From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg. New York: Atheneum Press, 1968.
Some books tell us things we should know; others just entertain us. This 1968 Newbery Award book does both—and more. It is one of the most unusual and delightful books you could find to read.
Claudia decides that her family takes her too much for granted. She plans to leave home so they will miss her. She invites her brother Jamie to go with her because he is the miser of the family and can be depended upon to have money. They run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where they become involved in mystery, adventure, and excitement. Their story and the unexpected things Claudia and Jamie find out about themselves are recorded by the wealthy Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in a long letter to her lawyer.
This book is a must for older readers of the Friend.
The Travels of Horatio, by Michael Foreman. New York: Pantheon Books, 1970.
You are in for a great treat if you read about the travels of Horatio. Horatio is a hippopotamus. He is not happy being a hippopotamus. He turns up on the stages of piano concerts and finds that the world of human beings is not at all where he wants to be. So back to the world of the hippos for Horatio.
The exciting double-spread, full-page illustrations will be a source of pleasure as you read this most enjoyable book.
The Great Blueness and Other Predicaments, by Arnold Lobel. New York: Harper & Row, 1968.
This beautifully told and illustrated legend begins during the time of the Great Greyness, when there were no colors in the world. Whatever was not grey was either black or white. Then a wizard decided to change all that, so he made blue trees, yellow ice, black cheese, and red mice! Children of all ages, and even grown-ups, will find much to see and think about in this delightful book with rich full-color illustrations by the author.
Far Out the Long Canal, by Meindert DeJong. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.
All of Moonta’s friends, even children much younger than he, knew how to skate. But for four long years there had been no ice except during a time when Moonta was ill and had to stay in bed. Moonta yearned for a chance to learn to skate as well as his champion parents, and finally a big freeze came. Moonta was out on the ice long before anyone else in the village of Wierum, at the edge of the North Sea. His eagerness and impatience to skate led Moonta into all kinds of exciting adventures.
Illustrations by Nancy Grossman give a genuine feeling of the Dutch atmosphere.
Meindert DeJong was winner of the 1954 Newbery Award for The Wheel on the School and of the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1969 for Journey to Peppermint Street. Both of these excellent books are memorable, powerful stories about the Netherlands.