Books! Books! Books!


All books listed here have been reviewed by the Friend editorial staff and are generally available in libraries/bookstores.
By Chivalries as tiny,
A Blossom, or a Book,
The seeds of smiles are planted—
Which blossom in the dark.

—Emily Dickinson

Baby-O In this West Indies tale, different sounds are made as each member of the family leaves his or her work and takes the bus to the market. “Chuka Chuka Wusha Wusha … Listen to the way our family goes, Family Family Family-O.” Nancy White Carlstrom 2–4 years

On Mother’s Lap Michael loves to rock with Mother, and he likes it even better when he shares her lap with Dolly, Boat, and Puppy. But when his baby sister wakes up and starts to cry, he says, “There isn’t room.” Mother says, “Let’s see.” A tender, easy-to-read book. Ann Herbert Scott 2–5 years

It Wasn’t My Fault As each creature in this nonsense story claims, “It wasn’t my fault,” Murdley Gurdson is forced to decide that the blame for an egg falling on his head was really his. When he does, they each say that it was their fault, after all. Then they take him home to do something with the egg. Great silly fun! Helen Lester 3–5 years

That Olive! Andy likes to play hide-and-seek with his cat, Olive, and the reader gets to find Olive when Andy can’t. Then Andy hides from Olive in order to find her, and it works! Alice Schertle 3–5 years

Deer at the Brook Lovely, naturalistic art, with little text, shows other creatures as well as the deer at the brook. Jim Arnosky 3–6 years

Over the River and Through the Wood In the version illustrated by Iris Van Rynbach, all four verses of this genial old-favorite song are included, as is a simple arrangement of the music in the key of C. Lydia Maria Child 3–7 years

Forest of Dreams Winter changes gradually to spring in the forest as a child goes from page to page. The words are as beautiful as the illustrations, giving thanks to God, who “gave me everything.” Rosemary Wells 3–7 years

William and Grandpa William’s grandpa knows how to please him: They try to jump on their shadows, they climb to the roof and look at stars, they sing the same songs, and they talk about how there’s a little of Grandma in William. “‘And some of you, too?’ asked William. Grandpa chuckled. ‘Yes, sir, some of me, too. And some of the great-great-grandmas and the great-great-great-grandpas we never knew.’” Alice Schertle 4–6 years

Time To … Each large, clear, colorful photograph showing an event during a boy’s day includes a clock. A digital readout is also included to show not only the time but AM and PM, and the text indicates morning, noon, afternoon, and night. A simple, fun way to learn to tell time. Bruce McMillan 4–7 years

The House of a Mouse The art is endearing, the verses charming: “Do you know, do you know / where little Mice go / when the meadow is white / with billows of snow? / They dive out of sight / and nibble and play / in tunnels of white / all hidden away … / and if they play “snowballs” / I really can’t say.” Aileen Fisher 4–8 years

Mother Holly This fairy tale, older than the Brothers Grimm, is about a little girl who fell into a well and was rewarded for all the good things that she did. Her not-so-good sister then jumped into the well—and the reward that she earned was quite different! Bernadette Watts (reteller) 5–8 years

The Story of Wali Dad The glorious art for this folktale from India is reason enough to invite this book into your home. But the tale of one generous act begetting another until things nearly get out of hand makes the story memorable in its own right. Kristina Rodanas (reteller) 5–8 years

Beauty, Brave and Beautiful The little dog’s eyes were crossed, her legs were crooked, her tail was bent, her nose was bulbous, and her fur felt like coarse straw. The children named her Beauty. They knew that “Beauty is as beauty does.” And she was as brave as she was beautiful. Dick Gackenbach 5–9 years

When Moose Was Young In chapter one, Moose braves the dangers of Broccoli Forest to find Skunk. In chapter two, Porcupine makes himself comfortable in Pigeon’s nest, and she asks Moose for help. In chapter three, Moose gives flowers to some turkeys, and in chapter four, Fox has a wonderful dream so vivid that Moose and Skunk can share it. Jim Latimer 6–9 years

Sea Squares Did you know that a blue whale can weigh fifty times as much as an elephant? And that a sea lily is really an animal? Many more interesting facts are at the back of this book. Its lively illustrations use sea creatures to show how many each number, from one to ten, is when it is multiplied by itself. Joy N. Hulme 6–9 years

