Books! Books! Books!

“Books! Books! Books!” Friend, Nov. 1990, 34

Books! Books! Books!

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

“By the way, I’ve got a book somewhere here that you may like to see,” said the oldest boy … , diving under the seat and producing a book which made Dan exclaim,—“Oh! by George, isn’t that a stunner?” as he turned the leaves.—from Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Teddy Goes Shopping This small board book shows Teddy choosing what to do with his money: spend it on a book, a toy, something to eat—or put it in his bank!
Amanda Davidson
2–5 years

Mother Goose: If Wishes Were Horses Susan Jeffers’s illustrations of these Mother Goose rhymes about horses are just as appealing as the old-favorite rhymes themselves.
3–7 years

Mrs. Huggins and Her Hen Hanna A gentle story about the cycle of life, presented in a charming, old-fashioned setting.
Lydia Dabcovich
3–7 years

To Love a Dog In a very simple way, the brief, rhythmic text tells about dogs and how to take care of them. Beautiful up-close color photos show most popular breeds.
Colleen Stanley Bare
3–7 years

Lizzie and Harold Harold wants to be Lizzie’s best friend, but Lizzie says that her best friend must be 6 (Harold is only 5 3/4), a girl (Harold is a boy), someone she can tell secrets to, and someone who will teach her cat’s cradle (pictured instructions are included).
Elizabeth Winthrop
4–6 years

Our Teacher’s in a Wheelchair Maybe you don’t know anyone who uses a wheelchair, but a lot of people do: artists, doctors, computer experts, salespersons, parents, even boys and girls. This story is about a teacher. He is like many other teachers except that he uses a wheelchair.
Mary Ellen Powers
4–7 years

More Tales of Amanda Pig If Amanda were real, she might be your best friend. This book about when company came, when she and her brother gave their stuffed-animal “children” a bubble bath, and when she gave Father her very own Sallie Rabbit is very easy to read.
Jean Van Leeuwen
4–8 years

Watch the Stars Come Out A small girl and her ten-year-old brother travel alone across the ocean to live with their parents. Gently told, beautifully illustrated, and easy to read.
Riki Levinson
4–8 years

Grandpa and Me and the Wishing Star This winner in the Deseret Book writing contest for children’s literature tells of Jamie and his grandfather’s love for each other and illustrates the truth that “families are forever.”
Barbara J. Porter
5–7 years

The Purple Coat Gabby wants a purple coat. Mama says, “But navy blue coats are what you always get.” Grandpa is a tailor; he makes the coat. Which do you think he makes—blue or purple?
Amy Hest
5–8 years

The Big Snow Most winters, the animals could take care of themselves. Then came the year of the Big Snow, and they needed help—lots of help.
Berta and Elmer Hader
5–8 years

Casey at the Bat In Patricia Polacco’s version, Casey is a Little Leaguer. Even so, all Mudville is depending on their arrogant slugger: “Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—/‘That ain’t my style,’ said Casey./‘Strike one!’ the umpire said.”
Ernest L. Thayer
5–10 years

World Famous Muriel Muriel is world famous for tightrope walking and for being smart, so the queen asks her to find the stolen paper lanterns. Maybe you can figure out where they are, too, as Muriel points out the clues. A beginning reader.
Sue Alexander
6–8 years

Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie After Papa left for supplies, a storm came up that lasted four weeks! Mama was sick, so it was up to Abbie to keep the lights burning in both lighthouse towers—and she had never done it before. This beginning-to-read story is based on a true happening.
Peter and Connie Roop
6–9 years

Storm in the Night When lightning flashes and thunder roars, most animals are afraid. Thomas said that he wasn’t afraid of anything, but Grandfather admitted that he’d been afraid—at least when he was Thomas’s age—and he told a story about a storm and his dog and a giant.
Mary Stolz
6–10 years

Leonardo da Vinci: Art for Children Much is made of da Vinci’s genius as an engineer, an inventor, a scientist. This book—one in a series about great artists—reproduces several of his paintings and explains why they are masterpieces.
Ernest Raboff
6 years and up

Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse “Ya wanna fight?” Tucker snarled. “Why?” Harry asked. “Well—cats and mice fight.“ Tucker replied. “Some overfed human being missed that garbage can, so I got to eat. And you don’t look too beefy yourself. So why make life worse for each other by fighting?” Prequel to Cricket in Times Square.
George Seldon
7–10 years

Happy Birthday, Samantha! On her tenth birthday, Sam learns that she may visit her cousins in New York City. While she is there, her grandmother—a very old-fashioned lady—changes her mind about something important.
Valerie Tripp
7–10 years

The King of Prussia and a Peanut Butter Sandwich This true story is about King Frederick the Great of Prussia; Catherine the Great, Empress of all the Russians; Czar Alexander II; United States President Ulysses Grant; and a group of six-to-ten-year-old boys and girls.
Alice Fleming
7–10 years

Lies (People Believe) About Animals One lie is that squirrels can give you rabies. This book explains why they can’t, and it gives many other fascinating facts about animals.
Susan Sussman and Robert James
7 years and up

Shoes for Everyone You’ve heard of starving artists? Well, Jan Matzeliger was a starving inventor. While still young, he died of tuberculosis. He willed what little he had to fifteen friends, his doctor, and the hospital where he died—and to North Church to be used for the poor.
Barbara Mitchell
8–11 years

The Other Place As Elena and her father drove deeper into the valley, Elena looked back—to see that there was no road behind her! Short, but one of the better science-fiction stories.
Nancy L. Robison
8–12 years

A Little Princess When Sara goes to the boarding school, she is rich—and she is treated like a princess. Then, when her father dies and she is left a penniless orphan, she is treated like a slave. But even as a slave, she acts like a princess, even sharing her last bit of bread with a beggar.
Frances Hodgson Burnett
8–12 years

Word Works: Why the Alphabet Is a Kid’s Best Friend This remarkable book will delight anyone who loves the sound, feel, and sense of words. From a glossary of lost words (lubber-wort: “junk food”) to word beginnings (backgammon: Welsh for “little battle”)—and a lot more!—you’ll discover “why the alphabet is a kid’s best friend.”
Cathryn Berger Kaye
8–12 years

The Piano Makers A concert grand piano “is nine feet long, weighs about a half ton, has twelve thousand parts, and takes four hundred people a year to build.” Many more fascinating facts, and close-up photos of all the major steps in making one, are included.
David Anderson
9–12 years

The Interplanetary Toy Book Space people, creatures, vehicles, stations, and city are all inexpensive and fairly easy to make.
Alan J. Williams
9–12 years

Theo Zephyr What do you do when your make-believe friend—the one who beats up the bully for you and outsmarts the A-student who lords it over you—actually appears and starts to live out your fantasies?
Dean Hughes
9–13 years

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction When the Roman emperor wanted a new city, what did he do? He ordered one to be built, of course! Detailed drawings show Romans at work on the high city wall, swimming pools, snack shops, and much more.
David Macaulay
9 years and up

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew So poor that they’ve only brown bread and potatoes to eat for dinner each day and can’t even go to school, the five fatherless children love each other and their mother very much. Once you get used to the funny way it reads, you’ll discover why children have loved this book for over a hundred years!
Margaret Sidney
10–13 years

Who Put the Cannon in the Courthouse Square? Was the cannon just a toy, after all? This book shows you how to be a historical detective and both ask and answer just such questions.
Kay Cooper
10 years and up

Birches This book is not for everyone. It is for the person who likes to see music wafting through the trees, and hear the golden splendor of autumn leaves, and think about things.
Robert Frost
10 years and up

Kashka King Darai calls Kashka a “scapegrace,” but he says it with love. And if the young scapegrace is to save the kingdom, no one—not even King Darai—must find out what Kashka knows for at least seven years!
Ellen Kindt McKenzie
10 years and up

Jack Kent’s Fables of Aesop and More Fables of Aesop The whimsical illustrations and very simple retelling of the classic fables will appeal to everyone, while the morals taught will not be lost. All twenty-seven fables are well-known; to name a few—“The Fox and the Crow,” “The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs,” “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,” “The Grasshopper and the Ants,” “The Hare and the Tortoise,” “The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf.”
Jack Kent (reteller)
all ages