Books for Children: A Christmas List

CHARLOTTE JACSON, who is the author of seven juveniles, is children’s book editor for the San Francisco CHRONICLE.

Christmas brings the usual bumper crop of children’s books on every conceivable topic. Picture books galore, nature stories, family adventure tales for space addiets as well as the earth-bound, fantasy, nonsense verse, poetry, and the teenage novel are here in quantity. It is beyond possibility to mention all the outstanding books however, some of the highlights are suggested in the chronological list that follows.
With all the ABC books written over the years, it hardly seems possible that there could be one with a fresh approach. BRUNO MUNARI’S ABC (World), however, is delightfully different from most Large picture of several unusual objects, painted in bold color against stark white. illustrate each letter of the alphabet. And a wonderfully drawn fly buzzcs through the whole book, ending his flight on the letter
Another ABC, THE PIE WAGON by LILLIAN BUDD, picturrs in color Ity Marilyn Miller (Lothrop). will capture the interest even of the MVto eight-year-old. The story is set in the time when it was routine practics for the bakery wagon to rail each day with goodies for the family larder. In this case, the wagon was stacked exclusively with luscious pics from apple to zigzag cranberry
THE THINKING BOOK by J*AM>*»I STODDARD AHBIRC., illustrated by Ivan Chermayeff (Ailanm-Little, Brown), is a perceptive picture book which parents of dawdling, dreamy children will welcome. It will help them to understand just why thru offspring sometimes ignore parental questions and why at other times they sit contemplating socks and shoes, making no effort to put them on. Children from three to six listen attentively to the story, then ask for it all over again
SCRAPPY THE PUP by JOHN CLARIH illustrated by Jane Miller (Lippincott). Children who own dogs will chuckle over this amumtg story in verse about a puppy who, though supposedly a watchdog, did nothing but sleep through all disturbances but never forgot to bark and show endlrks animation when he was hungry. Black-and-white drawings on pink background.
WELCOME HOME!, written and illustrated by LUDWIG BEMELMANS (Harper), is another rhymed story. It describes the method a cunning fog employs in outwitting a pack of buttling hounds,
THE DOLL AND THE KITTEN, Story and photographs by DARE WARGHT (Iktublrdsy), continues the adentures of Edith, the photogenic dull ut other picture stones, and tier I eddy bear friend*. In litis, hd lilt’s determination to take a farm animal home fur a pet and Mr Bear’s negative attitude toward all tier suggerslions are fairly unsettling until 1M* too is completely won over by a baby kitten. 1 hr photographs of toys and animals were taken on an outdoor farm and are remarkable indeed
It YOU TALKED to A ROAR by MTCHAEL. SAGE. illmtfaird by Arnold Sptlk.i 1Llpptnrott). LA at tly the Ilook to gis-r to a child WIMI la beginning to evince an inirren m word*, their similarities and difference*, For rsample “If you had a n*f, wcnikl it look like y»*uF" Funny picturrs throughout
(M.its THE EMSIHO. si«ry and pic* turrs by Sin llorr (Hull* Rinehart and Winston). Humorous illustra* tiom and test tell tbr story of a small Lsktmo boy who is ordered to a w arm climate to cure Ins mron
GREEN EGGS AND HAM, written and illustrated by DR. SEUSS (Random House). Nonwttsr in the Snim manner about tin* doing* 4 a creature called .Sam-I-Am Written in a vocabulary of just frfty weeds and intrnded for ilie prewhool child
IT’S A by PAUL STROYER (M» |)r*well. Otmtrmky) Willy, a bom trader, first rsrhanges his blue dog for a Mark cat and con* nm»es making deals with everyone hr meets until he finally has his Mue dog in hand once more The »ale given vast arope for numerous Mil* I liant. decorative pm tures
A GAGGLE or GEESE by EVE MERRIAM. illustrated by Paul Gatdonr (Knopf)* A shrewdness of aprs. a murmur a imn of starlings, a hover d trout, and many other phraars descriptive of animals, buds, and Mi, combined with full-page pictures in color, make a picture book that is instructive and amusing to all ages.
TIIK REAL HOLE by BEVERLY CLEARY, humorous pictures by Mary Stevens (Morrow), illustrates the imaginative difference in thinking processes between four-year-old twins Jimmy and Janet. While Jimmy was digging a tremendous hole in the back yard and enjoying every minute of the hard work, Janet couldn’t rest for thinking of uses for the hole.
IN MY GARDEN by CHARLOTTE ZOLOTOW, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin (Lothrop). Slight text with page-size pictures in beguiling color and black and white gives the child I a visual image of the seasonal changes and a bit about the activities of small animals and birds throughout the year.


THE SIGN ON ROSIE’S DOOR, written and illustrated by MAURICE SENDAK (Harper). Children from eight to ten who love theatricals will love Rosie, who was never Rosie for long. Costumed in her mother’s clothes, or even a Turkish towel, she could transport her neighborhood audience to the magic world of theater in the twinkling of an eye. The combination of text and pictures is childlike imagery at its very beat.
THE CANDY BASKET, written and illustrated by VALENTI ANGELO (Viking). One of the most charming bedtimes stories of the season tells the adventures of a tiny mouse who lived in a snug corner of a hotel bakery. Curious about everything. he couldn’t resist investigating and nibbling a large spun-sugar basket destined for a ladies’ lunch party.
THE BUTTERFLY CHARE, story and brightly colored comic pictures by DENISE AND ALAIN TRKZ (World), is a frothy adventure tale of a French boy who accompanies his grandfather into the country in search of a red, svliitc. and blue butterfly.
ORIGAMI STORYBOOK by FLORENCE: SAKADK, illustrated by Ka/uhiko (Tuttle). Thirteen stories, including “The Night Before Christmas,” “The Ugly Duckling,”and others just as familiar, arc illustrated in part by the Japanese art of paper folding — origami. This innovation in illustration is most effective and should inspire children to experiment in this medium themselves. Instructions and diagrams are included.
THE VISITORS FROM OZ by L. FRANK BAUM, pictures by Dick Martin eilly & Lee). This is a hitherto unpublished Oz book in which rincess Ozma gives permission to m Woodman and his friends to leave the Land of Oz and visit Dorothy in Kansas on her birihda

THE SWAPPING BOY, retold by JOHN LANGSTAFF, with pictures by Beth and Joe Krush (Harcourt, Brace). The author gives a Southern rnountain version of the five-humliedyear-old swapping song about the boy who lived by himself The chymes are tilled with fun and good humor; the music, arranged by Cecil Sharp, is a fine accompaniment; but the superb part of the book is the hilarious array of putures in rainbow colon

BECKY’S BIRTBDAI, written and illustrated by TASHA TUDOR Viking). Ten-year-old girls of today may become a bit wistful at they read about how Becky spent her birthday on a New Hampshire faun long ago. The climax of the lovely day was a party on the river bank, and a surprise birthday t .ike ablaze with candles floating gently dm* t the river at twilight on a thing lr raft

TALES OF A COMMON PICEON by SARA WEEKS, illustrated by Eric vott Schmidt (Houghton Vflifflati Old Blue, a most venerable pigeon living in Boston Common, sets down his astute observations of the events hr has witnessed over the years Jo him. people arc shadowy erraturrs and their affair* unimportant. IV adventures of squirrels, mice, sparrows, frogs, and other defendants of First Families of the park, however, have vital significance, which tlw author of this charming story is able to convey with wit ami perspicacity. Apt draw ings in gray wash corn It the story for readers from eight to twelve.