William Tell William Tell was a hero who refused to bow to the empty cap of the cruel foreign governor. His story is beautifully illustrated by Margaret Early, with pictures that capture the time in which the story happened. Margaret Early (reteller) 6–9 years

Mystery of the Phantom Pony There’s no such thing as a phantom pony—or a phantom anything, of course. Susan knew that. But she didn’t know where the pony came from or where it went. She just knew that she wanted to ride it again. Lynn Hall 7–9 years

Deadline! Don’t be fooled by its looks—this is no picture book, even if it’s full of pictures. It is a detailed, accurate telling/showing of how a modern newspaper gets out the news before its deadline each day. Gail Gibbons 7–10 years

Nothing But Net, Go to the Hoop and On the Line All three basketball stories are about the Angel Park Lakers. In Nothing But Net, Kenny had to work his way off the bench. And he had to speak up for the new boy, a hotshot “loner.” Harlan, in Go to the Hoop, was a starter only because he was tall—but height didn’t help his clumsiness or his inability to jump. In On the Line, Miles was letting racial slurs get to him, and he felt he was all alone. Then two people he never suspected of having faced prejudice helped him deal with it. Dean Hughes 7–11 years

Burton and the Giggle Machine Burton is an inventor. He needs to invent something that will help his friends to solve their big problems. Meanwhile, Professor Savvy is trying to steal his inventions. Dorothy Haas 8–11 years

In the Days of Joseph Smith Divided into topics of interest to children (such as the Nauvoo Legion and Bailey’s Boys Troop, and the work and fun of the children at the time), each two-to-three page chapter includes stories about children and photographs of related items (toys, a school slate, Joseph Smith’s pistol, a tooth puller). A good resource for talks and family home evening lessons. Richard Neitzel Holzapfel 8–12 years

The Tower of London A quiet museum now, the Tower of London has been a fortress, a prison, and a home during its nine hundred troubled years. After the Great Fire swept through London in 1666, the tower doors were opened to the burned, hungry, and homeless survivors. Dramatic black and white drawings. Leonard Everett Fisher 8 years and up

Making Up Your Mind About Drugs The best thing about this book is that besides giving you the straight information about drugs, it also tells you how to “just say no” and how to get “highs” without drugs—in ways that will leave you feeling good about yourself. Gilda Berger 9–11 years

Alien Equation This science fiction play has great special effects, modern music, and lots of action and suspense. The plot involves kids pulling together to save the world from a destructive force—just in the nick of time. A good read as well as an exciting play to perform. Annie Maccoby 9–12 years

The World’s Best String Games Besides fascinating figures such as “Dogs on a Leash” and “Apache Door,” there are actions such as “Slithering Sea Serpent” and “Full and Empty Well”; figures that tell stories; and games for two. Collected from all over the world, including from Native Americans, these games have careful instructions and illustrations to show you how to do them. Joanmarie Kalter 9 years and up

Vegetarian Cooking Around the World An introduction tells about the different kinds of vegetarianism. Then come explanations of some cooking utensils, cooking terms, and special ingredients. Where you can get the few special ingredients needed—or substitutes for them—is included with the recipes themselves. Color photos of the foods and of interesting things to see in various countries are sprinkled throughout the book. Recipes are for beverages; breads; foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and desserts. Mmmm! Mary Winget (editor) 10 years and up

Picture This Although this is mostly for the serious art student, learning how an artist makes us feel scared, happy, sad, hopeful is fascinating to everyone. Molly Bang 11 years and up

Holiday Stories

Angel Mae Mae’s mother was going to have a baby. Mae thought about it a lot. Then she got an important part in the school Christmas play. Mom and Dad planned to attend, but the baby came that day. Grandma went to see the play, of course, and Mae went to see the baby later. A delightful English story. Shirley Hughes 3–6 years

Up on the Housetop Christmas in Wind Valley, 1937, is an exciting time for the young girl who tells this story. And when she helps a struggling family and learns a secret about Santa Claus, she comes to understand what Christmas really means. Jean Z. Liebenthal 10 years and up

Special Interest Family Book

Recipes for Kids Over sixty good recipes, many fun ideas to jazz up meals and snacks, information about healthy eating, tips for parents, and related games for the family are all included in this book written and produced by Church members and wonderfully illustrated by the Friend’s own Dick Brown. LaRene Gaunt and Edward Parent