Summer Reading Fun


All books listed here have been reviewed by the Friend editorial staff and are generally available in libraries/bookstores.
I cannot live without books.—Thomas Jefferson

Fiction

Dads Are Such Fun Gorilla, koala, elephant, turtle, lion, and human dads are delightfully illustrated playing with their babies in this gentle book. Jakki Wood 2–4 years

On Grandma’s Roof Emily and her grandma hang up clothes on the roof of her home in the city. They play hide-and-seek, have a picnic, and watch the people way down on the street before taking down the dry clothes at the end of their special time together. Erica Silverman 3–5 years

Will You Still Love Me? No matter how many awful things the little boy can imagine doing, his father assures him that though he might be disciplined for them, it will be done with love, and that he will always have his father’s love. Rick Walton 3–6 years

Ronald Morgan Goes to Bat Ronald is good at cheering on his teammates but not at all good at playing—until his dad tells him what he did to stop being as bad a player as Ronald. Patricia Reilly Giff 3–8 years

The Camel Who Took a Walk Just at the “time between night and day,” a beautiful camel took a walk. She didn’t know that a tiger was preparing to pounce. Or did she? A monkey, a squirrel, and a bird have their own schemes in this charming tale about choices. Jack Tworkov 4–7 years

The Trouble with Elephants Well, among other things, they sneak-drink your lemonade on a picnic, and they’re terrible at hide-and-seek. But the biggest trouble with elephants is … No, the story and art are too cute to give it away—you’ll have to get the book and find out for yourself. Chris Riddell 4–7 years

The Three Jovial Huntsmen The three jovial huntsmen in this Mother Goose woods find only “a ship a-sailing,” “the moon a-gliding,” “a hedgehog in a bramble bush,” and “a hare in a turnip field,” so they leave. Readers, of course, will see all the animals that the huntsmen missed. Susan Jeffers (adapter) 4–7 years

It Came from the Swamp The alligators are playing baseball, and Alfie gets hit on the head. He is terrified when he comes to, and he runs into town, where he inadvertently creates all kinds of havoc. Great silly fun, with just as much in the art as in the story line. Nicole Rubel 4–8 years

Goldilocks and the Three Bears No matter how many versions of this classic tale you have seen, you’ll want to see this one for its magnificent illustrations! It’s also well told. Jan Brett (reteller) 5–7 years

Galimoto In Malawi, Africa, a galimoto is a push toy made by children from whatever things they can find. Kondi wanted to make a pickup truck out of wire. This story is about how he got the wire and made his wonderful galimoto. Karen Lynn Williams 5–8 years

Amelia Bedelia and Thank You, Amelia Bedelia If you’re not yet acquainted with this zany lady who does exactly what she’s told, you have a treat in store. And for those of you who know her, do you remember these first books in the series, in which she dusts the furniture with face powder and takes the spots out of clothes with scissors? Easy to read. Peggy Parish 5–8 years

The Story of the Little Old Man Everyone is mean to the little old man, and he is very lonely. So lonely, in fact, that he puts up signs asking for a friend. But nobody comes. Except a big dog. … An easy-to-read story from Sweden. Barbro Lindgren 5–9 years

Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat A lost cat showed up on Henry’s doorstep and “adopted” Mudge. No one wanted a cat that looked like mashed prunes, until a police officer came and claimed Dave the cat. The thank-you he sent later made Mudge and Henry less sad at losing Dave. Cynthia Rylant 6–8 years

Matthew Wheelock’s Wall It was a family tie that linked him with his great-great-grandchildren. It was also an artistic monument to his work on his land. “And so his wall has stood more than a hundred years, stone hugging stone. / He knew the small ones need the big, the big the small. / So like the world is Matthew Wheelock’s wall.” Frances Ward Weller 6–9 years

And So They Build Many animals are builders. This slim book has magnificent pictures of a bowerbird, a bowl-and-doily spider, a three-spined stickleback, beavers, and others of God’s creatures as they build. The brief text opposite the large pictures tells how and why they build. Bert Kitchen 6 years and up

Anna’s Gift At first, Anna had three problems: her promise to not draw anymore, her middle sister’s tattling, and her mother’s health. Then persecution of the Saints started again, and the Prophet Joseph Smith was slain. This is just one in a series of excellent books for girls about Church History. Carol Lynch Williams 7–10 years

Marvin Redpost: Why Pick on Me? What do you do when someone tells a lie about you and everyone else either believes it or is afraid to defend you? Marvin had that problem. Louis Sachar 7–10 years

Salty Dog and Salty Sails North These two books take Salty from the time he is a pup in Zack’s pocket and watches the sailboat being built, to the trip they make in it along the Alaskan coast. They see wolves, a bear with her cubs, and a Tlingit Indian tribe’s ancient longhouse and totem pole. The author based her story on a real dog that visited its master where he worked in a boatyard and that went on a cruise. Gloria Rand 7–11 years

In the Shadow of an Eagle This collection of adventure stories from Highlights magazine includes stories about Native Americans, children who rescue their parents, a pearl diver, a runaway hot-air balloon, and the rescue of a sled dog on breakaway ice. 8–10 years

Night of the Full Moon Libby loves her Potawatomi friend, Fawn, and wishes they could live together. Then she is at the camp of Fawn’s Native American tribe when they are rounded up and forced to move to the west. Libby has to go with them because the soldiers don’t believe that she is not a Potawatomi too! Gloria Whelan 8–11 years

Nonfiction

Johnny Appleseed What makes this story of John Chapman special is not the interesting factual information on the first and last pages of the book. No, what makes it special is the poem that tells not just of John Chapman but of life in those times—and all the beautiful illustrations. Reeve Lindbergh 7–10 years

Baseball Tips By mastering the “Big Three” tips for hitting, fielding, position playing, and team playing, you will become the best player you can be—and a winner. The illustrations and strategies in this book will help too. Dean Hughes and Tom Hughes 7–11 years

Nature Detective This easy-to-read book has many helpful illustrations. It tells/shows you how to solve outdoor mysteries about animals, birds, sealife, plants, and even the weather by using your eyes, ears, hands (sometimes!), and even your nose. Eileen M. Docekal 8 years and up

Kites on the Wind The subtitle is Easy-to-Make Kites That Fly Without Sticks, and all can be made with 8 1/2″ x 11″ (22 cm x 28 cm) paper. Patterns are provided, and you can learn why each flies so that you can invent your own! Emery Kelley 9 years and up

String: Tying It Up, Tying It Down You don’t have to be a Boy Scout or a sailor to appreciate this book, but it is specialized. It tells about what kinds of knots and hitches to use when, about braiding and whipping, even about “engineering a button.” The diagrams are especially good. Jan Adkins 10–14 years

[illustration] Illustrated by Mark Robison