Out of the Best Books: Summer Reading Fun


All books listed here have been reviewed by the Friend editorial staff and are generally available in libraries/bookstores.

Fiction

What Do You Like? A little girl and her brother talk about the things they like. The art shows both the real and the imaginative things mentioned. But there is no changing of the thing they love best—Mother. Michael Grejniec 3–5 years

Silly Sally A jolly, silly rhyme-story with lively illustrations to match—sure to bring giggles to young readers. As “Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards, upside down,” she was joined by creatures doing equally silly antics. Great silly fun! Audrey Wood 3–6 years

Wake Up, Mr. B.! This book of mostly pictures tells of early-riser Rosie trying to find a fellow early riser. Mr. B., the family dog, is the only one who is willing to get up for her. But after many games (and getting dressed), guess what Rosie is doing when the rest of her family gets up! Penny Dale 3–6 years

Dinner at the Panda Palace In this rhyming counting book, the different animals all come and eat their favorite foods. (The party of three will be very familiar!) When a mouse arrives, the restaurant’s tables are already full of customers—will there be room for him? Easy to read. Stephanie Calmenson 3–7 years

Do Not Disturb Soccer, swimming, camping—it’s the first day of summer, and the children are noisily enjoying it. As they scream and jump and play, they disturb the animals. When darkness falls, it’s the animals’ turn to be noisy! After the first sentence, the pictures tell the story! Nancy Tafuri 3–7 years

City Fox Can foxes live in the city? Yes! And Ellie was thrilled the night she was allowed to see one. A quiet book in which a reverence for God’s creations is encouraged. Donna Bergman 4–7 years

Benjamin’s Barn “Benjamin’s barn / Is so big and so clean / He could hold a great ball / For the king and the queen.” The barn is also warm, tall, wide, soft, grand, neat—and full! Susan Jeffers’s art is delightful. Reeve Lindbergh 4–7 years

Little Dog Lost Pip was a wonderful little dog; he could even sing! When Liz and her family move to the country, she and her brother didn’t have any friends there—except Pip. Then, the day before her birthday, he couldn’t be found! Inga Moore 4–8 years

Country Crossing Not only do you hear and see the train rushing past the crossing on the country road one night, you can almost feel its whoosh and the ground vibrating under you. Jim Aylesworth 4–8 years

Mouse Views: What the Class Pet Saw What would you see if you were a mouse? Pictures taken with a camera show you what one school mouse saw when he left his mouse house. What do you think all those things—so big to the mouse—really are? Bruce McMillan 5–7 years

Higher on the Door Come swing on a vine, build a snow tunnel, ride on a big black train. Come see the world when Grandpa was a boy, when the iceman delivered ice to each house, and when lightning and the dentist were scary. James Stevenson 5–8 years

Babushka Baba Yaga In Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga, a supernatural creature akin to elves and goblins and woodland fairies, was believed to be ugly and evil. Babushkas were thought of as kindly old grandmothers. In this legend, the people learn that they must not judge by appearances but by what they know in their hearts to be true. Patricia Polacco 5–9 years

Armando Asked, “Why?” Armando wanted to know why water was wet, why the sky was so high, why birds sang, and why frogs were green, but who could answer all his questions? An easy-to-read book with colorful art by an artist who also illustrates stories in the Friend. Jay Hulbert and Sid Kantor 6–9 years

What About My Goldfish? Jamie’s family has to move, and he has lots of worries. Will his dog, Freckles, want to leave? What about his goldfish? How can they survive a three-day trip? Pamela D. Greenwood 6–9 years

Someone Could Win a Polar Bear These poems, from the ridiculous to the wise, are all fun. Among the late poet’s “friends” are the Blabberhead, the Whatchamacallit, and the Hairy-Nosed Preposterous. John Ciardi 6–10 years

Earthquake in the Third Grade John had two “earthquakes” to worry about. One was when he knocked his ant farm over—that was a real earthquake to them, he was sure. The other earthquake happened at school. And though it wasn’t really an earthquake, it certainly threatened to turn his life upside down. Laurie Myers 7–9 years

Roz and Ozzie The trouble was that her uncle lived just next door in the same two-family house, that he was two years younger than she was (and let everyone know it!), and that he was a pest. But he did some things right, too, and when he was in trouble, Roz hurried to his defense. Johanna Hurwitz 7–10 years

The Math Wiz Math was fun, but being picked last in sports was not. Marty first tried to solve his problem by trying to get out of P.E., but that almost got him in trouble with the principal. Betsy Duffey 7–10 years

The Lotus Seed Her country conquered by another, her husband killed in a war to make her country free again, then her family forced to flee because people in another part of her country were threatening the people in her part—that was what happened to the girl’s grandmother. The lotus seed from the emperor’s garden reminded them of the old country and of their love for their family. Sherry Garland 8–10 years

Mountain Born The newborn black lamb was still, stiff, and cold, but with the old shepherd’s special touch and Mother’s loving care, Biddy was soon a spirited pet for Peter. But she was more than that. One time, for example, Biddy appeared at the farmhouse door, her side dripping blood. She led Peter, his father, and the old shepherd back to the flock in the mountains so that they could save it from the wolves that had attacked her. Elizabeth Yates 8–11 years

Cat Running Cat’s stingy father wouldn’t let her wear slacks even for the races, and she was not so sure she could win them this year in a skirt. Then there was the problem of the Okies. Four of them had found the hidden cave she had put her few treasures in, the refuge from her problems at home, the place so special that she hadn’t even told her best friend about it. Zilpha Keatley Snyder 8–12 years

Nonfiction

Dolphin Adventure: A True Story You’ve probably heard stories of dolphins saving people. Would you like to return the favor and save a dolphin? The author did. He saved an injured baby dolphin. And its parents protected them both from sharks while he did! Wayne Grover 6 years and up

Mary Todd Lincoln Mary Todd was a little girl who loved nice clothes, had a sharp temper and a kind heart, and liked to talk politics. She didn’t change, even after she grew up and married the man she would always call—even when she talked to him—“Mr. Lincoln.” A very interesting, easy-to-read book. LaVere Anderson 7–11 years

Totem Pole Some customs and beliefs of the Tsimshian and Klallam tribes of Native Americans are explained as well as the making of a totem pole by the narrator’s father. Beautiful photographs illustrate everything. The finished totem pole “weighs over three thousand pounds and it takes fifty strong men and women to carry it.” Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith 7–11 years

Paper Action Toys All sorts of games and toys can be made with paper and cereal boxes and cardboard tubes. Some are for indoors, some for outdoors. Some need you to think about strategies to defeat an opponent, some challenge your skill as an individual. Instructions are detailed; illustrations are clear. E. Richard Churchill 8–13 years

Book of Mormon Songs for Children The simple, catchy music is by Lynn S. Lund; the lyrics are by Mabel Jones Gabbott, Gerald N. Lund, and Shawn M. Stringham; and the introductory stories are by Gerald N. Lund. Available through outlets selling Church books. all ages