The Camel's Lament, a poem by Charles Edward Carryl, illustrated by Charles Santore (Random House, $16.95, ages 3 to 6). Pity the poor camel, which must dine on whatever, sleep on the sand, carry heavy loads -- its profile marred by an unsightly hump. A gifted illustrator brings new life to this little-known but most amusing classic nonsense poem, written in the tradition of Edward Lear and appearing for the first time as a picture book, nearly a century after it was written.
The Dog Who Sang at the Opera by Jim West and Marshall Izen, illustrated by Erika Oller (Harry Abrams Inc., $16.95). This most amusing story is based on a true 1997 incident at the Metropolitan Opera house in New York when a Russian wolfhound, starring in the opera "Manon," started howling as Renee Fleming sang the main aria. The authors were working backstage as puppeteers at the time and turned the experience into an entertaining picture book with gorgeous, delicate paintings by Erika Oller. The New York Times article about the incident along with a letter from Renee Fleming are included at the end.
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes, illustrated by Doris Barrette (HarperCollins, $12.99, ages 3 to 7). This sing-song picture book expresses a child's apprecation for simple things (school, hopscotch and puddles) and comes with fun, detailed paintings of happy family scenes.