Out of the Best Books: Summer Reading Fun

“Out of the Best Books: Summer Reading Fun,” Friend, May 1989, 34

Out of the Best Books:
Summer Reading Fun

All books suggested have been reviewed by the Friend editorial staff and are generally available in libraries/bookstores.

Big Animals, Garden Animals, Small Animals, and Farm Animals These small, colorful board books have just one animal and its name on each page.
Sara Lynn
1–4 years

Over in the Meadow This wonderful old jump-rope rhyme has been converted into an equally wonderful counting book.
Olive A. Wadsworth
2–5 years

Peanut Butter and Jelly When two children wish for a peanut butter sandwich, a chef appears and makes a loaf of bread for it that is so big that it has to be sliced with a saw! Then elephants have a wonderful time tromping on the peanuts and squishing grapes in the bathtub for the sandwich filling. The art for this rollicking play rhyme is by Nadine Bernard Westcott, and on the last page are directions for motions to accompany each verse.
2–5 years

Just Like Daddy Little Bear did everything “just like Daddy”—till they went fishing!
Frank Asch
3–6 years

What’s So Funny, Ketu? For helping a snake, Ketu is able to hear animals think. But this reward only gets him into trouble. A Nuer (African) folktale.
Verna Aardema (reteller)
3–7 years

Mary Had a Little Lamb All six verses are beautifully illustrated by Tomie de Paola; simple music is included.
Mary Josepha Hale
3–8 years

Jamaica’s Find Jamaica finds a hat and a stuffed dog. She turns the hat in to the Lost and Found because “it didn’t fit.” But does the dog “fit”? The story ends happily, and the art is as lovely as the story.
Juanita Havill
4–6 years

Surprises A beginning-to-read book of poems about pets, fun things, fun things to do, and other subjects that kids like.
Lee B. Hopkins (compiler)
4–8 years

The Lady and the Spider When the lady finds the spider, she performs a simple act of kindness that shows that all life—even that of a little bug—has value.
Faith McNulty
4–9 years

Best Friends How do you feel when your best friend goes away for the whole summer—and has a great time without you!—and you have no one to play with and nothing to do? Kathy was angry when it happened to her. But her best friend really was a friend, the very best one.
Steven Kellogg
5–8 years

Not So Fast, Songololo A story of the love between a boy and his grandmother. Worthy to be on every child’s bookshelf.
Niki Daly
5–8 years

My Three Uncles The uncles are triplets, and the fun is in learning how to tell them apart. They are identical in looks, yet, like everyone else, each of them is special in his own way.
Yossi Abolafia
6–8 years

The Courage of Sarah Noble Because the baby was too frail to be taken into the wilderness, only Sarah went with her father to help make their new home there. Then, when he went to get the rest of the family, Sarah lived with the Indians. A true story.
Alice Dalgliesh
6–10 years

Meet Kirsten: An American Girl An ordinary nine-year-old, Kirsten uses her own resourcefulness when she gets lost in New York City the day after she arrives there from Sweden.
Janet Shaw
7–10 years

Cannonball Chris Chris is popular—and he has a problem that he doesn’t want the other kids to find out about: He’s afraid to jump into the deep end of the swimming pool. Then he’s invited to a pool party, and there’s a cannonball diving contest. … An easy-to-read book.
Jean Marzollo
7–9 years

The Balancing Girl and Margaret’s Moves Margaret always needs money. In The Balancing Girl, her booth at the school carnival brings in more money for her school than any other. In Margaret’s Moves, she needs money for a sportsmodel wheelchair so that she can move as fast as her brother. By the end of summer, she has earned only $33.30 (the chair costs $1,000) and has learned that even if she had the chair, she still couldn’t keep up with her brother. But in a surprising way, things work out.
Berniece Rabe
7–10 years and 9–12 years

Oh, Honestly, Angela! Five-year-old Angela knew that different brands had different pictures on their labels, so she paid no attention to the cat picture on the tuna-fish can when she did the grocery shopping. You’ll giggle the whole book through.
Nancy K. Robinson
8–11 years

Mine for Keeps Sal wondered why everyone hated Piet Jansen. When she and Libby went to his home at his sister’s invitation, he acted like Sal’s friend—until she said that she wanted to train her puppy to be as well behaved as his. Then he burst out, “You! You cannot train her—you are … kreupel [cripple].”
Jean Little
8–12 years

The Magic Garden and Other Stories Besides being good reading just for themselves, these favorite stories from the Friend are also good for family home evening lessons and for talks in Primary. Michael Muir’s drawings add just the right touch.
Greg Larson
8–12 years

Tough to Tackle Some of the rules have changed slightly since this book was written, but the dilemma of a lineman who wants to play quarterback hasn’t changed. And Boots causes his team to lose games before he solves his problem.
Matt Christopher
9–11 years

The Castle in the Attic First, knowing that he might never be his right size again, William chose to become a 2″ (5 cm) squire. Then he set upon a knightly quest, armed only with his recorder and his gymnastic skills.
Elizabeth Winthrop
9–12 years

The Gun of Joseph Smith Tucker Morgan prizes his gift—a gun that might have belonged to Joseph Smith. Tucker learns to use the gun as his family crosses the plains, and it saves him, as prophesied, from an attack by an injured wolf and from the revenge of the murderous Pin Larkin.
Roy F. Chandler and Katherine R. Chandler
9–13 years

Black Beauty You will both grieve and rejoice with Black Beauty throughout this “autobiography.” It is a must for every true lover of horses.
Anna Sewell
10–13 years

Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon The author of this true story says, “I have yet to see creatures more loyal than pigeons and elephants. I have played with both. … My elephant friend was called Kari, … and the other pet … was a pigeon.” Gay-Neck “fought” for the Allies in World War I. This story of his life is a message of courage and love.
Dhan Gopal Mukerji
10 years and up


Up Goes the Skyscraper! Who isn’t fascinated when a building is going up! Both text and illustrations are simple, clear, and accurate in this book that details how a skyscraper is built.
Gail Gibbons
5 years and up

Dam Builders The builders are engineers, not beavers, and every procedure is thoroughly explained and illustrated.
James Kelly and William Park
6–9 years

The Illustrated Story of President Ezra Taft Benson These lively vignettes of important events in the life of President Benson are beautifully illustrated. A cassette tape provides background and voices for characters in addition to the narrator and helps younger children follow the story.
Della Mae Rasmussen
8 years and up

Soaring “Sailplane pilots know that they must develop excellent flying skills because they, and not an engine, must keep their craft airborne.” This nonfiction introduction to sailplaning includes aerodynamics, weather, and pilot-techniques information.
Carter M. Ayres
10–15 years

Photo by Jed Clark

Illustrated by Bradley Teare