For Little Friends

By Marie-Helen Goyetche


“A Prayer Song” (Children’s Songbook, page 22)

We bow our heads in prayer today.
We fold our arms together,
Then close our eyes, and while we pray
We talk to Heav’nly Father.

Max-the-Chef

Early one morning, four-year-old Max was awakened by his growling stomach. Everyone else was still sleeping.

He jumped out of bed and went quietly to the kitchen.

“I’m going to make my very own breakfast,” he said in a low voice so he wouldn’t wake anyone up.

“I think I will make myself some eggs.” He got out the frying pan, then thought, That sure sounds good, but I’m not allowed to use the stove by myself. So he put away the frying pan.

“I know—I’ll make some brown-sugar oatmeal.” But when he looked at the kettle, he remembered that he wasn’t allowed to touch it. Sometimes it had very hot water in it, and he might burn himself.

“I guess I’ll make some toast.” He got out the bread and reached for the toaster before he remembered that he wasn’t to use the toaster by himself. So he put the bread away.

Max was getting very hungry by now. But he didn’t want to wake up anybody, and he still wanted to make his own breakfast.

He had an idea. He got out the pita bread, a spoon, the peanut-butter jar, and a banana. He carefully spooned some peanut butter into the pita-bread pocket. He peeled the banana, broke it in half, and tucked one half into the pocket too. There it was, a pita surprise!

He went to the fridge and got out the milk. He was just pouring it carefully into a glass, when his mom came into the kitchen. “That looks really good!” she said. “Is this for me?”

“Uh—sure, Mom.”

Mom picked up the pita surprise from Max’s plate and took a bite. Then she took his glass of milk, drank some, and said, “This is good! You’re a sweetheart to have made my breakfast this morning. Thank you very much!”

“You’re welcome, Mom.” Max hurried to make himself another pita surprise.

Now on weekends, before Mom goes to bed, she puts out on the table the pita bread, a spoon, different spreads, and some fruit. Max-the-chef is in charge of making everyone a pita surprise for breakfast.

Pita Surprise

pita bread

fruit slices (banana, apple, peach, orange, pineapple)

a spread (peanut butter, jam, jelly, cream cheese)

  1. 1.

    Using a table knife (or a spoon, like Max), spread peanut butter (or other spread) into the pita-bread pocket.

  2. 2.

    Tuck the fruit slices into the pita pocket.

Good Books for Little Friends

Over in the Meadow Louise Voce’s whimsical creatures make this cute, traditional counting rhyme with animal sounds fun to look at long after the numbers are learned.

I’ll Meet You Halfway by John Schindel Fuller Frog and Titus Turtle hadn’t seen each other for a long, long time, so they decided to meet halfway between their homes. Each took a gift for his friend—but each gift was ruined along the way. It didn’t matter, though, because their best gift to each other was their friendship.

Petey’s Bedtime Story by Beverly Cleary Petey loves to go to bed. After his bath, stories read by both Mommy and Daddy, and his prayer, it’s time for “the baby story.” Daddy starts it, but Petey takes over and tells his version—one that parents will chortle over as well as children!

When Grandma Came by Jill Paton Walsh Grandma has seen a desert island, a whale in the ocean, polar bears playing, kangaroos hopping. She’s even sailed on the Nile River. But no matter where she’s been, she always comes back and tells Madeleine that nothing she’s seen is “as heaven-and-earthly as you!”

Rainbow Wings

I met a butterfly today
Upon a tall, green stalk.
I sat down right across from it
And thought we’d have a talk.
But butterflies are very shy—
It didn’t make a sound
But showed its rainbow wings to me
By dancing round and round.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Julie F. Young