Featured favorites: Books for kids


Recommended by Book Den East

“Melville in the South Pacific” by Henry Beetle Hough (1960) – A fine introduction for the younger reader to one of the icons of American literature. It tells a great adventure, and it is a Vineyard collectible as well. ($30)

“The Turret” by Margery Sharp, with illustrations by Garth Williams (1963) – A juvenile collectible which features the adventures of an appealing white mouse named Miss Bianca. One of a series. ($25)

“The New Tom Swift Jr. Adventures” by Victor Appleton II (1954) – Continues the adventures of the boy-hero into the second half of the 20th century. Volumes 1-29, complete. ($120)

“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White, with illustrations by Garth Williams (1952) – The now classic tale of a spider, the young girl, Fern, and Wilbur (who is “some pig!”) Also featuring Templeton, the rat. ($20)

“The Lost King Of Oz” by Ruth Plumly Thompson (1925) – An original part of the series which entertained children of all ages in the early years of the 20th century. Delightfully illustrated by John R. Neill. ($200)

Recommended by Bunch of Grapes

“If You Want to See a Whale” by Julie Fogliano and Erin Stead – “If you want to see a whale, you will need to know what not to look at.” In this charming and beautifully illustrated picture book, a youngster learns to focus on what he wants to see. He can’t look at the flowers, or the birds or for pirates. He discovers that he needs patience. Hardest of all he needs to wait and wait and wait. For ages 4-7.

“How the Whale Became and Other Stories” by Ted Hughes and Jackie Morris – Long ago, when the world was brand-new, God discovered a little, tiny black thing in his garden. Every day it doubled in size. It took over his garden and so he decided that this creature, which he called a whale, must be rolled into the ocean where there is more space. This enchanting, illustrated collection of creation tales has many more fun stories about how other animals like the hare, the elephant, the polar bear, and the cat also came to be. Ages 5-8.

“Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex” by Nathaniel Philbrick – Philbrick has adapted his National Book Award winner, “In the Heart of the Sea”, for younger readers. In 1820 the whaling ship Essex, out of Nantucket, is rammed by an enraged 60-ton sperm whale. After three months, only eight crew members remain alive, in two small boats upon the Pacific Ocean. From this true story, Herman Melville got some of his ideas for the classic novel, “Moby Dick.” Ages 10+.

“Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem” by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex – Billy Twitters’ mother threatens him with the purchase of a blue whale if he doesn’t clean his room or brush his teeth. Billy doesn’t think that this is possible until he discovers something blue and huge barring his way from getting out the front door one morning. Caring for the whale is a big problem because of its size and appetite, until Billy discovers a solution for both his whale and cleaning his room. Ages 3-7.

“Moby Dick: Chasing the Great White Whale” by Eric Kimmel and Andrew Glass – Wonderful paintings illustrate this picture book at adaptation of Melville’s novel. Told in rhythmic form, much like a sea chantey, the story sails along with Ishmael on the Pequod, as his captain, Ahab, hunts for the great white whale, Moby Dick. The whale brings chaos and mayhem to the ship and its crew. Told as a fabulous adventure that is not nightmare-inducing. Ages 4-8.

Recommended by Edgartown Books

“Penguin on Vacation” by Salina Yoon – Penguin wants a change from the snow…so he decides to take a vacation to the beach! There he befriends a crab who introduces him to various beach activities he has never tried before. A wonderfully illustrated story of an unlikely friendship. Ages 3-6.

“Alphabet Zooup” by Tara Reynolds – The newest children’s book published by Vineyard Stories is an ABC book in which A stands for a lot more than apple. Reynolds pairs creative rhymes with individual characters, from Ernie the Earthworm to Zoey the Zebra, as readers make their way through the alphabet. Ages 3-6.

“The Kill Order” by James Dashner – In the prequel to the bestselling Maze Runner series, Dashner tells the story of Mark and Trina, who were present when sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease. They survived and are determined to save those affected by the mysterious disease…if they can stay alive long enough to figure out the cause. The perfect new book for fans of “The Hunger Games.” Ages 8-12.

“Practical Duct Tape Projects” by Instructables.com – Duct tape is no longer just for quick fixes; it is also a useful tool for creating practical items for everyday use! Including detailed photographs and step-by-step guidelines, this guide allows readers to make anything from a messenger bag to a fishing net.