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The Friendly Book

The Friendly Book

5.0 2
by Margaret Wise Brown, Garth Williams (Illustrator)

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This whimsical collection of poems and stories by Margaret Wise Brown is back in print in its original format—the Little Golden Book. Garth Williams' artwork shines here, with the friendliest bunnies, dogs, and people ever!


This whimsical collection of poems and stories by Margaret Wise Brown is back in print in its original format—the Little Golden Book. Garth Williams' artwork shines here, with the friendliest bunnies, dogs, and people ever!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Golden Books brings back three Big Little Golden Books, picture books from the 1940s and '50s now available in larger-sized, paper-over-board editions. Originally published in 1954, The Friendly Book by Margaret Wise Brown, illus. by Garth Williams, uses rhyming verse to explore a whole series of likable things. It's a paean to dogs and boats, cars and stars-as in "I like stars/ Far stars/ Quiet stars/ Bright Stars/ Light stars/ I like stars/ A star that is shooting across the dark sky/ A star that is shining right straight in your eye/ I like stars." Williams packs the illustrations with quirky, often hilarious details; for the spread about stars, for example, a rabbit balloonist floats through the night sky in a patched-up balloon, labeled "starship," with a bird's nest on top of it. The Saggy Baggy Elephant by K. & B. Jackson, illus. by Tenggren, debuted in 1947. A happy little elephant named Sooki dances through the jungle until a saucy parrot makes fun of Sooki's saggy, baggy skin. This pachyderm-cum-ugly-duckling story features richly hued artwork against white backgrounds. A spare text tells the tale of a fire and the heroic firemen who rush to put it out, in The Great Big Fire Engine Book (1950) by Tibor Gergely, "Quick! Connect the hoses! S-s-s-s! goes the water." The rescuers swarm over each spread with reassuring efficiency. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Brown's 1954 book is re-issued in this Big Little Golden Book. Each page's verse begins with "I like" and then goes on to list examples. The first page, for example, states "I like cars. Red cars. Green cars. Sport limousine cars." This simple but effective and catchy pattern is followed throughout the book. William's illustrations are colorful and humorous; a child who cannot read will have fun just looking at his pictures. Animals of all types drive cars, ride on trains, and look at snow. Although the animals are fun, it does make for a confusing picture for the "I like dogs" page, but that is a minor flaw. Humans appear on the final two pages of "I like people," providing a nice ending to this book. Fifty years later, Brown's words still have the power to educate and entertain children. 2003 (orig 1954), Golden Book, Ages 3 up.
— Amie Rose Rotruck

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Little Golden Book Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

MARGARET WISE BROWN (1910-1952), best known as the author of Goodnight Moon, wrote countless children's books inspired by her belief that the very young were fascinated by the simple pleasures of the world around them. Among her many bestselling Golden titles are Mister Dog, The Color Kittens, The Golden Egg Book, Seven Little Postmen, The Friendly Book, and The Sailor Dog.

GARTH WILLIAMS (1912-1996) is known for his realistic yet highly expressive animal characters. His unique style has brought to life some of the best-loved children's books of the 20th century, including E. B. White's Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, and the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. He illustrated many timeless Golden Books, among them Baby Farm Animals, Mister Dog, The Friendly Book, The Sailor Dog, The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies, and The Kitten Who Thought He Was a Mouse.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
May 23, 1910
Date of Death:
November 13, 1952
Place of Birth:
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Place of Death:
Nice, France
B.A., Hollins College, 1932; Bank Street College of Education

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The Friendly Book 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
bruisedlee More than 1 year ago
We need these kinds of books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my favorite book as a child and even now when reading it I get the same pleasure as I did then. The illustrations are capitvating and the words are simple but true. It remains one of my favorite books. I have a copy of the original and will be reading it to my three year old neighbor.