Encore! Encore!

Favorite characters are back by popular demand, for picture-book readers, right on up to teenagers. The Quiltmaker's Journey by Jeff Brumbeau, illus. by Gail de Marcken, reunites the team behind The Quiltmaker's Gift (PW called the artwork, "as intricately worked as a patchwork quilt"). This prequel of sorts lets readers catch a glimpse of the young quiltmaker's sheltered and privileged life, before she became the generous old woman in their debut book, who crafted quilts only for those in need. The tale is lengthy, but the illustrations are as intricate as ever. (Scholastic/Orchard, $17.95 56p all ages ISBN 0-439-51219-0; Apr.)

The malodorous pooch is back for a third adventure, Rough Weather Ahead for Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray and Elizabeth Gundy, illus. by Audrey Colman. A visiting Professor Kompressor attempts to remedy the pet's emissions, but the antidote winds up bloating the dog and sending him skyward instead. (Dutton, $15.99 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-5254-7218-5; May)

Fans of Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology will flock to The Dragonology Handbook: A Practical Course in Dragons by the esteemed Dr. Ernest Drake, illus. by Wayne Anderson, Douglas Carrel and Helen Ward. With facsimile pages that emulate an antique sketchbook, envelopes to open, a pullout I.D. card from the Secret & Ancient Society of Dragonologists and suggestions on how to draw dragons plus a glossary of hieroglyphs, this elegantly designed paper-over-board volume is a necessity for dragon fans of all ages. (Candlewick, 80p ages 9-up ISBN 0-7636-2814-X; May)

"This is a book. Unless you don't read, then it's a coaster," opens the latest paper-over-board tale in the it's happy bunny line, Life. Get One. by Jim Benton. Just when you thought the snarky rabbit might get all romantic, he snaps back into character: "Love makes the world go 'round. But I'm pretty sure money has something to do with it, too," he says, decked out like a gangsta. (Scholastic, $7.99 64p ages 12-up ISBN 0-439-69346-2; Apr.)

The wiley Westie returns in McDuff's Wild Romp by Rosemary Wells, illus. by Susan Jeffers, in which he heads off to Aunt Frieda's with the baby, and winds up besting the woman's cat for the baby's Turkey Tidbits and wreaking havoc in the process. Joining this square paper-over-board format are reissues of McDuff Goes to School(0-7868-5676-9), McDuff Moves In(0-7868-5677-7) and McDuff Saves the Day(0-7868-5675-0). (Hyperion, $9.99 32p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-7868-1930-8; Apr.)

Rhyme Time

Who better than Lee Bennett Hopkins to introduce a variety of verse, as editor of Oh, No! Where Are My Pants?: And Other Disasters: Poems, illus. by Wolf Erlbruch. The 14 poems introduce everyday situations, from the familiar calamity of classmates separated in Susan Hart Lindquist's "First Day" to Hopkins's own "Stage Fright" ("I wanted the role./ The Prince./ The Prince./ I got it./ Knew it./ I was totally convinced") to Karla Kuskin's closing "That Terrible Day," for which the narrator suggests amnesia as the best remedy: "All in all you may find/ it is better to simply/ turn blank as a wall,/ as I did./ Now ask me what happened./ I cannot recall." (HarperCollins, $15.99 32p ages 5-9 ISBN 0-688-17860-X; Mar.)

Mural on Second Avenue: And Other City Poems collects previously published poems by Lilian Moore, with artwork as electric as the urban beat by Russian-born artist Roma Karas. Snow-capped apartment buildings set the scene for "Snowy Morning," which evokes the hushed tone of city streets ("There is no bray/ of buses./ No brake growls,/ no siren howls, and/ no horns/ blow"), while a spread of a busy intersection accompanies the cautionary "How to Go Around a Corner" ("It's best to wait/ and/ turn/ the corner/ slowly/ as if it had a gate"). (Candlewick, $15.99 32p ages 5-7 ISBN 0-7636-1987-6; Apr.)

