In A Summertime Song, renowned children's book artist Irene Haas created a sumptuous picture book celebrating all the beauty and fullness of summer. Her newest book, Bess and Bella, takes place on a cold winter afternoon, when Bess and her doll are having a tea party with melted snow and cookie crumbs. Suddenly a little bird called Bella tumbles through the clouds and plops into the powdery snow, along with several tiny suitcases. As it turns out, Bella's suitcases contain the makings of a wonderful feast, including a bowl of buttery biscuits (with jam of course) and a teapot of fragrant, steaming tea. From there, the afternoon unfolds with one surprising event after another. With its warm, magical illustrations and classic, old-fashioned feel, Bess and Bella is destined to be around for many winter days to come. Deborah Hopkinson's new picture book, Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, will be published in February 2006.

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