And Then What Happened?

Next installments detail the ongoing exploits of familiar characters. In Junie B., First Grader: Shipwrecked by Barbara Park, illus. by Denise Brunkus, the kids of Room One prepare a Columbus Day play. But with a virus spreading through the class and a feud between Junie and May (playing the Pinta and the Santa María of Columbus's fleet, respectively), will the play stay afloat? (Random, $11.95 96p ages 6-9 ISBN 0-375-82804-4; May)

The best friends are back in Iris and Walter: Lost and Found by Elissa Haden Guest, illus. by Christine Davenier, the seventh book in the series. When Iris borrows Walter's treasured harmonica, Baby Rose loves hearing her play it. But then it goes missing and Iris worries that he'll never forgive her. (Harcourt/Gulliver, $15 44p ages 6-9 ISBN 0-15-216701-3; Apr.)

In the plucky sheep's third comic-strip-style outing, Mutton Soup: More Adventures of Johnny Mutton by James Proimos, Johnny tries to learn some table manners, attempts a world record in sitting and overcomes a personal paranoia ("Old people are scary! Old people are scary!"). The book's white and red jacket even resembles the label from a popular brand of soup. (Harcourt, $16 48p ages 6-10 ISBN 0-15-216772-2; Apr.)

The penultimate volume in The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 4: The Ironwood Tree by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black pits Jared and Simon Grace against quarry-dwelling dwarves who have kidnapped their sister, Mallory. The children must escape these and other dangers that surface as a new arch-villain arises at the book's conclusion, prepping readers for the final installment. (S&S, $9.95 128p ages 7-up ISBN 0-689-85939-2; Apr.)

A mad scientist threatens to exploit the literary talents of the titular hero of Freddy in Peril: Book Two in the Golden Hamster Saga by Dietlof Reiche, illus. by Joe Cepeda. As in I, Freddy, the tawny hamster narrates, often jumping ahead or back in the story. In addition to the heroes from the first book, a cat named Sabrina and a legion of sewer rats come to Freddy's aid. (Scholastic, $16.95 208p ages 7-11 ISBN 0-439-53155-1; Apr.)

Terry Pratchett follows up his The Wee Free Men (which PW called "an enthralling and rewarding read" in a starred review) with A Hat Full of Sky, starring the young witch Tiffany Aching. Tiffany leaves home and the little blue Nac Mac Feegle to apprentice for Miss Level. Meanwhile, Tiffany, some powerful witches and the little blue fairies must defeat the hiver that stalks her. (HarperCollins, $16.99 288p ages 12-up ISBN 0-06-058660-5; May)

A follow-up to Alida's Song, The Quilt by Gary Paulsen relates the boy's experiences at age six, spending time at his grandmother's Minnesota farm in the summer of 1944. Here, they, along with the other women whose husbands are off fighting, help a neighbor who is ready to give birth. In this moving sequel, the boy learns about life, death and the quilt that is a pictorial record of his familial ancestry. (Random/Lamb, $15.95 96p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-385-72950-2; May)

In Edgar & Ellen: Tourist Trap by Charles Ogden, illus. by Rick Carton, the follow-up to Rare Beasts, the duplicitous duo spoils Mayor Knightleigh's plan to turn Nod's Limbs into a tourist locale. (Ten Speed/Tricycle, $12.95 160p ages 9-up ISBN 1-58246-136-8; May)

A nautical class outing goes awry in Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever #5: The Night I Flunked My Field Trip by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, illus. by Carol Heyer. When Henry and his class head to Manhattan's South Street Seaport to learn the ropes on an old sailing ship, Hank inadvertently sets the ship out to sea. (Grosset & Dunlap, $12.99 HC 160p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-448-43502-0; $4.99 paper -43352-4; May)

Fifth in the Shadow Children series, which began with Among the Hidden, Among the Brave by Margaret Peterson Haddix centers on third child Trey, who must rescue Mark and Luke Garner from the Population Police. (S&S, $15.95 240p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-689-85794-2; May)

Zombie Butts from Uranus! by Andy Griffiths, the sequel to The Day My Butt Went Psycho!, delivers innumerable gag-worthy gags, nearly all involving the words "butt" and "Uranus." Zach Freeman and his band of butt-fighters must stop the invasion of ruthless alien rumps. (Scholastic, $4.99 paper 128p ages 8-up ISBN 0-439-42470-4; Apr.)

