Out of the Best Books: Summer Reading Fun


Oh let me live … and read. … —Alexander Pope
All books listed here have been reviewed by the Friend editorial staff and are generally available in libraries/bookstores.

Wait and See What would happen if wishes came true? Olivia’s did! Great silly fun! Robert Munsch 3–6 years

Let’s Go Home, Little Bear On the way back from a long walk, Little Bear stops to hear strange noises. Big Bear explains each noise, carries tired Little Bear the rest of the way home, then tells Little Bear a story before they both fall asleep. The art is as gentle and charming as the story. Martin Waddell 3–6 years

Just Not the Same Cleo, Gertrude, and Mirabelle always had to have exactly the same thing, whether it was the front seat of the car, the top bed bunk, the biggest piece of apple, or the same number of sprinkles on their bowls of ice cream. When they wanted a puppy, Mama tells them that they can have three identical stuffed-animal dogs, or they can share one puppy. Guess what they decided! Addie Lacoe 3–7 years

Soon, Annala Annala (Anna) has been in America with Mama, Papa, Sister, and Brother for a year. Her little brothers, Sammy and Elly, were still in Kolbuszowa with their aunt and uncle, and Annala missed them dreadfully. In this story, the word God is printed G-d. Annala and her family are Jewish, and as a mark of respect for Him, they avoid spelling out that word. Riki Levinson 3–7 years

Once Upon a Golden Apple “… there lived Snow White and the three bears.” So starts the story as Dad tries to see if his children will catch on to the mix-up. They do and have fun—as does the artist—all the way to “They all lived happily ever after.” Jean Little and Maggie de Vries 3–8 years

Never Babysit the Hippopotamuses! Because they’re so large—and they always want to play horsey! The art hilariously illustrates the hippo high jinks that go on when the baby-sitter arrives. Doug Johnson 4–7 years

Once Upon a Time and Grandma When Grandma tells about some of the wonderful things she did once upon a time when she “was a little girl called Norrie,” Emma and Luke believe her. But they only truly “see” her as a child when she proves it in a happy, most surprising way. Lenore Blegvad 4–8 years

Salt Hands The girl heard the deer in the night. She tiptoed downstairs, poured salt in her hands, and very slowly went toward the door. When he saw her and didn’t run away, she “sang a song to him softly.” Would he come to her and eat the salt from her hands? Yes! Jane Chelsea Aragon 5–7 years

Jonathan Mouse, Detective When the farmer’s wife lost her locket, she was so upset that all the animals on the farm were upset too. A city mouse who lived with detectives showed Jonathan how to solve the mystery. Ingrid Ostheeren 5–8 years

Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One and Aunt Isabel Makes Trouble Aunt Isabel tells the best stories! She makes them up—with Penelope’s help, of course. In the first book, the story is about a kind prince who is kidnapped, then rescued by clever Lady Penelope. In the second book, Lady Penelope finds a way to take the prince a special birthday present without spending any money—and captures Cocky the Roach and his gang along the way! The illustrations are as wonderful as the stories. Kate Duke 5–8 years

Clouds of Terror You probably know the story of the miracle of the seagulls that rescued the Latter-day Saint pioneers in Utah. But did you know that grasshoppers overran and destroyed crops in other places, too, places where no seagulls came to the rescue? This story is about how Helga and Erik helped their family survive such a plague. Fairly easy to read. Catherine A. Welch 5–9 years

The Blind Men and the Elephant This fable is about learning only part of the truth and thinking you know all of it. In this version, there is a happy ending. Karen Backstein 6–8 years

Halmoni and the Picnic Yunmi loved her grandmother and wanted her to stay in America. Not only was Halmoni lonely while Yunmi was in school but also too embarrassed by her Korean accent to try to talk to anyone else. Yunmi’s friends wanted to help, and their asking her to chaperone their class picnic was just what Halmoni needed. Sook Nyul Choi 6–9 years

Something Queer in Outer Space Fang and Fletcher didn’t like each other. Both were trained as space dogs, but only one could go in the space capsule. Meanwhile, someone—or something was trying to sabotage the flight. … Elizabeth Levy 7–10 years

The Great Genghis Khan Look-Alike Contest This very mean-looking dog was really a “pussycat,” and it followed Fred home. He needed money for Duz’s upkeep, so when the contest came along, he had to try to win it. Easy to read. Marjorie Weinman Sharmat 7–10 years

Nibble, Nibble, Jenny Archer Jenny was in the right place at the right time—she thought! As a result, she was in a TV commercial. But she had been tricked into eating gerbil food! Oh, my! Ellen Conford 7–10 years

The Angels Sing This is the third in the Mormon Girls series about “Sophie, a Kirtland Girl.” In this book, Sophie is ten, her father has come back from the march to Missouri with Zion’s Camp, and she is wondering how she can help Edmund, whose legs had been crushed by a felled tree and who had retreated from life. And the Kirtland Temple is completed and dedicated. Susan Evans McCloud 8–10 years

Double Play at Short Danny was a cinch to be the county all-star shortstop—unless a hotshot turned up. And Amy did! There are errors in the technical aspects of the game, but the action is so exciting that you won’t mind a bit. Matt Christopher 8–12 years

Trouble at Timpetill The Pirates are a gang of bullies who cause so much trouble that the adults in the small town decide to teach them a lesson. But the lesson backfires, and the only ones who can save the town—and themselves—are the other children, who have to run the town at the same time. Very exciting! Henry Winterfeld 9–12 years

Through the Mickle Woods When the queen dies, the king is overcome with grief. He rouses himself only to fulfill the queen’s dying wish that he take her ring to the great wise bear. He and the boy who goes with him hear wonderful tales from the bear—and come away healed in spirit. The art is as rich and stunning as the bear’s tales are wise and healing. Valiska Gregory all ages

Nonfiction

Is This a House for Hermit Crab? Hermit Crab had outgrown his house. He tried a rock, a tin can, a piece of driftwood, even a plastic pail, but none fit. He had to find a new house in a hurry—a pricklepine fish was chasing him! Megan McDonald 4–7 years

Playful Slider Otters love to play! Besides sliding, they like to dive under the snow and play hide-and-seek there. Even a baby otter plays—it may roll pebbles around, juggle small objects, even balance food on the end of its nose. You’ll love the pictures, too, of the fascinating river otters. Barbara Juster Esbense 6–10 years

Mom Can’t See Me What would it be like to have mother who is blind? Would you have to do everything for her? Would you be embarrassed at her mistakes? Leslie’s mom is blind. She is different in some ways from other moms, but she’s like them too. You’ll enjoy reading about both of them and the rest of their family (including Marit, the guide dog) and looking at the beautiful photographs in this easy-to-read book. Sally Hobart Alexander 7–10 years

Creatures of Earth, Sea, and Sky Beautiful, realistic artwork illustrates each short poem. All the poems are very readable, including two that are for two voices. Georgia Heard 8–11 years

The Workers’ Detective “‘There are two kinds of people,’ Gertrude Hamilton declared, ‘the ones who say, “Somebody ought to do something about it, but why should it be I?” and those who say, “Somebody must do something about it, then why not I?”’” Her daughter Alice was the second kind of person. Among the important things she did was get industries to make their workplaces safe to work in. Fairly easy to read. Stephanie Sammartino McPherson 8–12 years

The Children’s Step-by-Step Cookbook Clear photos show the ingredients, utensils, each step in the directions, and the finished products. Some things are very simple, some more difficult, but all are both tasty and very pleasing to look at. When needed, the recipes can be adapted to use less expensive equipment and ingredients. Angela Wilkes 9–12 years

[illustration] Illustrated by Mark Robison