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September 22, 1996|KATHLEEN KRULL

Anyone who loves books will savor The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries, the latest addition to the "Inside-Outside" series featuring the intricate paintings of Roxie Munro. A celebration of the diversity of American libraries, this volume is by Julie Cummins, coordinator of children's services for the New York City Public Library. Her sometimes offbeat examples include a prison library, a neighborhood branch in New York's Chinatown, the Library of Congress, a library for the blind and physically disabled (with a Braille page imprinted for kids to feel) and the latest evolution--the Internet and the World Wide Web.

For those electronically surfing along, Online Kids, by Preston Gralla, is a terrific resource. Parts of it offer beginner basics, but it's also chock-full of all the best places to surf even if you're a pro. The book is divided into "education" (places to get homework help on every subject) and "fun" (games, hobbies, entertainment). Because kids look for "coolness" as well as "usefulness," all site listings get rated for both, on a 1-to-10 scale. Handy for parents in dispensing guidance (and probably learning some things themselves).

Plenty of topics still lend themselves to traditional, in-depth-books. Hurricanes, by noted science writer Patricia Lauber, capitalizes on kids' fascination with natural disasters. This is a big glossy science book that explores the whys, wheres and what-nexts of these devastating weather systems. It's a timely book, detailing how 20th century storms are different from past ones and what the future holds--with many color photos, maps and diagrams.

For disasters closer to home, many Southern Californian families will want to keep We Shake in a Quake on hand along with flashlights and canned food. Chipper rhymes by Hannah Gelman Givon and cartoon-like art by David Uttal portray a young boy's earthquake experience--not just the physical facts but the myriad emotions he experiences. Genuinely reassuring, the book contains many tips for earthquake preparedness, as well as for the ultimately trickier task of managing one's emotions before, during and after.

For a far simpler and more general book about emotions, My Many Colored Days is a noble effort. No, this isn't a soap opera, as the title might suggest, but instead a cleverly elementary guide to our feelings. In his playful rhymes, published posthumously, Dr. Seuss helps small children realize that they have moods, too, and all of them are human and acceptable. Here the moods come alive as colors, and the artists--Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher--have captured Seuss' spirit and imaginatively cover the whole spectrum: yellow days, blue days, red days and those mixed-up days we all have, when "I don't know who or what I am."


THE INSIDE-OUTSIDE BOOK OF LIBRARIES. By Julie Cummins . Paintings by Roxie Munro (Dutton: $15.99, ages 5 to 8)

ONLINE KIDS: A Young Surfer's Guide to Cyberspace. By Preston Gralla (Wiley: $14.95, ages 8 and up)

HURRICANES: Earth's Mightiest Storms. By Patricia Lauber (Scholastic: $16.95, ages 7 and up)

WE SHAKE IN A QUAKE. By Hannah Gelman Givon . Illustrated by David Uttal (Tricycle: $12.95, ages 4 and up)

MY MANY COLORED DAYS. By Dr. Seuss . Paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher (Knopf: $16, ages 4 to 7)

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