h & quot;Finding Kate's Shoes & quot; by Erica Dornbusch (Firefly Books, $6.95, ages 2 to 4).
Kate and her mom are running late, and Kate's shoes are missing. In the adventuresome search that follows, Kate imagines her shoes in the most exotic of locations. A desert, coral reef and animal-filled jungle are some of the many scenes featured on double page panoramas that will intrigue children as they help Kate find her shoes.
& quot;It's a Baby's World & quot; by Amanda Haley (Little, Brown and Company, $12.95, birth to 3).
From waking up with mommy and daddy to bedtime story, Amanda Haley's debut recounts some of the many experiences a newborn is likely to encounter during the course of a day. Bright watercolor illustrations by the author also feature dozens of new and mysterious objects such as blanket, toothbrush, bowl and spoon. Parents will quickly find the simplistic balance between text and images an easy way to teach word association to children any age.
h & quot;The Thank You Book & quot; by Carole Stuart (Four Walls Eight Windows, $16, ages 3 to 8).
Underneath the story, the overt intention of most children's books is to educate. In & quot;The Thank You Book, & quot; learning to say these two words has never been more special. A little boy comes to thank his father for a ride to school, and a young girl finds the ability to thank a teacher for extra help after class. Stuart illuminates the magic of manners and the good feelings that come from expressing & quot;thanks. & quot;
& quot;Road Signs & quot; by Margery Cuyler (Winslow Press, $15.95, ages 3 to 6).
In a retelling of the classic Aesop fable of the tortoise and the hare, Margery Cuyler tracks their latest competition with road signs as they race through country and town. With illustrator Steve Haskamp, young readers are taught the importance of everyday signs at railroad crossings and school bus stops while they root for their favorite animal.
h & quot;Sally Goes to the Mountains & quot; by Stephen Huneck (Abrams Books, $17.95, ages 4 to 8).
Best selling children's author Huneck brings back Sally, his beloved black Labrador, for a romp through the woods. Children will delight as the amusing Lab learns new games and meets some interesting friends. Huneck's own colorful wood-cut prints and light hearted text add to this fun day in the country.
& quot;Hear That? & quot; by Tama Janowitz (Sea Star, $15.95, ages 5 to 8). Novelist and New York night life queen Tama Janowitz fills her first effort with such sounds as & quot;Ba-Boom, & quot; & quot;Thump, & quot; & quot;Buzz, Buzz, Buzz & quot; and & quot;Squish & quot; emanating from somewhere in the house. After investigating, mother and daughter find it's just dad home from work, dripping wet from the rain. Despite the unusual illustrations from Tracy Dockray, this tale will rely mostly on the aloud performance of the reader to sustain any interest.
Source: Rob Stout, special to the Vindicator