Describing his unlikely path to becoming a writer, Oscar Hijuelos introduces the more than three dozen poems in the handsomely packaged paper-over-board Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States, edited by Lori Marie Carlson. In "Spanish," Gary Soto offers a humorous take on the role the language plays, while Luis S. Rodriguez poses a call to action in "Piece by Piece." Each poem appears completely in English and in Spanish, and a closing glossary defines the terms. (Holt, $14.95 160p ages 12-up ISBN 0-8050-7616-6; Apr.)

Action Packed

For those more comfortable on the move, a handful of titles suggest opportunities to play. If You're Happy and You Know It! by Jane Cabrera provides a cast of animal characters in swirls of thick brushstrokes to demonstrate the popular song's lyrics. Orange monkeys clap hands, pink elephants stamp feet and a lemur with a spiraling striped tail spins around in a tropical landscape. (Holiday, $16.95 32p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-8234-1881-2; Mar.)

In comic book—style panels, the "surfer girl" heroine in Girl Vs. Wave by Scott Bass, illus. by Julie Collins, models for readers how to mount and master a boogie board, under her father's direction (e.g., "Sticky wax on the board helps keep our feet from slipping off"), complete with sound effects ("Sploosh!"). (Walker, $16.95 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-8027-8937-4; Apr.)

For more sedentary folk, the paper-over-board What's Going on in There?: A Guessing Book by Geoffrey Grahn welcomes readers to "Grahnville, U.S.A. [where] things are not as they appear." For instance, from the outside of the school building, it may look as though students are at their desks, but a turn of the page reveals that they are rowing crew on a pond created by the drinking fountain run amok. (Scholastic/Orchard, $14.95 48p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-439-57495-1; Mar.)

Roxie Munro adds to her amazing mazes with a roller coaster, enchanted castle, pirate's cover and more in Amazement Park: 12 Wild Mazes. The intricate spreads introduce some of the best-loved amusements for kids, from the food court to a "dinosaur daze." An answer key follows for those who get stumped. (Chronicle, $16.95 ages 6-up ISBN 0-8118-4581-8; Apr.)

Fans of dinosaurs, especially those rendered by John Sibbick ("the most respected dinosaur artist in the world") will want to wander through the pages of My Favorite Dinosaurs by Ruth Ashby, with Sibbick's full-bleed spreads of the giant terrible lizards gallivanting on prehistoric landscapes. Brief boxes of text describe the behavior of specific dinosaurs, from Iguanodon to Neovenator, to the almighty Tyrannosaurusrex, and closing with the Baronyx, with a "snout [that] looked like that of a crocodile" and a diet to match. Two pages of "Dino Fun Facts" (including prononuciation, size, diet, and habitat) close this informative volume. (Milk & Cookies [S&S, dist.], $16.95 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-689-03921-2; Apr.)

Teens itching to get behind the wheel can look for guidance in The Driving Book: Everything New Drivers Need to Know But Don't Know to Ask by Karen Gravelle, illus. by Helen Flook. From "Things You Need in Your Car" (license and registration card, jumper cables, etc.) to tips on merging into traffic and changing lanes, this handy handbook (which fits easily in the glove compartment) will alleviate anxiety for people who've just graduated from a learner's permit. (Walker, $16.95 160p ages 15-18 ISBN 0-8027-8933-1; paper $9.95 ISBN 0-8027-7706-6; Apr.)

And, once you've got your car keys, it's time for The Big Night Out by Jeanne Beker, illus. by Nathalie Dion. Before you leave the house, however, this paperback original suggests the importance of "Being an Original" with tips for the friend whose pal copies her style, and quotes from real teens ("I love medieval wear: pouffy sleeves and flowing skirts," claims 14-year-old Joey). Even the Olsen twins offer words of wisdom; says Ashley, "We try not to pay attention to the negative things because that will just make you crazy." Dion's stylish illustrations emulate fashion magazine—chic. (Tundra, $15.95 paper 80p ages 10-up ISBN 0-88776-719-2; Mar.)