Holiday offerings focus on the classics and heritage: new selections make perfect stocking stuffers.

Author:Rust, Suzanne
Position:Children's bookshelf


Did I Tell You I Love You Today? by Deloris Jordan with Roslyn M. Jordan Illustrated by Shane W. Evans Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, December 2004 $16.95, ISBN 0-689-85271-1 Ages 1-6

A mother makes it her "special" goal to put love into everything she does, from making a healthy breakfast, to getting the kids off to school, to taking time to play in the park, and to reading bedtime stories. The Jordans' (the mother and sister of the basketball star Michael) book will remind parents of the importance of offering and the duty of spreading love throughout the day. Evans's art delightfully complements the theme.

Sleeping Cutie by Andrea Davis Pinkney Illustrated by Brian Pinkney Gulliver Books/Harcourt, Inc. September 2004 $16., ISBN 0-152-02544-8 Ages 3-7

The desperate parents of Cutie LaRue, a child who never sleeps, invest in a special talking toy named Night Owl, "guaranteed to put a kid out till dawn." When the little girl discovers that the owl will only sing in the Dreamland Nightclub, she happily follows him there where the Slumber Brothers and the Sand man also perform. Brian Pinkney's vibrant illustrations are charming and spirited.

The Skull Talks Back and Other Haunting Tales Collected by Zora Neale Hurston Adapted by Joyce Carol Thomas Illustrated by Leonard Jenkins HarperCollins, July 2004 $15.99, ISBN 0-060-00631-5 Ages 10 and up

Joyce Carol Thomas has adapted six spooky tales selected from Every Tongue Got to Confess, Hurston's book of folklore. Hurston's stories of talking skulls and skinless witches are sure to give young readers a little scare, and Leonard Jenkins illustrations are appropriately haunting.

Brother Hood by Janet McDonald Farrar, Straus & Giroux, September 2004 $16., ISBN 0-374-30995-7 Young Adult

Young Nate Whitely lives between two very different worlds: the Harlem neighborhood where his friends and family are often on the edge of trouble, and his life at a prestigious upstate New York prep school. McDonald captures some of the dilemmas of this chameleonlike existence.

Jazzy Miz Mozetta by Brenda C. Roberts Illustrated by Frank Morrison Farrer, Straus & Giroux, October 2004 $16.50, ISBN 0-374-33674-1 Ages 4-8

The infectious verve of a feisty elderly woman brings her old checker-playing, stoop-sitting friends back to life and opens the eyes of some young friends. A jazzy dance party ensues. Morrison's illustrations are charged with jitterbug energy.

Setting the Turkeys Free by W...

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