Books! Books! Books!
November 1998

“Books! Books! Books!” Friend, Nov. 1998, 12

Books! Books! Books!

Of all the needs a book has, the chief need is that it be readable.—Anthony Trollope

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

My Cat Jack Simple art, simple text, and an appealing black-and-white cat.
Patricia Casey
3–5 years

Road Builders Bulldozers, cement mixers, cherry picker trucks—these are just a few of the kinds of trucks needed to build a road. You can see them all at work in this book.
B. G. Hennessy
3–7 years

Once Upon a Picnic When the boy and his parents went on a picnic, it looked as if there was nothing for him to do, or anyone for him to play with. But there was! All sorts of Mother Goose characters were around. The boy’s parents never saw them, but he did—and so will you! Don’t miss this book!
John Prater
3–7 years

Pin the Tail on the Donkey: And Other Party Games Twenty simple, inexpensive games for children four to seven. Variations and tips ensure success. And none of the games requires a winner, although that can be a variation.
Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson
4–7 years

A Winter Walk When Sophie looked out the window, the day looked cold and gray. Then she and her mom went for a walk.
Lynne Barasch
4–7 years

Archibald Frisby He’s just a “regular guy,” but he sees things differently—with the eyes of a scientist. When he goes to camp, both he and the other campers discover how much fun they can have doing things together.
Michael Chesworth
4–8 years

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World An apple pie is easy to make—unless the store is closed! To get the best ingredients, you take a steamship to Italy to gather wheat, ride a train to France to find a chicken (so you can have one of “the best eggs”), sail to Sri Lanka for cinnamon. … The art is as hilarious as the story—a book you won’t want to miss!
Marjorie Priceman
4–8 years

Redbird Redbird is an airplane. Its adventures are illustrated with raised pictures. Each part of every object is also shown separately with raised art and braille labels so that a blind child can “see” as well as read it. The simple story of a plane flying through a storm and at first not given permission to land will be enjoyed by both sighted and sightless readers.
Patrick Fort
4–10 years

A Busy Day for a Good Grandmother The baby is getting his first teeth and is miserable. His father thinks a cock-a-hoop honey cake will help. So Grandma puts one into her backpack and travels by trail bike, red racing-raft, small airplane, and skateboard to take it to him. Then she teaches her son how to make the cake. Great silly fun that’s wonderful to read aloud.
Margaret Mahy
5–8 years

Wild Horse Winter How can a wild horse live in the winter, with no barn for shelter and no human to give it food? This book tells about one colt and how it and its herd survived a blizzard that completely covered them with snow!
Tetsuya Honda
5–8 years

Spaceburger Kevin, who tells the story, is normal—or so he says. Mason isn’t. “He says ‘Ho!’ instead of ‘Hi!’” And he wants Kevin to walk six miles to the Spaceburger at Exitville (and, of course, six miles back). Kevin decides to do it. So is he normal? They have a great time! Pretty easy to read.
Daniel Pinkwater
5–9 years

Jungle Days, Jungle Nights When you see the magnificent pictures of a year in the life of this South American jungle, you’ll be glad the pages in this book are extra large. Included are a spectacled caiman (a relative of the alligator and crocodile), a poison arrow frog, a jaguar, a leafcutter ant, and a harpy eagle. Even during a downpour, a tree set on fire by lightning is burning too fiercely to be put out.
Martin and Tanis Jordan
6–9 years

Every Autumn Comes the Bear “The hill behind the Arnosky farm is a wild and rugged place. Every autumn … a bear shows up, as if without him the seasons would not change.” With few words and impressive pictures, Jim Arnosky takes you with the bear (at a safe distance) as he roams this wilderness. Easy to read.
Jim Arnosky
6–10 years

A Dog Came, Too “Our Dog” traveled across the American continent in 1793 with explorer Alexander Mackenzie. Not a pet, Our Dog retrieved game, guarded the explorers at night, and warned them of bears, wolves, even a two-footed intruder! There wasn’t room for him in the canoes, so he ran along the shore, through forests, and over rocky ground, often miserable from bugs, sore feet, fatigue, and hunger.
Ainslie Manson
6–10 years

Slam Dunk Saturday “No way, Shrimp! No way!” was all Billy ever heard from Chad, the best basketball player—and the biggest bully—in his class. When Billy’s hero, Ace, missed a foul shot that lost a big game, Billy was sure that he, too, would fail on Slam Dunk Saturday, a charity fund-raising program. All too soon Billy found himself in the Shoot-Out Contest with the timer running and Chad making fun of his efforts.
Jean Marzollo
7–9 years

The Whole World in Your Hands: Looking at Maps This book doesn’t explain complicated maps. It is for beginners. It shows simple maps of a house, then a neighborhood, then a city, then a country, then the world.
Melvin Berger and Gilda Berger
7–9 years

