Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...
'Tis the season to be jolly, but with a war on, that's a taller order than usual. The best of this year's gift books, on topics from cute pups to kids' rooms to vintage Snoopy, offer an abundance of cheer.
Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz Edited by Chip Kidd Rare early sketches from the Schulz archives, an introduction by his widow and informative comments from graphic artist Kidd (Who knew, for instance, that Schulz didn't like drawing Pig-Pen?) make this a compilation to treasure. (Pantheon, $29.95)
Dogtionary: Meaningful Portraits of Dogs by Sharon Montrose The dictionary conceit is a stretch, but connoisseurs of canines can skip the definitions-that-aren't and drool over the winsome photos. (Viking Studio, $19.95)
I Love Lucy: Celebrating Fifty Years of Love and Laughter by Elisabeth Edwards Which was your favorite episode? The grape stomping? Lucy hawking Vitameatavegamin? The chocolate factory? They're all pictured here, along with trivia quizzes (What was the name of the electrician at the Tropicana Club?) and an interview with Little Ricky, actor Keith Thibodeaux. Best for ardent fans. (Running Press, $39.95)
Rooms to Grow In: Little Folk Art's Great Rooms for Babies, Kids, and Teens by Susan Salzman and Daryn Eller Chances are you'll never get a tour of Madonna's kids' bedrooms. These smart decorating tips from queen-of-cozy Salzman, who has also designed rooms for Steven Spielberg's and Tom Hanks's rugrats, just might be the next best thing. (Clarkson Potter, $29.95)
New York: An Illustrated History by Ric Burns and James Sanders with Lisa Ades It's jarring to turn to the last page of filmmaker Burns's latest epic—a companion volume to the PBS series—and see the World Trade Center towers lighting up the night. (The book was completed in August 1999.) But the authors' thoughtful celebration of the city's many incarnations couldn't come at a better time. (Knopf, $35)