DWARF LONG-NOSH by ATutriM HAUFF, translated from the German by Doris Orgel. pictures by Maurice Sendak (Random House) Wellknown to European children ami now translated for young Americans, this is the story of the trials endured by a handsome boy and a brautifuf little girl who were bewitched and became an ugly dwarf and a oily goose respectively.
LONELY MARIA by futoWH COATSWORTH, illustrated by Evalinc Ness (Pantheon). While her busy family pursued their many cborro, Maria, a little West Indian child, played on the beach, where, with clever hands and creative mind, she drew sand pictures of imaginary animal playmates who came alive under her pointed stick.
MY FRIEND MAC by MAY MCNEER, illustrated by Lynd Ward (Houghton Mifflin). Baptiste, a little boy of the North Woods, was lonely indeed until one day he found a baby moose in the forest and brought him home. Eightto ten-year-olds will enjoy this happy adventure, and the handsome drawings on every page will add to their pleasure.
TALES FROM A STORY HAT by VERNA AARDEMA, illustrated by Elton Fax (Coward-McCann). In West Africa the storyteller wears a “story hat” from which dangle wood and ivory carvings. Listeners pick the object they wish to hear about, and the storyteller carries on from there. These story-hat choices are ones most popular with African children.
ANGÉLIQUE by JANICE, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin (Whittlesey House). A duck living in a French garden was beautifully happy until a teasing poodle disturbed her tranquillity, making her fly away. After wandering up and down the streets of Paris, she soon realized that she must return and face the situation at home. This she did with very satisfactory results. Children will love the gay pictures of Parisian scenes.
GRETA Al» THE VILLAGE SCHOOL by PAKVATIII THAMPI, illustrations by Ronni Solbcrt (Doubleday). In tiiis simple and imaginative story of a shy little girl who lived in a small village in India, young readers will get more of an idea of Indian customs than from any number of dull factual books about the country.
ISLAND MACKENZIE by URSULA MORAY WILLIAMS, illustrated by Edward Ardizzone (Morrow). A perfectly charming story in which a shipwrecked cat pursued by hungry sharks finds refuge on a desert island. On the island he finds Miss Petlifcr, another victim of the shipwreck, and although the lady loathes cats, the two manage to get on quite nicely until help arrives.
THE GOLDEN HIND by EDITH THACHEH HURD. illustrated by Leonard Everett Fisher (Crowell). Tento twelve-year-olds will get a vivid picture of early piracy and exploration methods from this exciting account of Drake’s three-year voyage during the late sixteenth century.
TOUGH ENOUGH’S INDI ANS by RUTHAND LATHOBE CARROLL (Walck). More adventures of the intrepid Tatum family of the Great Smokies, in which the children tire a lot cm fire and spend a d.iv and a night with a family of CHEROKEEN. um whom they learn a great deal about Indian customs. Snioky-llur drawings provide fine atmosphere
DOWN THE COLORADO WITH MAJOR POWELL by JAMES RAMSEY ULLMAN, illustrated by Nicholas eggenhorer Houghton Mifflin). Boys particuiarly will enjoy reading aliout that perilous journey down the Golorado undertaken almost a hundred ago by John Wesley Powell and la* party.
BUFFALO AND BEAVEER by STEPHEN W. MEADER, illustrated In Charles Beck (Harcourt, Brace In the days of America’s Western expansion young Jeff Barclay accompanied his father to the Rocky Mountains, where he learned to light Indians, trap animals for fur. and .uiputr other attributes of the rugged mounntain man. More important, he learned to paint scenes of the wilderness on deerskin canvases, which he sold on his return to civilization
OLD MOTHER WEST WIND by TRORN TON BURGESS, illustrated by Harrison Cady (Little. Brow n). For fifty years, children have listened with glee to the stories about Jerry Muskrat, Johnny Chuck, Billy Mink, and other small creatures of Green Meadows. This season brings a new edition of these popular nature stones, illustrated with several new paintings in full color.


