Floats, flags, trumpets, trombones . . . Parade, by Donald Crews. New York: Greenwillow Books. (Pages unnumbered.) $9.50. Ages 3-6.

On the surface, this beautiful book looks like a simple rendering of a holiday event. But on closer inspection, the book operates on numerous visual levels.

First is the detailed study of movement throughout. The pages are like paintings, with all images - onlookers, baton twirlers, vendors, et al - vividly rendered. Movement is presented in the study of the crowd, where observers on the pages are doing something different each time we meet them. The book has an international flavor, too, with a float and many different nations' flags pictured.

The music of the parade receives detailed treatment; all the various instruments of a marching band are carefully identified in the text. While the pictorial aspects dominate, the text is beautifully simple and direct.

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