Picks and Pans Review: New for Children

updated 12/23/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/23/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

>THE PENNY WHISTLE CHRISTMAS PARTY BOOK BY MEREDITH BROKAW AND ANNIE GILBAR

Brokaw's New York City-based Penny Whistle Toys stores are best-known for selections that dazzle children while satisfying parents' worrywart tendencies. (Will she learn anything? Will he break it?) The Penny Whistle books (Party Planner, Lunch Box Book) reflect the same ability to please both factions. This holiday offering is chock full of wonderful activities (build a Christmas village, put on a Twelfth Night play, make a jewelry box gift) that kids will savor. Directions, as usual, are crystal clear and benefit from Jill Weber's whimsical illustrations. The authors (Brokaw is the wife of NBC anchor Tom) draw on many rituals time-tested by friends, and there are helpful psychological tips for both party planning and channeling the excitement of the season. (Fireside, paper, $12)

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