Books! Books! Books!


All books listed here have been reviewed by the Friend editorial staff and are generally available in libraries/bookstores.
“‘Except a living man there is nothing so wonderful as good books.’ With all my heart, I urge young people to cultivate the reading habit.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, page 321.)

What’s Inside? Photographs of toddlers and of simple objects found inside a drawer, toy box, diaper-changing bag, kitchen cupboard, shopping bag, picnic basket, beach bag, and purse make this a delightful first book for a child. Anthea Sieveking 2–3 years

Grandma Gets Grumpy Grandma lets Lassen do all sorts of things not allowed at home. But when she and her four cousins are at Grandma’s (without their parents), things get out of hand and Grandma gets grumpy—until the cousins figure out how to make things right. Anna Grossnickle Hines 3–5 years

Corduroy This comfortable “oldie” is a very simple story about a stuffed bear in a department store and about how he gets a home and a friend. Don Freeman 3–7 years

What Do You Say, Dear? A hilarious-but-practical first etiquette book for kids. Sesyle Joslin 3–8 years

Winter Harvest Each winter night before she goes to bed, a girl and her father feed the deer, then watch them cavort in the snow. In the morning, the deer watch the girl playing in the snow before they disappear into the woods to sleep. Jane Chelsea Aragon 4–6 years

I Wish I Were a Butterfly Most crickets in Swampswallow Pond celebrate daylight with a song, but the littlest cricket wants to stay in his dark tunnel home because the frog said that he was ugly. Talking to a glowworm, a ladybug, and a dragonfly only makes him feel worse. Then the Old One shows him what true beauty is. James Howe 4–7 years

All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir One bass is a hippopotamus; middle-tone singers include dogs and cats; and birds (including a hoot owl) carry the top notes. Even those who don’t sing can “clap their hands / Or paws / Or anything they got.” Everyone is welcome in this choir. The melody follows the text. Bill Staines 4–7 years

Two and Too Much Poor Brandon! When he volunteered to watch his little sister while his mother cleaned house for company, he didn’t know what he was getting into. Gina was two—and too much! Mildred Pitts Walter 5–7 years

The Wild Christmas Reindeer Most of the year, Santa’s reindeer run wild. It is Teeka’s task to catch, retrain, and care for them until Christmas Eve. The art for this Ukrainian folktale is magnificent and includes borders of North Pole workshop activities for each day in December. Jan Brett 5–7 years

The House on Maple Street When they helped their father dig a garden, Chrissy and Jenny found a treasure. This book tells who might have left it there and what the garden plot might have looked like even before the Indians. Bonnie Pryor 5–8 years

The Bravest Dog Ever It was 30° below 0° F (-34° C) in Alaska, and a blizzard was raging. But if the sled dogs couldn’t get needed medicine to Nome, the people there would die. This beginning-to-read story is true. Natalie Standiford 6–8 years

The Fireplug Is First Base It was only a neighborhood game, and the big guys made Flea and Mary and Matt do all the catching and fielding; they never got to bat. But after tagging Tank out trying for a double home run, Flea was allowed to swing. Then the fun began! An easy-to-read book. P. J. Petersen 6–9 years

Superdupers! Heebie-jeebies, hotsy-totsy, and ding-a-ling are real words. Really! In this book you’ll find out what lots of handy-dandy words mean and how they came about. With razzle-dazzle cartoon illustrations, this book’s not humdrum claptrap at all—it’s super-duper! Marvin Terban 6–10 years

Peanut and Jilly Forever When Peanut moved from Minneapolis, Jilly thought that she was a motor-mouth, a fatso, and a know-it-all. Peanut thought that Jilly was a snob, a bean pole, and a know-it-all. You’ll never guess who got them to be best friends. Dorothy Haas 7–10 years

A Horse Named Paris If you really want a horse, you might want one like Paris. This book tells what a good horse he is and how he is cared for at his boarding stable. The many color photos include a sequence of Paris rolling happily on his back. Lynn Sonberg 7–11 years

The Boxcar Children Cookbook These recipes for foods mentioned in the Boxcar Children series are for beginning cooks, but all cooks will find treasures: “Caboose Orange Special,” “Secret Code Buns,” “Canoe-Trip Pancakes,” “Benny’s #1 Favorite Sandwich,” “Hot Dog Animals,” “Mountain Top Hamburgers,” “Henry’s Boxcar Carrots,” “Rocking Horse Cake,” “Hollow-Leg Bread Pudding,” and many more. Diane Blain 7–13 years

Where the Bald Eagles Gather Bald eagles are an endangered or a threatened species in most states. One place they gather—when there are enough salmon for them—is in Glacier National Park. This book has many photographs of them there. In one, they look like snowballs in the trees. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent 8–11 years

Last Was Lloyd A “life as it really is” story about a fat boy—really fat, as in obese—who is his own worst enemy. He’s never had a friend, and he doesn’t want anyone to discover that he has a very desirable talent: He can really hit a baseball! Doris Buchanan Smith 8–12 years

A Grain of Wheat The author of Ghost of Windy Hill, The Beast of Lor, Shoeshine Girl, Pirate’s Promise, and many other favorite children’s books tells about dropping a dipper on his father’s head when he was in a well, sitting in the rain with his dog Carlo, getting kicked in the head by a horse and having to learn to walk again, saying “stupid things” at school. Clyde Robert Bulla 8 years and up

The Puppet Book Good instructions are hard to write but not hard to follow, which is the case in this book. You learn how to make a puppet theater and puppets as well as how to work them. There are even six plays for you to put on. Then you can write your own! Claire Buchwald 9–13 years

Ghosts in the Baker Mine A dead cat, a crazy man, and dead miners are key elements in this adventure story that will keep you turning its pages. Alma J. Yates 9–13 years

Fire!: The Library Is Burning Books, many whose value was beyond price, were either burned to ashes or were being destroyed by the very water that put the fire out. This is the story of the fire and of people, from kindergartners to food scientists, who did what they could for the library. Barry D. Cytron 9 years and up

Boy of the Land/Man of the Lord Humorous stories—he once played basketball in a drained swimming pool—and more serious ones—a teacher once accused him of cheating on a test—show young Ezra Taft Benson developing into a loving husband and father, patriot, Church leader. Elaine Cannon 10 years and up

The Cargo of the Madalena It is 1482, and there is just as much political intrigue, crime, and effort to stop progress now as there will be in 1992. Bendy wonders how his own brothers could be part of the corruption. Cynthia Harnett 10 years and up

Round Buildings, Square Buildings, & Buildings That Wiggle Like a Fish This is a specialized book for those who love buildings and all that they represent in human lives. It is filled with beautiful color photographs of almost a hundred buildings, and an easily understood paragraph about each. Philip M. Isaacson 10 years and up

Good Queen Bess Shunted off by her father, the infamous King Henry VIII, Elizabeth I of England learned much the hard way about how to rule. Despite the intrigues of the court and the connivings of foreign powers, she ruled as justly as she could, and the people loved her. Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema 11–14 years

[illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki