Books! Books! Books!

“Books! Books! Books!” Friend, Nov. 1993, 38

Books! Books! Books!

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

Oats and Wild Apples In this gentle, introductory comparison between wild and domesticated animals, Calf and Fawn have great fun chasing a butterfly, playing Frog Nudging, and sharing their special treats, wild apples and oats.
Frank Asch
3–6 years

17 Kings and 42 Elephants “Seventeen kings sang loud and happily, / Forty-two elephants swayed to the song. / Tigers at the riverside drinking lappily, / Knew the kings were happy as they marched along.” This finger-snapping, foot-stomping tale romps through the jungle past “big baboonsters, black gorillicans,” “tinkling tunesters, twangling trillicans,” and much more—to a surprisingly quiet conclusion!
Margaret Mahy
3–7 years

Sara Loves Her Big Brother This is as much for the big brother (or sister) who has a little sister (or brother) like Sara as it is for all the Saras who want to be everything to their older brothers.
Ruth Hooker
4–6 years

Skip to My Lou Music for the chorus precedes the riotous fun of flies in the sugar bowl, cats in the buttermilk, pigs in the parlor, and all the rest of the farm animals running amok in this classic folk song.
Nadine Bernard Westcott (adapter)
4–7 years

The Magic Fan When Yoshi runs out of things to build, he finds a “magic” fan that shows him new things to build. But when he builds a rainbow arch, no one—not even Yoshi—likes it. It saves the village, though, and Yoshi learns that the “magic” is his own creativity.
Keith Baker
5–8 years

The Wild Horses of Sweetbriar The girl and her parents lived alone on the island, and Papa often had to be away. But there were wild ducks and geese—and the wild horses. That winter was one of the worst ever, and the horses, crazed with hunger, screamed shrilly and pawed at the cottage walls.
Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
5–9 years

The Most Wonderful Doll in the World Dulcy is never quite satisfied with any of her many dolls until she loses Angela. Then the lost doll becomes the most wonderful doll she ever owned. But Dulcy is very surprised when she finds Angela! Easy to read.
Phyllis McGinley
6–8 years

The Big Deal Since his dog, Wally, is flunking obedience school and is growing twice as fast as he is, Sam has to figure out now how to control his large friend on their walks. If he can’t, Wally will have to go back to the farm!
Alison Cragin Herzig
6–9 years

Meg Mackintosh and the Mystery at the Medieval Castle While Meg’s history club toured the reproduction of Dundare Castle, the only valuable thing in it, a silver cup with jewels on it, was stolen. All the clues to solving the mystery of who did it are there for you to solve along with Meg.
Lucinda Landon
7–10 years

Mummy Took Cooking Lessons and Other Poems If you enjoy jolly poems, this is the book for you. A sample: “Twice a day at twelve o’clock / Two little men run round my block, / One at midnight, one at noon. / If they keep it up, how soon / Do you suppose they’ll ever meet / One another on the street?”
John Ciardi
7–12 years

The Pilgrims of Plymouth Using quotations from the original Pilgrims, the author-artist helps you feel what everyday life was like in the Massachusetts settlement.
Marcia Sewall
8 years and up

Steamboat in a Cornfield This hilarious story of a true historical incident is told in rhyme. At the back of the book are three short paragraphs about what later happened to the boat and two people, and a page of interesting (often funny) explanations and comments about the photos.
John Hartford
8 years and up

The Alamo This brief story of the Alamo does not glorify war. It tells, simply, the history of this national historic landmark, “not so much as the site of a heroic defense of freedom as for the heroic courage it took to stand up and die for that freedom.”
Leonard Everett Fisher
9 years and up

Here Come the Monster Trucks From the first one, Bigfoot, to Black Stallion, The Boss, Godzilla and Bear Foot Trax, which rolls on steel treads from an armored vehicle instead of on wheels, these beautiful, powerful monster trucks will have you returning to this book time and again.
George Sullivan
9 years and up

