They spun a web of golden words

And held me fast therein—

A lonely child, who learned from them

Where magic could begin.

—Eth Clifford

The Bells of London Anciently church bells called people to work, to meetings, and to church. They announced births, deaths, fires, and other things. In this nursery rhyme, written long, long ago about the bells in London, the art tells a story about a little girl and her dove and at the same time illustrates the various church bells.
Ashley Wolff
3–8 years

Perfect Pigs This introduction to manners will bring lots of giggles as well as better behavior.
Marc Brown and Stephen Krensky
3–8 years

Yellow & Pink Through the use of two newly made wooden men, the author cleverly helps young children understand that creation does not happen accidentally—and they will know what Pink did not know.
William Steig
3 years and up

Happy Winter Outside fun, inside fun; by themselves, with a friend—rhythm and rhyme depict two little girls happily and creatively doing a zillion things from wake-up time to dream time. A recipe for fudge cake is included.
Karen Gundersheimer
4–8 years

The Patchwork Quilt There was a little bit of every family member in Grandma’s masterpiece, and even the boys cut squares for it when she got sick.
Valerie Flournoy
4–8 years

The Mare on the Hill It took a year for the mare to trust people again. Each right-hand page of this brief story is a picture beautiful enough to frame.
Thomas Locker
4 years and up

The Wounded Wolf Roko was wounded while defending Kiglo, the leader of the pack. Ravens, an owl, a fox, even a bear wait for him to die. Some of them don’t wait. … Then Kiglo comes. This story is based on a true incident in the Alaskan wilderness.
Jean Craighead George
5–7 years

Helen Keller Have you ever been afraid of the dark? For little Helen, it was always dark. And she was deaf as well as blind. An amazing teacher helped her to live like a normal person. Then Helen helped others. An easy-to-read book.
Margaret Davidson
5–8 years

Picture Book Theater Two whimsical plays that are fun to put on or to just read.
Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
5–8 years

The Undercover Kids and the Museum Mystery Two boys, disguised as “Mummy and Mommy,” solve this silly but fun mystery for beginning readers.
Mary Blount Christian
6–8 years

Help! I’m a Prisoner in the Library Jo-Beth wished that she “could go down the steps backward. It would be better to look into the darkness rather than have it creep up behind her.” Also imprisoned were wooden children, a terrible flying creature, a cellar full of animals, and rockets!
Eth Clifford
6–10 years

Paul Revere’s Ride A clear map and clever illustrations make this classic poem about an important event in the American Revolution come alive. Even the glossary is interesting.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
6 years and up

Junk Food—What It Is, What It Does Is ice cream junk food? Are french fries? If you disagree with friends or family about what foods are junk foods, this book will help resolve your differences. An easy-to-read book.
Judith S. Seixas
6–11 years

Sarah, Plain and Tall “Dear Jacob, I will come by train. I will wear a yellow bonnet. I am plain and tall. Sarah.” There was a PS for Anna and Caleb: “Tell them I sing.” A beginning reader.
Patricia MacLachlan
7–10 years

Chinese New Year You’ve probably heard that the “year of the rabbit” begins in 1987, but did you know that Chinese New Year celebrations are almost a month and a half long? They start a week before the five days of the Little New Year by sending the kitchen god to heaven with a burst of firecrackers.
Hou-tien Cheng
7–11 years

Shining Moments, Volume 2 These very short stories are about missionaries, soldiers, ballplayers, invalids, prophets, musicians, cowhands, girls, boys, Church members, and nonmembers. Some are famous; some aren’t—but all are great people!
Lucile C. Reading
7–12 years

Weird & Wacky Inventions Most of the inventions that you get to guess at are indeed wacky—but not all of them. Robert Patch got a patent for a toy truck that he claimed could be “assembled and disassembled by a child.” The claim must have been true—Robert was only five years old!
Jim Murphy
8–12 years

The Dream Stealer A thrilling Russian folk/fairy tale with a Blood Prince, a witch, several heroes—including Milkface, the cow—and a happy/sad ending.
Gregory Maguire
8–12 years

Best-Ever Book of Indoor Games “If you’ve already vacuumed the bathtub and polished your comics, you can always balance furniture on your chin or give your goldfish breakdancing lessons.” Or you can use this book to make neat things, play great games, learn magic tricks, and more!
Rudi McToots
8 years and up

The Explorer of Barkham Street The ex-Bully of Barkham Street is not an explorer—he’s nothing but a not-by-choice loner, a nobody. Then slowly he takes command of his life, starting with a diet and a baby-sitting job.
Mary Stolz
9–11 years

Who Said There’s No Man on the Moon? Jules Verne based his fantastic stories on fact. Illustrations of scenes from his books, and cartoons of an imaginary interview with him, help make this biography a must on your reading list.
Robert Quackenbush
9–12 years

Germs! Yechy but fascinating! All you ever wanted to know about germs—and more! Photographs too.
Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
9–12 years

Jewish Holiday Cookbook Besides discovering some taste delights—such as recipes for bagels and for pecan-apple pudding—you’ll enjoy learning about Jewish holy days.
Susan Gold Purdy
9 years and up

The Crimson Oak Peter asked to be taught how to read. The tsar would have granted his request—but the tsar was dead. The tsarina had Peter thrown into a dungeon!
E. M. Almedingen
10–13 years

Animal Partners: Training Animals to Help People This nonfiction book will make you weep with joy and hope. For animal lovers or people lovers—or both.
Patricia Curtis
10 years and up

The Story of Baseball Though some statistics have changed since this book came out in 1983, it will be a classic for years to come, whether you know “next to nothing” or “most everything” about baseball.
Lawrence Ritter
10 years and up

Queen Eleanor: Independent Spirit of the Medieval World Eleanor was Queen of France when she went on the second Holy Crusade. She was Queen of England during the years ascribed to Robin Hood. The inspiration of poets and troubadours, she was imprisoned by her husband, besieged by her grandson—and loved by her subjects.
Polly Schoyer Brooks
11 years and up

Bored—Nothing to Do! Outrageously funny! Two bored boys take things apart and make a real plane that flies!
Peter Spier
all ages

Peter and the Wolf As illustrated by Erna Voigt, this classic musical story, told here in its simplest form, will enchant you. The musical motifs of each character are included for the reader lucky enough to have someone play them for him.
Sergei Prokofiev
all ages

A Time to Keep: The Tasha Tudor Book of Holidays What were holidays and other celebrations like when your grandma was a child? Some were like yours today; some were very different—but all were great fun with family and friends.
Tasha Tudor
all ages

Illustrated by Shauna Mooney