DUCK & GOOSE
When Duck and Goose find a ball in the park, they know right away what it is: an egg, of course. In this psychologically acute tale, they squabble over it at first, then strike a truce, making plans for teaching its "fuzzy little occupant" to swim and fly. After learning the truth, they decide to make the best of it. After all, a bond has been formed--not only with the ball but also with each other.
THE RUNAWAY DINNER
ALLAN AHLBERG AND BRUCE INGMAN
Usually it's the kids who jump up from the table before the meal is finished. Here the meal runs out the door before little Banjo can eat it, followed by the silverware, plate, table and chair, Banjo and others. As with all runaways, some of the foods in Ahlberg's zany narrative come to a bad end (i.e., get eaten); others take up new lives. Will everything turn out well as Banjo returns home and sits down to his plum-pie dessert--or is it footloose too?
STEVE JENKINS AND ROBIN PAGE
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, but the husband-wife illustrator-author team covers many more exotic forms of animal locomotion in this stunning book. Slithering, for example (a snake through rustling leaves). Or swinging (a gibbon through jungle trees). Each variation comes alive in Jenkins' vibrant paper-cut illustrations. For more on the animals, kids can leap, dance or slide to the book's back pages.
SO SLEEPY STORY
If hypnotic repetition can put a tot to sleep, then this is a surefire bedtime story. The word sleepy occurs 31 times in Shulevitz's lulling text, in which even the objects in a sleepy boy's room--bed, clock, dishes, pictures on the wall--are sleepy. In a dreamlike interlude, music and dancing awaken the room in the wee hours. But the music fades; silence falls again. And when every sleepy thing is so sleepy sleepy, the spell of sleepiness becomes irresistible.
WHERE DOES PEPPER COME FROM?
BRIGITTE RAAB AND MANUELA OLTEN
The first answer to each of this book's questions is facetious. Why do snails carry houses on their backs? Because they love to go camping. No! exclaim Olten's gallery of youngsters, rendered in a variety of amusing tones and 'tudes. The following page provides the real answer. Little readers joining in on the repeated joke will hardly notice how much they're learning. Watch out for the final question: the funny answer is also the real one.
ELLEN A. KELLEY AND TOM CURRY
Who knew that cows had a fantasy life? These two, Joanna and Susanna, chewing their cud in a pasture, imagine a day spent as rambunctious cowgirls, roaming the range, roping steers, riding in a rodeo, dancing at a hoedown and singing by the campfire ("Oh, Buckamoo girls, won't you come out tonight, and dance by the light of the moooooon?"). Kelley's lively rhymes and Curry's comically stylized paintings evoke the fun and flavor of daydreams. A flight of sublime silliness.