Belva Lockwood Wins Her Case Belva Lockwood did many, many unusual things, including run for president of the United States in 1884—thirty-six years before the Nineteenth Amendment, which officially gave women the right to vote, was ratified.
Drollene P. Brown
10–15 years

Beautiful Origami For those with patience and the ability to carefully follow directions, this book shows how to make various birds, insects, flowers, and animals. There is even a fantasy section with a unicorn, a dinosaur, and more. And all are beautiful.
Zulal Ayture-Scheele
10 years and up

The Hidden Treasure Gripping and true. You are at the elbow of several persons, seeing and hearing and feeling with each of them—including Josh Dennis himself—in turn, from the start of the trip to Hidden Treasure Mine through all the days he was lost in its depths without food, water, or light.
Gayla B. Schmutz
11 years and up

Stories for Christmastime

The Shepherd Boy James wants to be a shepherd, but he’s too little. So he tends his stuffed lamb during the year just as his parents tend their sheep. At Christmas, he gets his own shepherd’s crook and cap—and sheepherding puppy. Delightful illustrations tell most of the story.
Kim Lewis
3–6 years

Elephant & Mouse Get Ready for Christmas Elephant didn’t think it was fair for his big stocking to hold more than Mouse’s little one, so he puts “Elephant” on Mouse’s stocking, and “Mouse” on his own. That doesn’t seem fair, either, does it? Don’t worry, though—Santa took care of the problem.
Lois G. Grambling
3–6 years

We Wish You a Merry Christmas The words to this traditional Christmas carol are delightfully illustrated by Michael Hague in a tiny edition for small hands. It even has a page in front for presenting it as a gift.
3–7 years

The After-Christmas Tree Taking down the Christmas tree seemed so sad a thing to do that the Tyler family decided to have an after-Christmas party. They sent invitations to their friends and did lots of fun things, including redecorate the tree!
Linda Wagner Tyler
3–7 years

Christmas Bear Bear was getting old. It was harder to get fish and honey. And he didn’t sleep well anymore. So Robin didn’t have too hard a time waking him up during his winter sleep to tell him that a man was lying injured in the snow. It was Santa! But could Bear stay awake long enough to help him?
Sal Murdocca
4–7 years

The Christmas Tree Ride The Christmas tree farm was at the top of a mountain. The owner, Mr. Pennyman, went along to help a family get their tree. The ride up was scary; the ride down—backward, because there was no place to turn the car around—was scarier. And on Christmas Day it was great to have a new friend come for dinner.
Mary Neville
4–8 years

The Christmas Box Daddy is a soldier in faraway Japan. How can it be Christmas without him? He sends them a box marked “Do Not Open Until Christmas,” but the love that they share before the holiday—and always—is the real reason they feel the Christmas spirit when they finally open the box.
JoAnne Stewart Wetzel
5–8 years

One Hundred Shining Candles Lucy lived in the woods in upper Canada a long time ago. When the schoolmaster told of seeing a hundred candles lit to celebrate Christ’s birth, Lucy knew what she could give her sick mother for Christmas. Lucy had many problems, though, and her brother gave his only penny to help.
Janet Lunn
6–8 years

The Christmas Coat Hans and Otto were always fighting, each claiming that the other had started it. Mama finally drew a chalk line between them. But that didn’t stop them from fighting over who was going to get the Christmas coat. Then they tore it!
Clyde Robert Bulla
7–9 years

The Skates of Uncle Richard Short, fat, clumsy Marsha dreamed of being a tall, slender, graceful ice skater. Her mother thought that Uncle Richard’s old hockey skates were a good-enough Christmas present. And when Marsha finally tried them out, all she could do was fall down.
Carol Fenner
7–10 years

Shoemaker Martin This classic story of the shoemaker who served others while he waited for Christ to visit him is what Christmas is all about.
Leo Tolstoy
all ages

Illustrated by Kristy Morris