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Publishers reissue some favorite titles and characters this spring. Donald and the... (1969) and Donald Has a Difficulty (1970) by Peter F. Neumeyer, illus. by Edward Gorey each chronicle events of a boy's day. In the first title, young Donald nurtures a small white worm he finds; Gorey's close-ups of the creature's various characteristics keep readers in suspense to the very end as to its ultimate identity. The second book begins, "Another time Donald had a splinter." As his mother removes it, he faces the situation bravely by daydreaming. Gorey aficionados will clamor for the classic pen-and-ink drawings in this pair of handsize volumes, and Neumeyer's understated text and endnotes on the collaborators' process complete the elegant presentation. (Abrams, $12.95 each 40p ISBN 0-8109-4836-2; -4835-4; Mar.)

Anita Lobel's eerily topical Potatoes, Potatoes, originally published in 1967, centers on a mother living in a valley between two warring nations, who walls in her home to protect her two sons, and who grows potatoes. When her sons leave as young men, to join the opposing armies, she ultimately brings about peace, as the soldiers shout, "Hurrah for potatoes and hurrah for mothers!" (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $15.99 40p ages 5-up ISBN 0-06-051817-0; Mar.)

A pair of Laurent de Brunhoff titles starring everyone's favorite elephant offer education and adventure. In Babar's Book of Color, the hero's children and nephew learn their colors in Babar's studio, mixing paints while making portraits of appropriately hued animals, vegetables and other objects. Overlapping balloons demonstrate color combinations. Young Isabelle comes to her father's aid after he disappears from their campsite in Babar's Rescue. With the help of a lion, a monkey and a snake, she tracks him to a tribe of striped elephants in a hidden city. (Abrams, $16.95 each 40p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-8109-4840-0; -4839-7; Mar.)

A Texas-Size Anthology

A collection as diverse and voluminous as the state that inspired it, Is This Forever, or What? Poems and Paintings from Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye, brims with intense verse and artwork from 140 Texas writers and artists. The compilation's scope is not limited to merely reflecting on Texan life but instead mirrors that which binds all people together as human beings. Nye puts together poems that cover the gamut, from tactile details about the Lone Star State, as in Beverly Caldwell's "And Every Town Its Dairy Queen ("In Texas, every podunk town/ has a Dairy Queen,/ where old men in Stetsons/ or John Deere caps/ gather between naps") to Jacinto Jesús Cardona's "Avocado Avenue," which takes readers from the specific to the universal. (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $19.99 176p ages 10-up ISBN 0-06-051178-8; Mar.)

Board Book Bonanza

A number of fun board books aim to entertain the very young. Elmer's New Friend by David McKee is the latest addition to the series starring the patchwork elephant and his friends. The jungle is abuzz with animals eager to find out the identity of Elmer's new pal, and with each question, they gain a new clue. As the black-and-white checkered elephant, Wilbur, points out, "But, Elmer, if you have a new friend, then we all have a new friend." A mirror in the last page reveals the answer. (Andersen [Trafalgar Sq., dist.], $7.95 20p ages 2-4 ISBN 1-84270-034-0; Mar.)

Wild animals also feature in the interactive Jungle Boogie by Sally Crabtree, illus. by Patti Jennings. Readers can pull tabs to move yarn legs that make birds' knees bend and giraffes' necks sway to some mysterious music: "From the depths of the jungle one bright and sunny day,/ a tune began to float from the trees far away." Jennings's thick black line and fiesta-bright colors add a suitably hip, jazzy tone. (S&S/Little Simon, $7.99 12p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-689-86184-2; Apr.)

Injury-prone infants should appreciate the goofy Oopsie! Ouchie! by Adair Lara, illus. by Jennifer Herbert. The book opens with a visit to the doctor, who proposes silly explanations for the "boo-boo": "Did you step on something mushy... and fall upon your tushie?" Herbert's illustrations relate a gamut of comical emotions. Mama's Home! by Paul Vos Benkowski, also illus. by Herbert, takes a similarly silly tack, as Daddy and daughter eagerly await Mama's arrival ("Is that Mama? No, that's not Mama... that's just a pirate ship"). (Chronicle, $5.95 each 12p ages 6 mos.-2 yrs. ISBN 0-8118-4051-4; -4214-2; Apr.)

A classic nursery rhyme gets a fun makeover in Inside the Little Old Woman's Shoe by Charles Reasoner. A mouse is cast as the overworked matriarch: "There was an old woman,/ Who was really a mouse,/ Who lived in a shoe/ That was

really a house." Die-cut holes in the boot-shaped book act as doors and windows in cut-away views of the messy, cranky mice she has on her hands. Reasoner ably displays their chaotic life. (Penguin/PSS!, $7.99 12p ages 2-up ISBN 0-8431-0472-4; Mar.)

