Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...

updated 09/28/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/28/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>Children's Books

It's a common parental dilemma: When reading to the kids, do you choose your own favorite children's book? Or do you yawn your way through their choice: another visit to the Berenstain Bears? Luckily, some books bridge the generation gap, and this fall there is a bumper crop. Below, a handful of the best.

MONSTER STEW by Mitra Modarressi Anne Tyler's author-illustrator daughter cooks up a mischievous brew with twists on three classic fairy tales. (DK Publishing, $15.95)

ROBERTA'S VACATION by Silvia Francia

A toothy pooch named Jerome has a pup named Roberta quaking—until she saves his life. Spine-tingling fun for the preschool set. (Kane/Miller, $13.95)

TURN OF THE CENTURY by Ellen Jackson, illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis Fancifully illustrated and filled with fun facts (who knew barbers in 1600 pulled teeth?), this quick tour through the ages is well worth taking. (Charles-bridge Publishing, $17.95)

IMAGINE THAT! POEMS OF NEVER-WAS Selected by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes Can't picture your grade-schooler immersed in verse? This zany compilation will change that faster than you can say "Jabberwocky." (Knopf, $18)

LOOK-ALIKES by Joan Steiner Reminiscent of Jean Marzollo's I Spy series, Steiner's pictorial puzzler (look, a park bench made of melba toast!) has charms all its own. (Little, Brown, $12.95)

SNOW by Uri Shulevitz A snowfall defies the grown-ups, who insist it won't last, and blankets a small boy's town in splendor. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16) Kim Hubbard

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