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Hobkin, by Peni R. Griffin; Margaret K. McElderry Books, $14.95 -- A girl and her teen-age sister flee their abusive stepfather and set up housekeeping in an abandoned Texas ranch house, inhabited by a helpful but eccentric creature named Hobkin. Griffin skillfully manages to weave the fantasy with the rather horrifying reality in this entertaining and heart-catching tale, for readers 9 to 12.

When Cats Dream, by Dav Pilkey; Orchard Books, $14.95 -- When cats are awake, they live in a predictable black-and-white world, as ordered and staid as a Whistler painting. But when they dream, the world is a colorful riot of a place, a Chagall-esque landscape where cats can swim in goldfish bowls and dance on a dog's head.

Dav Pilkey, who established his credentials as a writer for children with his endearing "Dragon" books, has created a lyrical, amusing and very original picture book, showing off his versatility as an illustrator as he alternates between the black-and-white realism of cats awake and the colorful surreal fantasy of their dream world. His dream world of limitless possibilities ("When cats dream, someone always has left the back door open and no cat is afraid. . . . The world is not so big now") will have great appeal for children. -- Jean Westmoore
Fatherland, by Robert Harris; Harper, $6.50 -- It's Berlin, 1964, and Hitler has won World War II.

Eye in the Sky, by Philip K. Dick, and Time Is the Simplest Thing, by Clifford D. Simak; Collier, $9 each -- Science fiction classics. -- Ed Kelly

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