Welcome Back!

A handful of perennial favorites, appropriately, make a comeback this spring. A new generation of fans are likely to welcome Christianna Brand's brassy nanny, sent to tend the "terribly, terribly naughty" children in the Brown clan, in Nurse Matilda: The Collected Tales, a reissue timed for the release of Emma Thompson's film adaptation next month, entitled Nanny McPhee. The trio of titles, which first appeared in the 1960s, includes: Nurse Matilda; Nurse Matilda Goes to Town; and Nurse Matilda Goes to Hospital. (Bloomsbury, $16.95 384p ages 7-11 ISBN 1-58234-670-4; Mar.)

Mr. Roly-Poly and his quest to create a Big Top of his own feature in the paper-over-board The Golden Circus (1950) by Kathryn Jackson, illus. by Alice and Martin Provensen. Youngsters will delight in running their fingers over the fuzzy patches of elephant skin and lion's fur on the touch-and-feel pages, while Provensen aficionados will relish this look at the husband-and-wife team's early work. (Random/Golden, $9.95 32p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-375-83215-7; Feb.)

P.J. Lynch's many fans will cheer the return of East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon, the Norwegian fairy tale, trans. by George Webbe Dasent. In a starred review of the book, upon its original U.S. publication in 1992, PW wrote, "Lynch's sweeping paintings, with their large close-ups and exciting shifts in perspective, expertly capture the story's heroic scale." (Candlewick, $16.99 48p ages 7-12 ISBN 1-56402-049-5; Mar.)

Anne Yvonne Gilbert breathes new life into a classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, The Wild Swans, trans. by Naomi Lewis. Gilbert's colored-pencil renderings of the 11 princes turned to graceful swans by their evil stepmother, the queen, and their sister, who finds a way to break the spell, brim with flowers and gentle insects and animals. (Barefoot, $17.99 48p ages 8-10 ISBN 1-84148-164-5; Mar.)

Girl Power

A bevy of books celebrates all things female. "We girls hold up this world with a strength that's all our own,/ We'll see the different ways one day when we are grown," begins Girls Hold Up This World by Jada Pinkett Smith, an exuberant photoessay. Donyell Kennedy-McCullough's photos of girls smiling, pondering, turning cartwheels in the grass and practicing ballet poses at the barre includes a cast of girls of "Every color, age, and size, we're united by beauty inside." (Scholastic/Cartwheel, $16.95 40p ages 4-9 ISBN 0-439-08793-7; Feb.)

The powerhouse sisters who stormed the international tennis scene share tips on how they aced their way to the top in Venus and Serena: Serving from the Hip by Venus and Serena Williams, with Hilary Beard. With style and rhythm, they deliver their "10 rules for living, loving, and winning" and back them up with biographical examples ("Sister Rule #1: I don't just daydream—I build a dream team. And I don't let others steal my vision," accompanies a stylish and flirtingly sassy photo of Serena). The siblings describe their childhood, their discipline and their mindset and will likely inspire youngsters to pursue dreams of their own. (Houghton, $14 paper 144p ages 12-up ISBN 0-618-57653-3; Mar.)

Pleasant Company releases a quintet of new titles. Coconut, the adorable Westie shows through the die-cut oval in the cover of the Coconut Photo Journal. Girls can pick a photo of their own to put in its place, fill out surveys on holidays and friends and paste in appropriate accompanying photos, plus more than 500 stickers, provided. (Pleasant/American Girl, $9.95 24p ages 8-up ISBN 1-58485-973-3; Mar.)

The spiralbound The Feelings Book Journal by Dr. Lynda Madison, illus. by Norm Bendell, offers prompts for thinking about feelings like grief, anxiety and happiness, along with multiple choice questions and quizzes. (Pleasant/American Girl, $7.95 96p ages 8-up ISBN 1-58485-975-X; Mar.)

Math, friendship and animals are some of the themes behind word searches, share-a-squares and acrostics in the spiralbound Puzzle Crazy by Rick Walton, illus. by Stacy Peterson. (Pleasant/American Girl, $7.95 112p ages 8-up ISBN 1-58485-981-4; Mar.)

And for fun with a crowd, hostesses and guests can be an overnight sensation with Snooze-a-Palooza! More than 100 Slumber Party Ideas, illus. by Carol Yoshizumi. Photos and drawings lead readers through eight thematic party ideas, from "pamper[ing] your pals" at "Spa Night" to a scrapbooking party and "Glitter Gala," including invitations, activities and more. (Pleasant/American Girl, $9.95 80p ages 8-up ISBN 1-58485-978-4; Mar.)

American Girl doll owners can accessorize their companions with Doll Jewelry, which includes a sturdy package with a paperback book that includes step-by-step drawings to make bracelets, necklaces, anklets, etc., and photos of finished projects. A transparent compartmentalized "jewelry box" bound into the package's back cover includes everything one needs to created beaded jewels. (Pleasant/ American Girl, $17.95 32p ages 8-up ISBN 1-58485-976-8; Mar.)