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CHILDREN'S SELECTIONS

Kay Thompson's Eloise Takes a Bawth (drawings by Hilary Knight, additional plumbing by Mart Crowley, Simon & Schuster, $17.95). All ages. Fans of Eloise -- the little rich girl who wreaks havoc in upscale hotels -- will be delighted at the delayed appearance of "Eloise Takes a Bawth" 36 years after Kay Thompson pulled it from publication. Knight created the magnificent illustrations from his 40-year-old sketches, and playwright Mart Crowley, who collaborated with the late Kay Thompson and Knight years ago, pieced together the drafts of Thompson's text. It's written in the traditional sing-song of Eloise books and tells the story of Eloise taking a bath on the top floor of the hotel and flooding out the place. The ending is a happy one: The upscale guests are delighted to be dancing underwater at the Venetian ball on the ground floor. As always, Knight's illustrations are the best thing about the book -- the urchin Eloise with her impish look, flyaway hair, hair-ribbon and maryjanes, the hatchet-faced and pompous adults, the yapping dog, and the glorious finale -- a magnificent, double-page illustration of the underwater ball.

The Runaway Dreidel by Leslea Newman (illustrated Kyrsten Brooker, Henry Holt, $17.95). Ages 3 to 7. Written in the style of "The Night Before Christmas" and patterned after "The Gingerbread Man" fairy tale, this amusing picture book tells of the first night of Hanukkah and a lucky young boy who gives chase to his shiny new dreidel. The spectacular illustrations are reminiscent of Chagall.

One Candle by Eve Bunting (illustrated by K. Wendy Popp, HarperCollins, $15.99). Ages 4 to 8. Bunting's poignant story about the importance of remembrance offers a child's eye view of one family's very special family Hanukkah tradition: A grandmother and her sister talking about the dark days in a concentration camp and a candle fashioned for Hanukkah from a smuggled potato. Popp's paintings are luminous.

-- Jean Westmoore

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