The sixth title in the Hamlet Chronicles series, A Couple of April Fools by Gregory Maguire, illus. by Elaine Clayton, continues where Three Rotten Eggs left off. In this installment, Thekla Mustard is unseated as Empress of the Tattletales and Miss Earth disappears; her students develop theories as to what might have happened, as they search the Vermont wilderness for her. (Clarion, $16 192p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-618-27474-X; Apr.)

Celebrating Mothers and Fathers

A bouquet of titles arrives just in time for Mother's Day and Father's Day. The oversize, paper-over-board, scrapbook-style Mom and Me: A Special Book for You and Your Mom to Fill in Together and Share with Each Other by Diane Barbara and Christine Donnier encourages interactive discussion and projects between mother and child, with places to paste photos and write down memories (of various "firsts," favorites, secrets and stories). (Abrams, $16.95 56p all ages ISBN 0-8109-4820-6; Apr.)

Six generations of female mice celebrate Mother's Mother'sDay by Lorna Balian (1982) in a gifty hand-size volume. Hazel brings a bunch of violets to her mother, who is not home because she is delivering a gift to her own mother, also not at home. This continues until Great-Great-Grandmother finds an unfriendly cat instead of her own mother, sending all the mice scurrying into hiding together. Balian's delicate, cozy illustrations ably capture the characters' emotions. (Star Bright, $8.95 32p all ages ISBN 1-932065-39-3; Apr.)

De Brunhoff's popular pachyderm is back in a pair of paper-over-board books written by Ellen Weiss. Celeste's children scramble to find the perfect presents for her in Babar: A Gift for Mother, with images adapted by Judith Gray. When Isabelle thinks she is too young to make a gift or to do chores to earn enough to buy one, Babar helps her come up with something wonderful. In Babar and the Runaway Egg, with images adapted by Jean-Claude Gibert, a half-hatched egg leads everyone on a wild goose chase one spring day. (Abrams, $9.95 each 32p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-8109-4837-0; -4838-9; Mar.)

Two paper-over-board titles with rounded corners use frog families to demonstrate familial love: I Love Mommy and I Love Daddy by Lizi Boyd. Each traces a day's activities with Mommy or Daddy, using basic concepts to show a child's love ("Mommy helps me learn new things. I'm never scared with Mommy"). The artwork, rendered in simple bright shapes, reflects the simplicity of the text. (Candlewick, $8.99 each 24p ages 1-3 ISBN 0-7636-2216-8; -2217-6; Apr.)

A couple of titles inspired by the lyrics from two songs of yesteryear (piano music included), celebrate paternal love, with illustrations by Maggie Kneen. Daddy's Little Girl by Bobby Burke and Horace Gerlach and Daddy's Little Boy by Billy Collins depict warm scenes of daddies (mommies, too) and kids year round. The cuddly, tender illustrations of an anthropomorphic rabbit family in the first title, a den of bears in the second, match the text for sheer sugar value ("You're the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold,/ You're Daddy's little girl to have and hold"). (HarperCollins, $14.99 each 32p ages 3-8 ISBN 0-06-028722-5; -029003-X; Apr.)

Celebrating all that fathers do, The Very Best Daddy of All by Marion Dane Bauer, illus. by Leslie Wu, a companion to My Mother Is Mine, lists one noble, caring trait of various animal daddies on each spread. A songbird serenading his offspring in a nest demonstrates "Some daddies sing you awake." Warm pastel illustrations of dramatically lit scenes show animal fathers tending to or protecting their young, the last featuring a human father and son. (S&S, $12.95 40p ages 1-5 ISBN 0-689-84178-7; May)

Everyone's favorite amphibian stars in Froggy's Day with Dad by Jonathan London, illus. by Frank Remkiewicz, the 14th book in the series. For Dad's special day, Froggy plans a special breakfast, a round of bumper boats and a game of miniature golf—all with more than a few zips, thumps, thunks and bonks tossed in. (Viking, $15.99 32p ages 2-up ISBN 0-670-03596-3; Apr.)

