Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Everything Old Is New Again for Kids

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Everything Old Is New Again for Kids

Article excerpt

HUSH, LITTLE BABY Illustrated by Marla Frazee Harcourt Brace

THE DINOSAUR'S NEW CLOTHES Written and illustrated by Diane Goode Ages 3 and up

MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL Written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton Houghton Mifflin Ages 4-8

ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND By Lewis Carroll Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury Candlewick Press Ages 8 and up

BUILDING THE BOOK CATHEDRAL Written and illustrated by David Macaulay Houghton Mifflin All ages

If you and your shopping list have yet to hit a bookstore, here's a holiday tip: When it comes to children's books, it's never been easier to give new versions of old favorites. Stores are brimming with colorized reprints, collector's copies, and anniversary editions. Here are just a few of the classic and traditional tales that blend the best from the past with a dash of the present.

Reading aloud

An Appalachian lullaby, Hush, Little Baby, is charming as a picture book. Fresh, energetic illustrations by Marla Frazee feature a grumpy older sister who starts the baby crying with a rough push on the cradle. She's quite content to have the companionship of her parents as they attempt to quiet the yowling infant. Although it takes all night - and involves endless trips to an itinerant peddler - the noisy little one is eventually hushed. Words to the song move the action along, but Frazee's controlled palette of cozy-colored, humorous vignettes would work well on their own. Music and lyrics are provided on the last page.

"The Emperor's New Clothes," by Denmark's Hans Christian Andersen, was published in 1836 and translated into English a decade later. Now, more than 150 years later, Diane Goode illustrates and recasts the tale in The Dinosaur's New Clothes. Yes, you read that correctly. Not only do prehistoric beasts take the roles of emperor, swindlers, and all royal subjects, but they are placed in the extravagant French palace of Versailles. Goode keeps Andersen's plot, exposing - literally - the embarrassing consequences of vanity, but she adds the amusing incongruity of dinosaurs wearing powdered wigs, jabots, and elaborately embroidered suits. …

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