Book Reviews

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“Book Reviews,” Friend, Nov. 2008, 22–23

Book Reviews

Picture Books

The Jewel Box Ballerinas, by Monique de Varennes, illustrated by Ana Juan. Bibi has two of everything money can buy. She has two houses, two dogs, and even two big black limousines. But she doesn’t have even one friend. Then she buys a jewelry box with two very sad ballerinas in it. As Bibi tries to cheer up the ballerinas, find out what she discovers about true friends.

First the Egg, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Look through the cutout shapes to see amazing changes. What do you think a caterpillar will change into? What about a dab of paint? An egg? Discover their transformations in this book.

Down by the Station, by Will Hillenbrand. Follow the little train as it leaves the station early in the morning. All along the route it picks up baby animals and children to take them on an outing. Each animal joins in the traditional song with its own sound, and so can you!

The Three Snow Bears, by Jan Brett. In this familiar story, Aloo-ki loses her sled dogs and finds an igloo. When she goes inside she smells something delicious. Soon the igloo’s owners come home—three bears! Who will they find sleeping in the littlest bear’s bed?

For children ages 5–9

Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard need to find a place to live. The Boston Public Garden seems like the right place. There are peanuts and water and friendly people, but there is danger too. So Mrs. Mallard decides to nest on a river while her ducklings are young. Follow their journey as they make their way back to the Public Garden.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat*, by Simms Taback. Based on an old Yiddish folk song, this story is brought to life with cleverly illustrated pictures. Joseph’s old overcoat is full of holes, and so is this book! A hole in each page leads to the next picture of what Joseph makes his coat into.

Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic, by Emily Jenkins, pictures by Paul O. Zelinsky. Meet Little Girl’s favorite friends: StingRay, Lumphy, and Plastic. Join these toys on their adventures through the washing machine, the bathtub, and other household excitements.

For children ages 10–12

Miss Hickory*, by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, illustrated by Ruth Gannett. Join Miss Hickory as she learns to trust new friends and helps others too. Along the way she starts a Ladies’ Aid Society for pheasants and helps Ground Hog get over his fear of his shadow. Miss Hickory’s story shows the blessings that come from serving and loving others.

The Runaway Princess*, by Kate Coombs. Princess Meg’s father wants her to marry the prince who can defeat a witch, a dragon, and a gang of bandits. But Meg has a different plan in mind. It’s up to her to warn the kind old lady, take care of the baby dragon, and help the bandits who give to the poor.

The Boy Who Saved Cleveland, by James Cross Giblin. Ten-year-old Seth Doan lives in a small settlement in the woods. When his family and neighbors get sick with malaria, Seth is the only one who can take care of them. Find out how he saves their lives and finds strength and inspiration by reading the Bible.


Living Color, by Steve Jenkins. Red frogs, blue spiders, yellow snakes, green birds, pink armadillos. Animals can be surprisingly colorful! This book illustrates many brightly colored creatures and tells interesting facts about each of them. Learn about some of the most colorful of Heavenly Father’s creations in this beautiful book.

Mary Engelbreit’s Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses*, illustrated by Mary Engelbreit. Enjoy 100 well-known and some less-familiar nursery rhymes and the fun, colorful illustrations that accompany them.

Illustration by Brad Teare