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KID BITS

SOMETHING TO READ

Hachiko Waits by Leslea Newman (illustrations by Machiyo Kodaira); Henry Holt, $15.95. Readers 7 to 10.

This marvelous story of a faithful dog is based on a true story that is much loved in Japan and will appeal to animal-lovers everywhere.

The story goes like this: In 1924, a professor adopted a three-month-old Akita puppy named Hachi, and the dog accompanied him every day to Shibuyu Station when he took the train to work. The dog would then come back to the station to meet the train every day, just before 3 p.m.

In 1925, the professor collapsed at work and died, but Hachi continued to show up at the station to meet the train at 3 p.m. for 10 years. A statue was erected in the dog's honor at the train station, and every year a memorial service is held on April 8 to commemorate Hachi's loyalty to his master.

Newman effectively tells the story for younger readers by bringing in a young boy who tries to adopt Hachi, but settles for helping the stationmaster look out for him.

-- Jean Westmoore

SOMETHING TO MAKE

Your family will go nutty for these clever fall treats, which look like acorns but taste a lot sweeter.

Here's how to make one:

1. Frost a third or so of a plain or glazed doughnut hole with chocolate frosting or peanut butter.

2. Next, roll the frosted top in crumbled toffee (look for it in the baking section of grocery stores).

3. Add a small piece of a pretzel for the stem.

YOU AND SPORTS

Sixty percent of kids play, or have played, organized sports outside of school. Positive and negative things they got from the experience:

Got lots of exercise, 80 percent

Met people they otherwise wouldn't have, 67 percent

Felt good about themselves, 62 percent

Saw parents arguing with officials, 31 percent

Didn't get to play as much as wanted, 30 percent

Thought coaches focused too much on winning, 23 percent

Improved their concentration on schoolwork, 14 percent

Source: Harris Interactive