“Books! Books! Books!” Friend, Nov. 1991, 14
Fix-It One Saturday morning the TV doesn’t work, and neither Emma’s parents nor the repairman can fix it. Emma is unconsolable even by balloons, Mom’s (and the cat’s) singing, and a horsy ride. Then Mom reads her a story.
All My Little Ducklings Little ones will love both the sounds and the sights of the ducklings as they scurry, splatter, dibble dabble, pick, munch, and wibble wobble in the woods, in the barnyard, in the pond, and back to their nest at night.
Our Dog What happens when Mom and son take their dog for a walk is funny—and so is what happens when they get home.
Things I Can Make with Buttons and Things I Can Make with Corks Both books are chock-full of fun things to make and games to play using just buttons/corks and things around the house, such as toothpicks, scraps of cloth, paper, and crayons. Great for rainy days, days when you’re sick, and nothing-to-do days.
The Story of Ferdinand the Bull Robert Lawson’s drawings are just right for this classic about the little bull who’d rather just sit under the cork tree and smell the flowers than fight.
The Train to Lulu’s It would be an ordinary train ride except that the two little girls are going on the nine-hour trip from Boston to Baltimore all by themselves!
Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
How the Whale Got His Throat, How the Camel Got His Hump, and How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin are three beloved Just So tales. Each animal’s peculiarity came about because he was greedy (Whale), lazy (Camel), or obnoxious (Rhinoceros).
Shy Charles A delightful story told in rhyme about a very bashful mouse who surprises everyone when he rescues his baby-sitter.
Someone Special, Just Like You Although they may not walk, talk, hear, see, or think the way that you do, like you, handicapped children like to sing, dance, slide, blow bubbles, and do lots of other things, as you will see in Fran Ortiz’ beautiful photographs.
Everybody Cooks Rice Carrie follows her little brother’s trail to neighbors from Barbados, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, India, China, and Haiti. All are fixing rice, and Carrie gets to taste each delicious dish. Her mother’s rise e bisi, an Italian rice dish, is wonderful too. Recipes for all the rice dishes are at the end of the story.
The Bunny Play The bunnies’ play is a musical version of “Little Red Riding Hood.” They show you how it is cast and directed and rehearsed, and tell you about making props and scenery and posters.
The Polar Express After a wonderful late-night train ride to the North Pole, a boy is given the first gift of Christmas—a single silver bell from Santa’s sleigh. To this day, it rings only for those who truly believe in the magic of Christmas.
Chris Van Allsburg
The first time Shirley met Claude, she burned him with the stew that she dumped on a poisonous snake about to bite him. That and more uproarious fun are in Fat Chance, Claude. In Beats Me, Claude, Shirley bakes him three awful apple pies, but a bunch of scoundrels eat them. Claude does get a good pie—but Shirley doesn’t make it.
Joan Lowery Nixon
Ben Franklin’s Glass Armonica Did you know that Ben Franklin played the guitar? He played the harp and the violin too. And he invented the armonica! This is the story of that invention, and it all began with a clever Chinese girl.
The Kid with the Red Suspenders Could you live with everyone—even your best friend—shouting “Ham, Ham. Mommy’s little lamb” at you? When they do it to Hamilton, he quits putting right answers on tests, throws away his homework, and takes off his suspenders.
Third Grade Is Terrible Liza is hurt and angry when she is separated from her best friend, reassigned to the strictest teacher in the whole school, and not invited to Monica’s party. A warm, easy-to-read book.
How a Book Is Made Can a book be simple and complicated at the same time? This one is. Its cartoonlike format is clever, amusing, and clear—and detailed, accurate, and intricate! Read it just for fun, or really study it and learn the fascinating details of how a book is made.
7 years and up
When a Parent Is Very Sick This very special book is about the feelings that you, a friend, or a classmate may have if one of your parents is very sick. It explains that it is natural to feel anger and that some people can help you and others can’t. It shows you that you did not cause the sickness, that life goes on, and that you can feel good about yourself.
Scared Silly Meeting a six-foot talking rabbit is a little scary. But for Jo-Beth and Mary Rose, their adventure in a zany museum is more silly than scary as they explore an upside down room and learn how to use a Spider Sniffer.
“Hey, What’s Wrong With This One?” If there isn’t a movie about the escapades of these three boys who want to find a mother, there should be. The boys are very real, and the scrapes they get into will have you guffawing.
Chimney Sweeps Why is it considered good luck to kiss, shake hands with, or bow three times to a chimney sweep? This book tells how that superstition began, how horrid it was to be a sweep in the past, and why sweeps today still wear black tailcoats and top hats.
James Cross Giblin
The Lord Needed a Prophet Do you know which Church President got a bald eagle to guard his garden, which tied a girl to a tree by her braids, and which played left guard on the University of Utah’s first football team? Written especially for young people, this book’s fascinating stories include many “that have not gone beyond family conversations until now.”
Susan Arrington Madsen
9 years and up
Canada Geese Quilt This is a story about how Ariel felt when the geese came and went each year, when she learned that she would no longer be the only child in the family, when her grandma, who had encouraged her talent for art, had a stroke.
9 years and up
Nutty and the Case of the Ski-Slope Spy Nutty had gotten a lot of criticism as Student Council president, so he thought that the ski trip would improve his reputation. But then he, William, Orlando, and Bilbo got involved in an international plot, and the trip was scary, not fun.
The First Book of Football If you’ve ever watched a game on television that the author was the “color man” for, then—boom!—this book is for you. Besides explaining the nitty-gritty of things for players of empty-lot pickup games, he also explains how best to watch the game.
Weasel “‘Remember when that weasel got into the henhouse?’ said Mama. ‘It killed every single bird. It didn’t eat them or take them home to feed its young. It just … killed them.’” Nathan wasn’t even twelve when he faced the man the Shawnees called “Weasel”—with reason!
Whisper Again Stacey hated it when her parents leased the best part of their land to a camp for kids. Then their “nice” neighbor threatened to take over their land! When she takes her horse, Whisper, to rescue a camp runaway, Stacey finds the glyph to disprove the neighbor’s claim.
Dorothy Nafus Morrison
The Way Things Work is for those who really want to know the way things work—from wheels and levers to nuclear power, from holograms and compact discs to electricity, from parking meters to robots and computer mice. Each section is introduced by a “scientist” from ages past who uses a woolly mammoth to explain how the various “gadgets” were invented or principles discovered. The illustrations are witty, the diagrams clear and helpful.
11 years and up
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Though troubles may come, you’ll work your way through them: “With banner flip-flapping,/ once more you’ll ride high!/ Ready for anything under the sky./ Ready because you’re that kind of guy!” And oh, the places you’ll go!