Rosa, story and pictures by Leo Politi. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1963.
The quality and tone of this favorite are much like the kind of man my friend Leo Politi is—soft, warm, tender, and full of reverence for life.
Every day Rosa and Jose rode their horse Polomo to the village school. After school, Rosa saw an expensive doll in the store window. She longed for this doll, but she knew she could never afford it. At Christmastime her mother gave the family something better than the doll. Because of Leo Politi’s touch, no one forgets Rosa or her dreams.
This book is also available in a Spanish edition.
The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars. New York: Viking, 1970.
Sara, her mentally retarded brother Charlie, and her pretty older sister Wanda all live with Aunt Willie. It has been an impossible summer for Sara, but one day white swans appear on the lake near their home. Charlie is fascinated by the great white birds. That night Charlie disappears. Sara spends anguished hours searching for him the next day. Finally Charlie is found. Sara also finds that things were not as she had thought, and that this and no other summer will be the same.
This book has just won the Newbery Award for the most distinguished children’s book for 1971.
Brian Wildsmith’s Mother Goose; illustrations by Brian Wildsmith. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1965.
All the familiar Mother Goose rhymes call out from these delightful, well-printed pages. Mr. Wildsmith has used brilliant color throughout, and the illustrations are appealing.
Is Somewhere Always Far Away? by Leland B. Jacobs; pictures by John E. Johnson. New York; Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967.
Is somewhere always far away? Always farther still? The questions of this delightful verse introduce you to an imaginative collection of verse. The illustrations are just right. They have a feeling that they belong to each page.
Miss Hickory by Carolyn S. Bailey; illustrated by Ruth Cannett. New York: Viking, 1946. (Also available in paperback.)
Tiny Miss Hickory is made out of an apple twig and a hickory nut. She meets her troubles with great courage, and she almost seems real. This book won the Newbery Award for the most distinguished children’s book in 1947.
My Side of the Mountain by Jean George. New York: Dutton, 1959.
Sam Gribley wanted to prove to his family and to himself that he could live all by himself off the land in the Catskill Mountains. He finds and prepares his food, lives in a hollowed-out tree, makes his own tools and clothing, and learns much about plant and animal life in these woods. If you haven’t read this story of a boy who lives alone for a year in the woods, be sure to get it from your library.