Special/Signature Issues » Family Style

from fields and gardens

Here are some titles to brighten up any family's spring.

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"Hoot" by Carl Hiaasen, Knopf, $11.17, is this popular adult author's first book for young readers. Young Roy finds himself involved with a mysterious boy and his formidable stepsister in their attempt to save a colony of rare owls from a shady developer. Snappy dialogue, nonstop action and quirky characters will make this book a hit with readers 11 and up.

An unusual garden plant is the culprit in Stanley Todd Terasaki's "Ghosts for Breakfast," $16.95, Lee and Low Books. A young boy just can't understand his father's lack of concern when three neighbors burst into their house saying they've seen GHOSTS in a neighbor's field. He's even more horrified when his father offers to take him along to check out the haunted field. It turns out to be full of daikon radishes hung out to dry. The flat, folk-art-style illustrations capture the action beautifully — particularly the young narrator's face that turns from terror to good-humored understanding. Ages 8 and up.

"Lilly's Garden" by Deborah Kogan Ray, Millbrook Press, $16.95, is a wonderful book for gardeners of all ages. When Lilly's grandmother moves from Maine to California, the two keep in close touch by sharing stories of what they are growing and sending each other garden treats. Beautiful pastel illustrations with informational sidebars giving recipes and gardening tips add to the fun. Ages 6 and

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