October 25, 1999 12:00 PM

>Children’s Books

From poems to pint-size philosophy, the latest literary crop for the younger set offers plenty to savor:

My Man Blue poems by Nikki Grimes, pictures by Jerome Lagarrigue A thoughtful young African-American boy finds the strong-but-sensitive father he deserves. Lyrical, inspiring and beautifully illustrated. (Dial, $15.99)

Let’s Count by Tana Hoban One fat chicken, five smashed cans, twelve rolls of bathroom tissue. With these quirky, lovely photos, your toddler will get number-savvy as easy as pi. (Greenwillow, $16)

Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine by Holly Hobbie

Toot’s in a funk and puzzled Puddle can’t help him—until a thunderstorm clears the air. A lesson in weathering adversity from Hobbie’s winsome pig pair. (Little, Brown, $14.95)

David Goes to School by David Shannon David is older but (thankfully) no wiser in this charming sequel to last year’s acclaimed No, David! (Blue Sky Press, $14.95)

Happy Birthday to You, You Belong in a Zoo by Diane deGroat

What’s the perfect present for the class meanie? Adorable opossum Gilbert finds out—and learns about friendship along the way. (Morrow Junior, $15)

Stormy Night by Michèle Lemieux A girl spends a sleepless night pondering the nature of existence. Guaranteed to get kids thinking about more than their Pokémon cards. (Kids Can Press, $15.95)

Ramona’s World by Beverly Cleary As soothing as a Brady Bunch rerun but cleverer by far, Cleary’s long-awaited addition to the popular Ramona series will leave pre-teen girls clamoring for more. (Morrow Junior, $15)

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