A pair of hand-sized Magic Picture Books by Sue King utilize lenticular screens that change images when readers tilt the books. Wake Up follows a boy (and his dog and cat) as he rises, washes up and gets ready for playtime. Simple text accompanies images that shift to show him at the sink, then lifting his washcloth; opening his window, etc. The same boy attends to his nighttime rituals in Time for Bed. King, attuned to her audience, gives readers a chance to retrace the boy's steps in the second title. (Chronicle, $5.95 each 10p ages 6 mos.-4 yrs. ISBN 0-8118-4402-1; -4401-3; Apr.)

Klutz-y Behavior

A half dozen titles from Klutz offer fun at home or on the road. Road Trip Trivia: A Big Book of Backseat Brainteasers offers more than 300 questions in a spiral-bound book designed to help while away the miles. The back cover extends so that readers can mark their answers to the multiple-choice questions with plastic pegs, then flip the page to check the correct answers. (Klutz, $12.95 120p ages 9-up ISBN 1-57054-825-0; Mar.)

Beauty-minded readers can try out fun hairdos and colors with Rainbow Hairstyles: Simple Styles with a Touch of Color by Susan Fox. Four temporary, nontoxic hair colors along with applicator brushes in a reclosable clear box accompany a spiralbound book on how to create a Messy Bun, French Braid and more.($16.95 56p ages 9-up -269-2; Mar.)

Aspiring jewelers can make beaded rings and bracelets with Spool Knit Jewelry: Make Beautiful Bracelets, Anklets and Rings by Anne Akers Johnson. A spiralbound book contains step-by-step instructions for weaving accessories from six spools of stretchy cord and other enclosed materials, such as beads, a crochet hook and a spool. ($19.95 50p ages 12-up -804-8; Mar.)

Updating the ancient craft of quilling, Twirled Paper: Make Almost Anything with Simple Paper Strips by Jacqueline Lee offers a host of creations made from curled spirals of paper. After an introduction on how to handle glue, a twirling wand and paper strips (all included, along with some "google eyes"), the spiral-bound book demonstrates basic shape-making and how to construct an array of clever animals, creatures and landscapes. ($16.95 60p ages 10-up -808-0; Mar.)

The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes by Doug Stillinger aims to make itself the bane of fourth-grade teachers (though the spiralbound book's brief physics lessons should help win over some). The book gives instructions on 10 different paper airplanes, categorized by difficulty, and sidebars offer tips on troubleshooting, emphasizing the precision of creasing the folds, symmetry and making minor adjustments (called "trimming"). A hefty packet of colorful paper, bound into the back cover, gives the concepts wings. ($16.95 56p ages 7-up-830-7; Apr.)

Readers become the authors in Me and My Friends: The Book of Us, intended for friends to complete together. The spiralbound book, enclosed in a rubberized cover that can be secured by an elastic band, contains quizzes, birthday reminders, and other creative ways to remember friendships. The last page holds dozens of stickers plus a large envelope for pictures, ticket stubs and more. ($14.95 56p ages 8-up -813-7; Mar.)

Interactive Learning

Concepts and ideas come to light in interactive formats. Two additions to the Who Am/ What Am I series by Alain Crozon once again use three flaps per page to reveal answers to more than 20 thematic riddles. What Am I? Music! Shows close-up illustrations of instruments from the familiar (piano, drums) to exotic (pan pipes). Each appears opposite a rhymed riddle: "I'm all strings,/ shaped like a V./ It's said the angels/ play on me./ What am I?" (a lift of the flap shows a mouse playing a harp). In Who Am I? Sports!, more riddles give clues about a variety of athletes, from tennis players to ballerinas to fencers. (Chronicle/Seuil, $7.95 each 14p ages 2-4 ISBN 2-02-061210-0;-061209-7; Mar.)

Emma Dodd's black-and-white canine, displayed against a field of bold colors, returns in the paper-over-board Dog's Birthday: A Touch and Feel Book . Each page holds a different texture: Dog opens his first present, wrapped in shiny blue foil and later receives a squishy rubber ball from Bird and "a warm, fluffy blanket from Mouse." Dodd creates a vivid, simple world of exuberant characters with smudgy black outlines. (Dutton, $10.99 10p ages 2-up ISBN 0-525-47244-4; Mar.)

A crescent window in the cover is just the first of many die-cuts that yield deeper glimpses into the night sky in When the Moon Smiled: A Bedtime Counting Book by Petr Horácek. One night the moon observes some problems on a farm below: "The animals who were supposed to sleep at night were still awake. The animals who were supposed to wake up at night were still asleep." Readers can count up to 10 as the moon lights a die-cut star for each animal group, which alternate between daytime and nocturnal creatures. (Candlewick, $14.99 32p ages 3-5 ISBN 0-7636-2209-5; Mar.)