Books! Books! Books!


All books listed here have been reviewed by the Friend editorial staff and are generally available in libraries/bookstores.
Books, the children of the brain.—Jonathan Swift

Noah’s Ark This very simple version of the Biblical story has matching simple, clear-cut illustrations. Lucy Cousins (reteller) 2–4 years

One Ballerina Two Sort of a counting book, sort of a series of illustrations of ballet steps, and sort of a book about friends—one an accomplished ballerina, one a small girl. Vivian French 3–5 years

Not Yet, Yvette What fun Yvette and her dad have as they get ready to give her mother a surprise birthday party! Helen Ketteman 3–6 years

The Grand Old Duke of York Each succeeding stanza in this funny, old-favorite rhyme shows the duke losing men as he marches them here, there, and everywhere. The jolly art by Maureen Roffey will be enjoyed clear to the happy ending. Bernard Lodge (reteller) 3–7 years

Horace Horace wasn’t sure he belonged in the family that adopted him. Finally, however, he realizes that just as his family chose him, he chooses them. Holly Keller 4–6 years

Jared and His Brother, Nephi and Lehi in Prison, and Captain Moroni’s Title of Liberty These are three of eleven small paperbacks in the My First Scripture Stories set, available through LDS bookstores. Each book also tells where its story is to be found in the Book of Mormon, and tiny figures of “Nephite children” frequent the margins to give pronunciations, definitions, and other helps. Sherrie Johnson 4–8 years

Possum Come a-Knockin’ “Granny was a-sittin’ / and a-rockin’ and a-knittin’ / when a possum come a-knockin’ / at the door.” The zany pictures build an outrageous family portrait in which Pappy is a-whittlin’ and Coon-Dawg is a-twitchin’ and Pa is busy fixin’—and you’ll soon be a-readin’ and a-gigglin’ when Possum comes a-knockin’ at the door. Nancy Van Laan 4–9 years

Elmer Blunt’s Open House Elmer Blunt overslept. In his hurry to go to work, he doesn’t close the front door, and some delightful, curious visitors come in. Then a thief comes—but all works out well in this funny, funny book. Matt Novak 5–7 years

The Name of the Tree The animals were very hungry. Very hungry. The wonderful tree had fruit, but they could not get it until they learned the tree’s name. The speedy gazelle ran to Lion King to learn its name but forgot it. The elephant with his remarkable memory went next but also forgot it. It was the plodding but steady, ordinary but caring tortoise who saved the starving animals in this Bantu folktale about true humility. Celia Barker Lottridge (reteller) 5–8 years

Home by Five Rosie tried to be home from the skating rink by five, she really did. But her laces were in a knot, and her friend Josh grabbed her hat, and. … Ruth Wallace-Brodeur 5–8 years

Grounded for Life? Matthew likes to show off in class. He’s failing math, and his parents say that if he doesn’t do better, he can’t go to karate anymore. Accidentally he gets the answers to the math test the day before the test. … Easy to read. Alex Simmons 6–9 years

Swamp Monsters Has anyone ever said that you were acting like a little monster? Well, this book of great silly fun is about two little monsters who were accused of acting like children! Easy to read. Mary Blount Christian 6–9 years

Happy Burpday, Maggie McDougal! Bonkers gave Maggie exactly what she wanted for her birthday—tickets to the White Sox game—so she just had to come up with something extra special for his birthday. She had two problems: 1) no money, and 2) snooty Cynthia had already bragged that her present to Bonkers would be the biggest. Valiska Gregory 7–10 years

Puppy Love With four wriggly puppies to find homes for, Evie and Megan’s Pet Patrol is in business. At first, when three of the four puppies were returned to them, the girls were afraid that this would be business failure number six. And if it was, the puppies would have to go to the pound! Betsy Duffey 7–11 years

How Much Is a Million? If you have trouble picturing in your mind just how much a million is, you are not alone. This book helps a lot. For a million, it shows a tower of children reaching toward the moon—and beyond for a billion, and clear to Saturn for a trillion. And that’s just one example. David M. Schwartz 7–11 years

Harold the Herald Just what is heraldry? Well, it’s sportscasting, spying, being an expert in the Blazon language, and much more. This book has lots of humor and cartoon drawings and has been thoroughly researched for accuracy. Dana Fradon 8–12 years

Breaking Free Richard’s parents were dead, and his uncle made him work very hard. The only way he could go to school was to walk five miles each way, regardless of the weather. His uncle had slaves, too, and Richard wanted them to be free as much as he wanted to break free himself. But what could a twelve-year-old boy do? A truly gripping story. Louann Gaeddert 8–12 years

The Wailing Wall This story of the Wailing Wall of the temple in Jerusalem begins at the time of Abraham and ends with the Six Day War of 1967. Short and easy to read, the story tells impartially about how Jerusalem was taken over by Greeks, Muslims, Romans, and others. Leonard Everett Fisher 8–12 years

Voice Magic: Secrets of Ventriloquism & Voice Conjuring Near and far ventriloquism (throwing your voice), sound imitation, and how to perform in front of an audience are all explained. As with any skill, once you learn the few basics, success is achieved by lots and lots of practice. Ormond McGill 9–14 years

Midstream Changes: People Who Started Over and Made It Work The stories in this slim book are about Levi Strauss (blue jeans), Milton Bradley (games), William Coleman (camping equipment), Carl Wickman (cross-country buses), Conrad Hilton (hotels), Harland Sanders (fast-food chicken), and Mary Kay Ash (cosmetics). Nathan Aaseng 10 years and up

How to Cook a Gooseberry Fool These recipes from eleven countries (including England, China, Mexico, Greece, Australia) are for main dishes, side dishes, soups, beverages, appetizers/snacks, and desserts. Some of their names are Spiders, Bubble and Squeak with Wow-Wow Sauce, Little Shoes, Galloping Horses, and, of course, Gooseberry Fool. Photos of each recipe, and the origin of each name, are included. Marcia Vaughan 10 years and up

The Cataract of Lodore With illustrations by David Catrow, you will want this wonderful book in your family library to enjoy over and over and over. Young children will clamor to have the classic verse (by the poet laureate of England in his day) read again and again, and everyone will enjoy the sound of it as they pore over the lively, humorous illustrations of the poet, his children, and their dog going down the cataract (waterfall) in England’s beautiful Lake District. Robert Southey all ages

Holiday Books

Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present When Santa returned home after delivering (he thought) all his Christmas presents, he tucked in his reindeer and got ready for bed. Then he noticed a present still in his sack. How would he deliver it without his reindeer? John Burningham 4–8 years

The Christmas Teddy Bear Usually we hear stories about a little boy or girl getting lost in the snow. But when Grandpa went to town and got a teddy bear for Ellen, the snowstorm was so bad that he got lost on the way home. Ellen helped with rescue efforts, and Grandpa was found just in time! Ivan Gantschev 5–8 years

Seven Candles for Kwanzaa In a note to readers, the author explains that Kwanzaa, “an American holiday inspired by African traditions,” is “not intended as a religious, political, or heroic holiday, nor is it a substitute for Christmas,” though it is celebrated from December 26 through January 1. Each of the seven days of this festival reflects family togetherness, the honoring of ancestors, helping the community, and gratitude for life’s blessings. Andrea Davis Pinkney 6–11 years

[illustration] Illustrated by Warren Luch