The Roots of Many of Baseball's Greats

Hank Aaron, Leroy "Satchel" Paige, Willie Mays and many others started their careers in the Negro Leagues before the Majors became integrated, with Jackie Robinson paving the way as a Brooklyn Dodger. A Negro League Scrapbook by Carole Boston Weatherford uses one rhyming couplet per page ("Monarchs, Barons, Giants, Grays,/ All-black baseball's glory days") to introduce each collage spread, overflowing with period photographs, pennants and tickets. Sidebars highlight fun facts (e.g., "Paige's Signature Pitches: Bee-ball..., Blooper,... Whipsy-dipsy-do," etc.), power pitchers and hitters and "Hall of Famers from the Negro League," among others. Quotes from players offer tips and life lessons ("Throw strikes. Home plate don't move," says Satchel Paige), and catchy headlines will keep readers avidly turning pages (one for Hank Aaron states, "Where the Home Run King Honed His Swing"). For fans of history and baseball alike. (Boyds Mills, $19.95 48p ages 7-up ISBN 1-59078-091-4; Mar.)

Encore! Encore!

Favorite characters and series boast new additions. Adding another adventure to the list of perennial favorites, Froggy's Sleepover by Jonathan London, illus. by Frank Remkiewicz, chronicles the frolicking fellow's first overnight away from home at Max's, and the two friends spend so much time schlepping between the houses for various comforts that they do not get much sleep. (Viking, $15.99 32p ages 2-up ISBN 0-670-06004-6; Feb.)

Children can learn about life in the tropics in Island Counting 1 2 3 by Frané Lessac, as they go from "One little island in the Caribbean Sea" up to nine limbo dancers and 10 children celebrating "carnival time!" The final spread depicts all the aspects of daily life featured in the previous pages. A fiesta of colors and images dominate this shimmering, educational book. (Candlewick, $12.99 24p ages 1-3 ISBN 0-7636-1060-4; Feb.)

And youngsters can master their colors thanks to Kitten Red, Yellow, Blue, the third in Peter Catalanotto's captivating concept books (Matthew A. B. C.; Daisy 1, 2, 3). Here 16 calico kittens each wear a unique colored collar that matches up with an appropriate owner. For instance, "Red kitten rescues with Dave, the firefighter," and "Purple kitten performs with Zack, the musician," who sports a purple Mohawk. Catalanotto uses a primarily gray backdrop to accent the featured color. (Atheneum/Jackson, $15.95 32p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-689-86562-7; Feb.)

Mary Murphy brings back her popular penguins from Please Be Quiet! for Let's Go!, a paper-over-board book about a child's preparations for a magical trip. A pop-up finale reveals the destination. (Egmont [Trafalgar Sq., dist.], $14.99 16p ages 2-4 ISBN 1-4052-1115-6; Feb.)

Fans of Dorothy Kunhardt's Pat the Bunny books may be interested in a pair of paper-over-board Playdate Books: Judy's Flower Bed and Daddy's Scratchy Face by her daughter, Edith Kunhardt. With a fine line and palette that echo her mother's, Edith Kunhardt shows young Judy and her brother, Paul, preparing the soil, planting the seeds and weeding the garden in the first title. The second book explores the facial hair of men as compared with the skin covering of cats, bison and owls, among other creatures. (Random/Golden, $8.99 each 32p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-307-10605-5; 0-307-10604-7; Feb.)

Nancy Tafuri brings back the stars of Have You Seen My Duckling? for a bedtime tale in Goodnight, My Duckling . As the ducklings follow their mother home to bed, one bids goodnight to all the other pond inhabitants and loses track of its family; luckily a turtle offers to act as ferry for the little fowl. (Scholastic, $16.95 32p ages 3-5 ISBN 0-439-39881-9; Feb.)

In Henry's 100 Days of Kindergarten by Nancy Carlson, the mouse takes readers through the highlights of his first months of school, including a Halloween party and a Thanksgiving feast, culminating in a 100th-day gala, complete with cake and jelly beans; Carlson's illustrations unfold in a candy-colored palette to match. (Viking, $15.99 32p ages 3-up ISBN 0-670-05977-3; Feb.)

Momo, the beleaguered monkey who insisted on No More Kissing!, now does some pestering of his own in the paper-over-board No More Teasing! Momo's cousin, Mimi, narrates, complaining that Momo will not stop calling her names or kidnapping her bear—until Grandma helps her hatch a ceasefire plan. (Andersen [Trafalgar Sq., dist.], $16.99 32p ages 4-7 ISBN 1-84270-310-2; Feb.)

