Friends in Books


The Moon Singer by Clyde Robert Bulla; illustrated by Trina Hyman (Thomas Y. Crowell).

Late at night when the moon shines brightly, Torr goes into the deep woods by himself and sings joyous melodies that come to him. Anyone, even the royal queen, who wishes to enjoy his music must quietly hide in the woods and listen, for the boy is shy and sings only when he is alone before the moon.

The Best-Loved Doll by Rebecca Caudill; illustrated by Elliott Gilbert (Holt, Rinehart and Winston).

Bring one doll to my party this afternoon at four. Prizes will be given for the oldest doll, the best-dressed doll, and the doll who can do the most things. When Betsy receives this invitation to Susan’s party, she can’t decide which of her four dolls to take. Suddenly Betsy snatches her best-loved doll and rushes to the party, where her doll is given a special prize.

Magic Heart by Jan Wahl; illustrated by Trina Hyman (Seabury Press).

The beautiful song of a magic heart cheers an entire kingdom until a crafty old witch steals the singing heart for herself. After several vain attempts by his faithful knights, the king finally decides to search for the heart himself. Everyone in the kingdom is delighted when the king returns with a new friend, two servants, and the magic heart.

The Wave by Margaret Hodges; illustrated by Blair Lent (Houghton Mifflin).

From his home high on a mountain, Grandfather recognizes a sign of danger when he notices a change in the sea. He has no time to warn the villagers below and no time to stand and think. So the old man quickly sets fire to his precious ricefields and saves four hundred Japanese villagers from a violent tidal wave.

The House of Wings by Betsy Byars; illustrated by Daniel Schwartz (Viking Press).

Grandfather’s concern for all living things, especially an injured crane and his household birds, gives security and hope to Sammy at a time when the young boy feels deserted by everyone.

The Treasure of Topo-el-Bampo by Scott O’Dell; illustrated by Lynd Ward (Houghton Mifflin).

In the poorest village in all Mexico, two dearly loved donkeys with big appetites are sold to work in the silver mines because food is scarce and their master cannot afford to feed them. The burros never forget the trail to their old home, and one day both return with a treasure that saves the village from starvation.

[illustration] From The Moon Singer

[illustration] From The Best-Loved Doll

[illustration] From Magic Heart

[illustration] From The Wave

[illustration] From The House of Wings

[illustration] From The Treasure of Topo-el-Bampo