Book Reviews

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“Book Reviews,” Friend, June 2014, 31

Book Reviews

Friend Magazine, 2014/06 Jun

Picture Books (ages 4–7)

Extra Yarn, by Mac Burnett. Annabelle finds a box of colored yarn and begins knitting sweaters in this modern fairy tale about the magic of kindness, creativity, and courage.

Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel, by Leslie Connor. When she leaves her home in 1856 to cross the ocean, Miss Bridie can choose just one keepsake. In this practical, poignant story, Miss Bridie uses her shovel to build a new life in America.

Transitional Readers (ages 5–9)

Good Night, Good Knight, by Shelley Moore Thomas. A kindly knight looks after three orphaned, mischievous little dragons.

The Adventures of Little Bear, by Else Holmelund Minarik. Little Bear has very exciting times getting ready for his birthday, spending time with his father, and getting a special message from Grandmother in three short stories for beginning readers.

Fiction (ages 8–10)

The Ordinary Princess, by M.M. Kaye. A cranky fairy shows up late for Amy’s christening and curses her that she will be ordinary! When no one wants to marry her and her father threatens to hire a dragon, sensible Amy sets off to seek her fortune. This lively classic tale promotes the value of work and practical intelligence.*

Twelve Kinds of Ice, by Ellen Bryan Obed. A family’s backyard skating rink has different kinds of ice throughout the winter. This book is a poetic look at the joys of family and friends. Try it as a nightly read-aloud.

Fiction (ages 10–12)

Time Cat: The Remarkable Journeys of Jason and Gareth, by Lloyd Alexander. Jason isn’t surprised to find out that Gareth can talk. After all, Gareth is an exceptionally smart cat. But what does surprise Jason is that Gareth can travel through history! Together the boy and his cat visit time periods from ancient Egypt to the American Revolution—and many in between—to discover the cultures of people around the world.


Me … Jane, by Patrick McDonnell. How does a little girl grow up to work with chimpanzees in Africa? This lovely 2012 Caldecott Honor book tells the story of Jane Goodall as a very young naturalist.

Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team, by Audrey Vernick. It was the 1930s and the Acerra family had 16 children—with enough boys to form a baseball team! Brothers at Bat tells about their ball-playing days and beyond.