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Uncle Melvin, by Daniel Pinkwater; Macmillan, $13.95 -- A master storyteller explores the fine line between the insane and the rational with one of his most memorable and hilarious characters yet. Young readers will be charmed by Uncle Melvin, who spends nights in the Loonie Bin, believes the president of the United States is really an iguana, mows the lawn with a big X so flying saucers will land in his yard and really can make rainbows appear.

Teddy B. Zoot, by J. Clarke, illustrations by Margaret Hewitt; Henry Holt, $13.95 -- When a little girl forgets her math worksheet at school, her teddy bear heads heroically off to school in the dark and the rain to fetch it for her in this amusing short novel, one of the fine Holt Redfeather books for beginning readers.

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