Changing of the Guard: Power and Leadership in America, by David S. Broder (Penguin, $5.95). The old order in American leadership which grew up on New Deal politics and World War II is changing, and in this meticulously researched book, David Broder analyzes what, and who, is about to assume political power. His conclusions, drawn from hundreds of interviews across the political spectrum--from neighborhood activists to members of the foreign policy establishment--are sometimes surprising, often encouraging, and always astute.
The Franco-Prussian War, by Michael Howard (Methuen, $11). One of the model military histories of our day, this account of Bismarck's war is written with authority, ease and grace by the Regius professor of modern history at Oxford. From his opening sentence, he sounds the calm deliberateness and assured cadence of a Thucydides or Gibbon: "In the summer of 1870 the kingdom of Prussia and her German allies totally destroyed the military power of Imperial France." YOUNG READERS
Gregory, the Terrible Eater, by Mitchell Sharmat, illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey (Scholastic, $1.95, Ages 6-8). Gregory is a little goat, but he doesn't eat well. While his parents urge him to eat the shoes, tin cans and cardboard boxes which are the staples of their diets, he wants fruit and eggs and juice. Finally, they arrive at a strategy which turns Gregory into a "good eater" who can hold his own at the garbage dump with the best of them.
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery, by Deborah and James Howe, illustrated by Alan Daniel (Avon/Camelot, $1.95. Ages 8-12). When a new pet, a bunny, comes to live in the Monroe household, Harold the dog and Chester the cat are extremely curious --especially once they notice all the vegetables in the garden seem drained of color every morning. When they also notice the bunny's tiny fangs, they realize what they have on their hands--a vampire rabbit! As Harold and Chester take on Bunnicula, the story develops into high farce, all related in the dry and witty voice of Harold.
The Midnight Fox, The 18th Emergency, and The Summer of the Swans, all by Betsy Byars (Penguin Puffin, $2.25 each. Ages 8-12). Taken together, these three novels by Newbery winner Betsy Byars are an example of her work's great range. The first, about a boy, a black fox, and the boy's first act of heroism in a hostile environment, is a rite of passage. The The 18th Emergency deals with schoolyard bullies and a little boy's struggle to protect a friend. In The Summer of the Swans, a 14-year-old girl finds out how it feels to care more for another person than for herself. In all of them Byars with her sure sense of place sets a vivid stage and peoples it with plausible characters.
Anastasia Krupnik, by Lois Lowry (Bantam Skylark, $1.95. Ages 8-12). Being 10 is difficult, with puberty breathing down one's neck, and one's parents expecting a baby, at their age! In this engaging novel, Anastasia comes to terms with boys, boredom, impending sibling rivalry, and duty--all with the help of her secret green notebook. FICTION
The Financial Expert and Waiting for the Mahatma by R.K. Narayan (University of Chicago Press, $4.50 each). R.K. Narayan, India's greatest modern novelist, is gradually being returned to print in this handsome uniform series from the University of Chicago. These latest volumes, like such earlier novels as Swami and Friends and The English Teacher, recount the adventures of the tragic, comic and endearing citizens of the village of Malgudi.
The Hundred Headless Woman, by Max Ernst; translated by Dorothea Tanning (Braziller, $14.95). This is generally recognized as the first surrealist collage novel-- though E.V. Lucas and George Morrow's What a Life! (available from Dover) may have a prior claim--and as such is the precursor to the similar work of Donald Barthelme and Guy Davenport. Ernst took period engravings, performed some cut-and-paste magic on them, and thus transformed the fragments into a series of fantastic assemblages. To these he added captions, which describe or comment ironically on the images, as well as suggesting a loose narrative in the book's pictorial sequence.