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Holiday 1996 / BOOK CITY

Children's Bookshelf

December 08, 1996|Michael Cart

A distinguished poet, Donald Hall, and a Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator, Emily Arnold McCully, team up to offer an evocative portrait of a New England village in Old Home Day.

The late Pam Conrad has left readers a lovely legacy in her last book, The Rooster's Gift, a life- and love-affirming story with gently humorous and richly colored pictures by Eric Beddows.

Alexander Pushkin's classic story The Tale of Tsar Saltan is given glorious new life by the brilliant and exquisitely detailed paintings of Russian artist Gennady Spirin. The result is one of the most beautiful books of the year.

"When Emma was born, someone gave her a rug." It becomes the little girl's talisman and source of her remarkable artistic gift--until the awful day her mother washes the rug for the first time. In Emma's Rug, Allen Say has produced a moving story about the true source of creativity.

A boy and his father drive together through the gathering darkness in author John Coy's Night Driving. Peter McCarty's soft-focus black-and-white pictures are perfect companions to this nostalgic celebration of a memorable shared experience.

The Doodle Bug Guild and the mysterious Leaf Men join forces to save a garden--and an old lady's life--in The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. Celebrated author / illustrator William Joyce is at his antic and artistic best in this glorious adventure.

Jamey Gambrell translates and adapts Kornei Chukovsky's classic children's poem Telephone, while Russian artist Vladimir Radunsky adds to the fun with his wacky and wildly inventive collages. No reader will put this call on hold!

Novelist Hark Helprin tells a compelling tale of revenge, an evil usurper and a brave young heroine in A City in Winter. Chris Van Allsburg's hauntingly beautiful illustrations add an air of mystery to this lavishly produced volume for all ages.

In Colonial New England red-heeled shoes were considered the sign of a witch. Distinguished folklorist Robert D. San Souci spins this superstition into an enchanting love story, The Red Heels, enriched by Gary Kelley's lushly romantic paintings.

Gifted artist Fred Marcellino gives new illustrations and a new title, The Story of Little Babaji, to Helen Bannerman's much-maligned "Little Black Sambo." Retaining the original text, Marcellino has created new pictures, full of wit and panache, and given new names to his characters, thus clearly returning the story to India, its original setting. Sam and the Tigers, on the other hand, is a completely new retelling of Sambo by Julius Lester, who sets his richly imagined new version in a land called Sam-sam-sa-mara, where tigers talk and everyone is named Sam. Jerry Pinkney's pictures add his own loving interpretation to this story of "the young black child who outwits tigers."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Holiday 1996 / BOOK CITY

OLD HOME DAY, by Donald Hall, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully (Browndeer / Harcourt Brace, $16, 48 pp.)

THE ROOSTER'S GIFT, by Pam Conrad, illustrated by Eric Beddows (Laura Geringer/Harper Collins, $15.95, 40 pp.

THE TALE OF TSAR SALTAN, by Alexander Pushkin, illustrated by Gennady Spirin (Dial: $16.99, 28 pp.)

EMMA'S RUG, written and illustrated by Allen Say (Walter Lorraine / Houghton Mifflin: $16.95, 32 pp.)

NIGHT DRIVING, by John Coy, illustrated by Peter McCarty (Henry Holt: $14.95: 32 pp.)

TELEPHONE, by Kornei Chukovsky, translated and adapted by Jamey Gambrell, with collages by Vladimir Radunsky (North-South Books: $15.95, 32 pp.)

THE LEAF MEN AND THE BRAVE GOOD BUGS, written and illustrated by William Joyce (Laura Geringer/Harper Collins: $15.95, 40 pp.)

A CITY IN WINTER, by Mark Helprin, illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg (Viking / Ariel: $22.50, 147 pp.)

THE RED HEELS, by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Gary Kelley (Dial: $15.99, 32 pp.)

THE STORY OF LITTLE BABAJI, illustrated by Fred Marcellino, adapted from Helen Bannerman's "Little Black Sambo" (Michael di Capua / Harper Collins: $14.95, 72 pp.)

SAM AND THE TIGERS, told by Julius Lester, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (Dial: $15.99, 40 pp.)

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