over which he penned letters, appear in their entirety. The correspondence progresses chronologically, beginning with "Sketches from Letters, 1935—1949" and ending with the fictitious "Snodgrass Letters, 1960—1968," to the publicity manager of a corset manufacturer. (Godine, $19.95 128p all ages ISBN 1-56792-185-X; Mar.)

Crossing the Pacific

A universal symbol of good luck in Japan, Little Daruma makes his U.S. debut with two tales: Little Daruma and Little Tengu and Little Daruma and Little Kaminari, both by Satoshi Kako, trans. by Peter Howlett and Richard McNamara. In the first, Little Daruma, whose body resembles a kidney bean with fleshy arms and legs, and whose face bears the markings of a Samurai warrior, pines for all the things Little Tengu has (a fan, a hat, clogs), including his hana (the word doubles as "nose" and "flower," in Japanese). With the help of his family, the hero emulates them all. The second title, the hero attempts to rescue Little Kaminari's lost possession and winds up on a journey through the clouds with his new friend. (Tuttle, $10.95 each 32p ages 6-9 ISBN 0-8048-3347-8; -3348-6; Feb.)