In The Mystery of the Haunted Lighthouse, Sarah-Jane knew that there are no such things as ghosts; she also knew that someone was trying very hard to persuade her that there were. In The Mystery of the Eagle Feather, someone was posing as an Indian to steal valuables at a powwow. The TCDC (Three Cousins Detective Club) solved the mysteries.
Elspeth Campbell Murphy
7–10 years

Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln The subtitle of this slender book is “The Story of the Gettysburg Address.” It is told as simply as you might tell it to a younger brother or sister. It is easy to read; it has lots of pictures. A few things in it might surprise you (such as the picture of President Lincoln’s son in a military uniform—sporting a mustache that he himself drew on it).
Jean Fritz
7–10 years

The Poppy Seeds Carrying water from the muddy river was hard work, but Pablo did it each day. When Lolita lost her special cup in the river, Pablo got it for her. Then he got very sick when he tried to be kind to Old Antonio. His kindness was repaid, though—to the entire village! Easy to read.
Clyde Robert Bulla
7–10 years

Thumbs Up, Rico! Rico was a good basketball player, a good friend, a great brother—and a horrible artist. At least, that’s what he thought. This book about a Down’s syndrome boy, told by Rico himself, shows the love and enthusiasm he had for life. And when he combined his basketball talent with his art, something exciting happened.
Maria Testa
8–10 years

The Ice Horse This true story is about a twelve-year-old boy’s first year helping to harvest ice for the ice house—and what happened when the horse he was using to plow the snow off the ice fell through it.
Candace Christiansen
8–11 years

The Three Princes In this beautifully illustrated tale from the Middle East, a wise and lovely princess told her three suitors that she would marry the one who brought her the thing of greatest wonder. One uses his gift, a crystal ball, to learn that she is dying. The second uses his gift, a flying carpet, to take the suitors to her in time for the third to use his gift, an orange with special powers, to heal her. The gifts were of equal value in saving her life, but she could only marry one of the suitors. …
Eric A. Kimmel
8–12 years

The Winds of Mars This is a science-fiction story of the daughter of a dictator of a whole planet—and the lengths he and the androids of him went to, to stay in power.
H. M. Hoover
9–12 years

Come Morning Nehemiah was a free man. He and white neighbors helped runaway slaves, but he wouldn’t tell his twelve-year-old son, Free, anything about it. That way, the boy’s very ignorance would help keep him safe. Then the Patrollers took Nehemiah, and all he could leave Free as help was a Bible verse. Historical fiction at its best.
Leslie Davis Guccion
9–13 years

Social Smarts: Manners for Today’s Kids What’s the big deal with manners—aren’t they just dumb rules to spoil your fun? This book gives you the whys and wheres and whens as well as the whats and hows, using real-life situations that you’ll be familiar with. Fun illustrations too.
Elizabeth James and Carol Barkin
9–13 years

All Is Well When Miranda moved into the house next to her family’s farm, Emmy was thrilled, even though Miranda was a Gentile. They had little time to play together but were soon best friends. Then Pa had to go into hiding, and Miranda became so ill that the doctor could do nothing more for her. Emmy was sure Pa’s priesthood blessing would help. If he came, would Miranda’s father allow it? And would Pa be caught?
Kristin Embry Litchman
9 years and up

Karate for Beginners From how to tie your belt, through all the steps to earning a black belt, both photographs and diagrams detail everything. How karate began, competition rules, even referee signals are included.
Pierre Blot
10–14 years

The Fantastic Cutaway Book of Giant Machines This is an advanced book for those interested in giant machines—trucks, construction machines, farm machines, military machines, transportation vehicles, and more. Though specialized in interest, it is indeed fantastic!
Jon Kirkwood
10 years and up

The Shepherd’s Song Using pastoral scenes, artist Julia Miner beautifully illustrates each phrase of the Twenty-third Psalm, as told in the King James version of the Bible.
all ages

Holiday Books

The Best Christmas Present of All Mr. Merriweather took Buster in when he had been abandoned. They loved each other. When Mr. Merriweather had to go to the hospital, his grandchildren took the little dog to their house. But he didn’t understand and ran away home. The children found him and took him to their home again. Can you guess what his Christmas present—the best of all—was?
Linda Jennings
4–7 years

Grandfather’s Christmas Camp Grandfather was a mountain man. On Christmas Eve, he had to go up the mountain to find his three-legged dog, Mr. Biggins, who couldn’t get back down the mountain by himself in the falling snow. Lizzie went with Grandfather. They spent the night in a “temporary igloo.”
Marc McCutcheon
5–8 years

Emma’s Christmas Oh, my! The prince really wanted Emma to marry him! The first day of Christmas, he sent her a partridge in a pear tree. The second day, he sent two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. The third day, three French hens and two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, by day twelve, how could she refuse? Delightful art!
Irene Trivas (reteller)
all ages