My Dad by Anthony Browne now appears in a paper-over-board miniature edition. Of the original, PW said, "With well-measured doses of hyperbole, sentiment and humor, Browne delivers an endearing paean to patriarchs." (FSG, $5.95 32p all ages ISBN 0-374-35100-7; May)

Back in Black (Ink)

Old favorites are once again available for a new generation of young readers. Mercer Mayer adds color to his original illustrations for Outside My Window by Liesel Moak Skorpen, originally published in 1968. Mayer fans will want to see these enchanting early cross-hatch pen-and-inks in all their glory, as they chronicle the tale of a boy who sees a tiny bear peering in at him through his bedroom window one night and invites him inside. (HarperCollins, $15.99 32p ages 3-8 ISBN 0-06-050774-8; Apr.)

New illustrations by Paul Cox bring to life a 1954 poem in The Train to Glasgow by Wilma Hornsbrugh, a cumulative rhyme that describes a near-calamitous trip. "Here is the train. It gave a jolt,/ Which loosened a catch and loosened a bolt." Young Donald MacBrain ("Who came to the station to catch the train") helps restore order. Cox's illustrations exude the vintage atmosphere of a grand turn-of-the-century train ride gone a-fowl. (Clarion, $16 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-618-38143-0; Apr.)

Two reissues of Kate Chorao's nursery compendiums, The Baby's Bedtime Book and The Baby's Lap Book, pair the artist's soft spring-like watercolors with familiar rhymes. The first title contains comforting poems by William Blake, Robert Louis Stevenson and others, paired with nocturnal scenes; the second features classic nursery rhymes such as "Old King Cole" and "Georgie Porgie," alongside images of wide-eyed animal characters and impish children. (Dutton, $16.99 each 64p ages 1-up ISBN 0-525-47327-0; -47330-0; May)

Don Freeman's 1957 tale, Fly High, Fly Low, set against the foggy backdrop of San Francisco, charts the city life of Sid and Midge, two pigeons who make their home in the "B" of the Bay Hotel sign. When the building is demolished, Sid frantically searches for his mate and their two eggs. The creator of Corduroy gives the city a charming colored-pencil tribute with portraits of glowing sunsets, the Golden Gate Bridge spanning the shimmering bay and a trolley car cresting a hill. (Viking, $16.99 64p ages 3-up ISBN 0-670-03685-4; May)

Another Don Freeman story, Will's Quill, originally published in 1975, tells of a goose, Willoughby Waddle, who travels from the English countryside into London, "startled to see so many people rushing helter-skelter through the narrow cobblestone streets." When a young Shakespeare shows him kindness, Willoughby follows Will, lending him a feather with which the Bard writes his first play. (Viking, $16.99 32p ages 4-up ISBN 0-670-03686-2; May)

In time for its 40th anniversary, Shel Silverstein's A Giraffe and a Half now appears with a five-foot, unfolding cardboard giraffe tape measure affixed to the inside back cover. Beginning simply with a giraffe who "stretched another half," the poem snowballs into tumultuous disarray as the creature ends up "with a chair in his hair/ and a snake eating cake" and more. The pages quickly crowd with Silverstein's uproarious ink renderings of the bedlam. (HarperCollins, $15.99 48p ages 5-8 ISBN 0-06-025655-9; Apr.)

Virginia Woolf fans may be curious to discover her picture-book tale of magic, Nurse Lugton's Curtain, first published in a collection in 1965; and Julie Vivas's illustrations first appeared with the text in 1991. Nurse Lugton falls asleep while embroidering a curtain, and the animals and village depicted on the drapery come alive. Vivas aptly depicts a transformed Lugton, incorporated into the landscape, slumbering over the village. (Harcourt/ Gulliver, $16 32p all ages ISBN 0-15-205048-5; Apr.)