The waitress-turned-dancer with the overlarge feet introduced in Belinda the Ballerina heads to the City of Light to dance her way past the Eiffel Tower and down the Champs Elysées in Belinda in Paris by Amy Young. But—Quel dommage! —upon arrival she discovers that her dancing shoes went to Pago Pago. What's a ballerina to do? With a bit of wit and luck, Belinda takes the stage right on time. (Viking, $15.99 32p ages 3-up ISBN 0-670-03693-5; Feb.)

Robert Ingpen aficionados will want to have a look at his elegant illustrations for Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling, trans. by Anthea Bell, published in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the story's print debut. An opening spread of a sundrenched rural landscape gives way to close-ups of the misfit hero and his wayward adventures over land and water until he finds his proper place among the swans. (Penguin/Minedition, $15.99 32p ages 4-up ISBN 0-698-40010-0; Feb.)

Youngsters can lift more than 60 flaps on the oversize board book Franklin's Big Search-and-Solve Flap Book by Sean Jeffrey to help the popular turtle find out what happened to the missing blueberries in the berry patch. (Kids Can, $12.95 10p ages 4-8 ISBN 1-55337-522-X; Mar.)

The heroine from Princess Smartypants who, according to PW, found "an ingenious method for retaining her single status," returns with a baby in tow (acquired in a most unorthodox manner) in Princess Smartypants Rules by Babette Cole. But the baby is kidnapped and scarfed away to the castle of Prince Swashbuckle (the rejected suitor from the first book). Luckily the royal's dragon buddies help her snatch back the wee lad—but the tale does not end there. (Putnam, $15.99 32p ages 4-up ISBN 0-399-24349-6; Mar.)

In the third title begun with School Picture Day, Mrs. Sheperd's students put on their PJs and head to class for Pajama Day by Lynn Plourde, illus. by Thor Wickstrom—all except for Drew. But the boy's resourcefulness allows him to join in the fun. (Dutton, $16.99 40p ages 5-up ISBN 0-525-47355-6; Feb.)

Lucky Days with Mr. and Mrs. Green by Keith Baker finds the gator couple solving the mystery of the Missus' missing pearls and accurately guessing the gumball sum in a giant jar, and Mrs. Green rescues her husband from humiliation in a talent show. What a pair! (Harcourt, $16 72p ages 6-9 ISBN 0-15-216500-2; Mar.)

A trio of comic book—style adaptations of popular movies take the spotlight in the paper-over-board Disney Classic Cartoon Tales, adapted by Scott Peterson, with artwork by a team of 10 illustrators: The Lion King, Pinocchio and Bambi . With sometimes one horizontal image per page, and other times a quartet or more, the varying sizes of panels serve each tale's pacing well. (Disney, $14.99 192p ages 5-8 ISBN 0-7868-3517-6; Mar.)

Having taught all that he could about Pirates and Monsters, author/artist Tom Lichtenheld now reveals Everything I Know About Cars: A Collection of Made-Up Facts, Educated Guesses, and Silly Pictures About Cars, Trucks, and Other Zoomy Things . The opening spread sets the tone: "This book will not explain why you have to ride round in a clunky old minivan while your best friend gets to zoom around... in a fancy red sports car." Beginning in the days when cavemen attempted to put steering wheels on animals, the author then imagines a future in which kids design the cars, showing a hotrod with a playroom on the second tier. (S&S, $16.95 40p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-689-8432-8; Mar.)

Anyone Can Whistle—or Cook

Resourceful readers can master whistling and cooking in two new titles. MouthSounds: How to Whistle, Pop, Boing, and Honk for All Occasions... And Then Some by Fred Newman promises to "Put more zip in your lip!" Updated from the 1980 version, this hefty paperback volume promises to teach youngsters to bray like a donkey and snort like a pig, and offers tips on such practical sounds as the two-finger whistle (ideal for hailing cabs) plus "rude noises," such as raspberries and burps; an enclosed CD models the desired effects. (Workman, $13.95 paper 258p all ages ISBN 0-7611-3422-0; Jan.)

Bringing culture to the kitchen, The Coming to America Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Fascinating Stories from America's Many Cultures by Joan D'Amico and Karen Eich Drummond, illus. by Lizzy Rockwell and Tina Cash-Walsh, introduces aspiring chefs to such exotic dishes as "Ethiopian Injera" and "Moroccan Lemon Anise Bread," while describing how foods we now consider staples in the U.S., such as salsa and hummus, came to this country, offering recipes and short history lessons. Often, tips on how to use special equipment, such as a wok for chicken lo mein, come into play. (Wiley, $14.95 paper 192p ages 9-12 ISBN 0-471-48335-4; Mar.)