New Books From Old Friends - Eric Carle and Judy Blume
Two of the true household names in children’s books – have new titles out. Kids have been growing up for years with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other distinctive collage-illustrated books by Eric Carle, and a new audience will be delighted with “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” Said the Sloth (Philomel, $16.99, ages 2 to 6). It’s a glittering rainforest tale (introduced by none other than Jane Goodall) with a point to make: The sloth is slow, just like some of us, and this fact is neither good nor bad. Our sloth doesn’t mind being called quiet or boring, but rouses from its slothfulness to deny being lazy: “That’s just how I am. I like to do things slowly, slowly, slowly.” This is both a book to read leisurely, and a beautiful, jewel-like reminder to those of us who want to say “slow down” to ourselves and our kids.

Judy Blume’s latest, Double Fudge (Dutton, 15.99, ages 8 to 12), is big news: it’s the first book in her popular “Fudge” series in 12 years. Sibling rivals Fudge and Peter haven’t aged, and 5-year-old Fudge is still driving 12-year-old Peter crazy. Now Fudge has become embarrassingly obsessed with money, which, after all, flows freely out of ATMs. Peter narrates in cheerfully episodic fashion, and the novel couldn’t be more contemporary, complete with sly references to Harry Potter, amusing money dilemmas, New York City jokes and other excellent repartee.