George Mouse’s Riverboat Band, George Mouse’s Covered Wagon, Emily Mouse’s Garden, Emily Mouse’s Beach House. The George and Emily Mouse books are both clever and warm. Besides appealing stories, the imaginative use of regular-size objects for mouse-size needs (e.g., glove fingers become sleeping bags) will keep children returning to these tiny books again and again to see what else they can find.
Heather S. Buchanan
Oranges and Lemons Musical games with detailed drawings of the actions that go with the music (simple melody and chord names) and humorous illustrations. If you wish to give this for a gift, it also comes in paperback, and a wonderful rendering of the tunes is available on cassette tape.
Karen King (compiler)
Bunnies and Their Sports Although the bunnies are seen engaged in many very different kinds of sports—jogging, bowling, soccer, aerobic dancing, and more—they all love sports “because they make them fell good!!!”
What Did You Lose, Santa? Santa has it all along but, of course, doesn’t find it till the end of the story, which is humorous, clever, uplifting, and wordless except for a sign.
Where Will the Animals Stay? “They’re changing the zoo / At Peabody Square / From cages with bars / To fresh open air. / … “There’s only one problem / That stands in the way: / While the workers are building … / Where will the animals stay?” The illustrations are great fun!
Ralph’s Secret Weapon Hilarious nonsense about a boy, a sea monster, a bassoon, and a noxious banana-spinach cream cake.
Cat & Canary Because Cat is Canary’s friend, other birds fly to their rooftop for safety. Then, when Cat needs rescuing from a storm-driven kite, he is rescued by Canary and the other birds. Wonderful illustrations!
People Working They’re underground. / They’re in the air. / They’re alone and together. / They’re everywhere! Fantastic!
Police Officers A to Z Unlike the crime shows on television, most police officers never use their guns except for target practice. This book presents what they really do on their jobs and lets us see just how much we should respect them.
The Josefina Story Quilt As pioneers went west, they often made quilts that told the story of their journey. This story, about a heroine named Josefina (who just happened to be a hen), was quilted by the little girl who loved her. An easy-to-read book.
Opt: An Illusionary Tale The story is slight, but the full-color optical illusions are fascinating. At the back of the book are sections that explain the principles behind the illusions and how to draw illusions of your own.
Arline and Joseph Baum
5 years and up
Where Does the Teacher Live? You may know where your teacher lives, but Mrs. Greengrass lives in a very unusual place! A beginning reader.
Paula Kurzband Feder
Buttons for General Washington At fourteen, John Darragh was already a spy. When he was caught in the woods on a mission, he was a frightened spy! A beginning reader.
Peter and Connie Roop
The Black Horse Based on an ancient Celtic adventure fairy tale. A poor, kingdomless prince befriends the black horse, which then saves the prince’s life by helping him perform impossible tasks set by the evil Sea King. Then the black horse asks the prince to slay it!
Patti’s Pet Gorilla Patti doesn’t have anything special for show-and-tell, so her teacher suggests that she simply tell the class about something. Desperate, Patti makes up a special pet—Bob the gorilla. But while they’re on a nature walk, the class sees Bob in her window! An easy-to-read book.
Pat Rhoads Mauser
True-life Treasure Hunts Treasure has been found in sunken ships, tombs, wells, caves, plowed fields—even in the freezer part of a refrigerator in a New York City apartment! And much more has been chronicled but never found. An easy-to-read book.
Hiawatha Incredibly beautiful art creates the perfect aura for this boyhood section of The Song of Hiawatha. Be sure to read the one-page introduction by the artist, Susan Jeffers.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
7 Years and up
Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World Justin thinks that house-keeping chores are “women’s work”—until he goes to stay with his cowboy grandfather.
Mildred Pitts Walter
The Bodies in the Bessledorf Hotel There’s something funny going on when the dead bodies in the Bessledorf Hotel keep disappearing! And the fun is the story itself, which is more spoof than mystery.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Try These on for Size, Melody! Some horses need new shoes every four weeks! With simple text and close-up photographs, this book details the steps that a good farrier (horseshoer) takes.
Oak and Company This story of the life of an oak is told and illustrated with reverence and elegant simplicity. If you love God’s creations, you will want this book on your shelf.
8 years and up
Amy: The Story of a Deaf Child Amy climbs trees, reads, watches movies, has lots of friends, and is the fastest girl in her class. She says, “I think deafness feels like peace. Hearing people have to hear all sorts of things they don’t want to hear. I don’t.”
Lou Ann Walker
The Beezus and Ramona Diary Along with excerpts and illustrations from books about Ramona and Beezus, there is lots of room for writing about your own good/ bad times, arguments, feelings, and dreams. It will be your own journal to keep forever. (And it would make a wonderful gift for a special friend.)
Grandma Moses: Painter of Rural America When she was twelve, Anna Mary left her farm home and went to work as a hired girl. She didn’t really start painting until she was almost eighty. Many years later she wrote, “If I didn’t start painting, I would have raised chickens.”
The Illyrian Adventure When Vesper goes to Illyria in search of legendary treasure and magical warriors, she finds herself caught between Zentan and Illyrian forces. Can she stop the war before it starts?
Modern Electronics Right now, through the miracle of electronics, a science not even a hundred years old, we have “a computer making a billion calculations a second, … a tiny X-ray beam slipping deep into a human brain in search of a hemorrhaging blood vessel, [and] a gigantic rocket hurling a complex space probe on a journey to the stars.” Starting with basics, and including experiments that you can do inexpensively, this book “walks you through” electronics from its origins into the future.
Wayne J. LeBlanc and Alden R. Carter
10 years and up
Under the Same Stars Joseph Williams is just nine when his family arrives by steamboat at Jackson County, Missouri, in Under the Same Stars. Later, when they are driven by mobs into Clay County, he saves his older brother’s life. In As Wide as the River, Joseph works on a riverboat before going back to help his family as they are driven into Caldwell County. Before they are driven across the river into Illinois, Joseph will have served many dangerous missions for the Brethren. In Facing the Enemy, seventeen-year-old Joseph learns who the real enemy is.
11 years and up
His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut In this work of historical fiction, Hatshepsut defies tradition and has herself proclaimed king. Refusing to “allow an accident to happen” to her stepson, she loses her only daughter, her most trusted friend, and, eventually, her own life to his evil schemes.
Dorothy Sharp Carter
12 years and up
Soda Poppery Are you “average”? Do you drink thirty-nine gallons of pop each year? Besides the fascinating reading, there are equally fascinating things to do and recipes to make, such as Soda Pop Gelatin, Baked Ham, and your own homemade soft drinks!
12 years and up