AMERICV MOVES FORWARD by GERALD W. JOHNSON, illustrated by Leonard Ffivcrett Fisher ( Morrow ) This, the third volume in Mr Johnson’s able trilogy «f American history, presents significant event* ami the people who participated in them, beginning with World War I and ending with the present day
JOURNEY FOR A PRINCESS by MAHGARET LEIGHTON Farrar, Strau Cudahy). Girls from twelve to teen will enjoy this engaging period piece set in the time of Mired the Great, in which the king his fourteen-year-old daughter, Elstrid, on a mission to Rome to avnwl giving her in marriage to a young Viking
COLNTDOOWN by WILLIAM ROY SHELLTON (Little, Brown) is actually story ‘of the development of cape Canaveral, and along with the story the author gives rich background material about the beginnings of rocketry. Boys who have great interest and enthusiasm in this phase of our scientific development will enjoy this graphic account of developments so far. Detailed wash drawings of rockets, equipment, and men at work on the base.
JUNIOR YEAR ABROAD by ROSAMOND AND JUDY DU JARDIN (Lippincott). There has been a crying need for this sort of book among college sophomores who can’t quite make up their minds to take that gigantic step to a foreign land in the middle of their college careers. Now a writer of popular teen-age novels collaborates with her daughter, who spent her junior year in Aix-enProvence, to write a true story about real people and actual happenings. Entertaining throughout.
DON TIBURCIO’S SECRET by JEANNE LOISY, illustrated by Fran§oise Estachy (Pantheon). Pepe, a Spanish gypsy boy living with his parents and his grandmother in a tumble-down Spanish castle, tells an entertaining, at times hair-raising, tale of how he solved the strange secret of a former owner of the castle. Awarded the Prix Jeunesse in the original French edition.


BBOUSHKKA AND THE KINGS by RUTH ROBBINS, illustrated by Nicolas Sidjakov (Parnassus Press), is a skillful retelling of the Russian folk talc in which Baboushka, an old peasant woman, is destined to wander endlessly on Christmas Eve because of her refusal to accompany the three kings on their journey to Bethlehem, The pictures, done in four colors, have a trantlucence and a stylized beauty that is interpretive of the legend.
A PINT OF JUDGMENT by ELIZABETH MORROW, illustrated by Harold Bcrson (Knopf). This new edition, freshly illustrated, is the story of how a small girl, misinterpreting the key word on her mother’s Christmas list, is kept frantically busy during the days before Christmas trying to procure the gift she thought her mother wanted.
THE DAYS OF CHRIST’S COMING by DOROTHY SAYERS, illustrated by Fritz Wegner (Harper). This story of Jesus’ birth and the flight of the Holy family to Egypt is handsomely printed and richly illustrated in a small book.
THE TWENTY MIRACLES OF SAINT NICHOLAS, written and illustrated by BEKNAHDA BRYSON (Atlantic-Little, Brown). According to legend, the good saint could stand alone at birth and began at once speaking to his mother and the nursemaids in Greek, which astounded them considerably. The author sets down other miracles which have been attributed to Saint Nicholas, describing them with grace and charm.
THE STORY OF SAINT NICHOLAS by MILDRED LUCKHARDT, illustrated by Gordon Laite (Abingdon), This is a factual story of the Bishop Nicholas and the legends that grew out of the good acts that he performed.
THE OLD TESTAMENT, illustrated by MARGUKRITE DE ANGELI (Doubleday). Miss de Angeli’s selections are from the King James Version of the Old testament, arranged in sequence. A large, handsome book with numerous full-page Biblical scenes in tranquil color and black and white, and decorative end-paper maps of the Holy Land.
CHRISTMAS STORIES ‘ROUND THE WORLD, edited by Lois Johnson and illustrated by Beth Krush (Rand McNally). Each of the fourteen stories in this well-chosen collection is prefaced by a brief sketch telling the Christmas customs of the particular country.
CHKISTM S IS FOR GIVING by BETTINA PETERSON, illustrated by Jan Norton Ives Washburn), is a joyful Christmas story in which two children experience the true spirit of the season by extending all their efforts in gathering materials for a creche, which they finish in time to give their parents on Christmas morning.
DICK THE STABLE by IVY O. EASTWICK, pictures by Nora B. Unwin (David McKay). Wintry pictures, accented with vivid yellow, and lilting rhyme tell just how small forest and farm animals and birds might have decorated the manger in Bethlehem for the coming of the Christ child.
POM-POM’S CHRISTMAS, story and pictures by JON WHITCOMB (Holt, Rinehart and Winston). A lively poodle in a pet shop window watched all his companions disappear into Christmas shoppers’ arms, until he became so nervous that he ate two pine cones and a strip of tinsel before realizing it. Fortunately he thought of a self-promoting scheme that saved him in the nick of time.