Ideas for books for kids
"The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories." Collection of seven original stories written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss. Published in magazines in 1950-51 but never in book form. Looking to impress the parents much? Random House, ages 6-9.
"The Betsy-Tacy Treasury."
The first four books of the Maud Hart Lovelace classic series in highly portable trade paperback. Bonus material at end includes photos of the real people on whom the series is based, and details on the life of author and illustrator Lois Lenski. HarperPerennial, ages 4-8.
"Bumble-Ardy." A new one from Maurice Sendak featuring a pig and a belated birthday bash. It's the first book in 30 years both written and illustrated by the 83-year-old Sendak, though he first created it in the '70s. HarperCollins, ages 4-8.
"Goodnight iPad." Yes, a board book parody in the style of the Margaret Wise Brown classic Goodnight Moon. The little bunny characters are tech-crazed and the old lady in the rocking chair is overwhelmed by the "bings, bongs and beeps of e-mails and tweets." By Ann Droyd, a cheeky pseudonym for David Milgrim. Penguin, all ages.
"T is for Titanic." In time for the 100th anniversary next year of the sinking of the luxury liner. Coauthored and well researched by husband-and-wife team Debbie and Michael Shoulders. Sleeping Bear Press, ages 6-10.
for older readers
"Dork Diaries Box Set." First three books in the heavily illustrated Rachel Renee Russell series chronicling the not-so-fabulous life of middle schooler Nikki Maxwell. Good for reluctant readers or more enthusiastic ones just growing into the age range. Aladdin, ages 9-12.
"Every Thing On It." More than 100 never-before-published poems and drawings from Shel Silverstein's personal archives. The second original book published since Silverstein's death in 1999. Parents and little kids love him for read-alouds. HarperCollins, ages 9-12.
"Wonder Struck." In the style of "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," Brian Selznick's newest mystery alternates two stories focused on the American Museum of Natural History in New York. One, that of a boy struck deaf, is told in words. The other, of a girl named Rose who lived 50 years earlier, is told in pictures. Scholastic, ages 9-12.
"The Hunger Games." A cloth-cover collector's edition of the runaway best-seller by Suzanne Collins in a gifty slipcase. Scholastic, ages 12 and up.
"My Name is Mina." David Almond's prequel to his "Skellig" from 1998. The new book focuses on the girl who lives next to Michael, the narrator of "Skellig" who finds a mysterious man in his garage. Random House, ages 10 and up.
"Steampunk!" Beautiful new anthology from 14 writers in the quirky science fiction-fantasy and very '80s genre of steampunk. Edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. These are, as the book's subtitle notes, "fantastically rich and strange stories." Candlewick Press, young adult. - Leanne Italie, Associated Press