The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong

This is my all time favorite children’s book (recommended ages: 2nd grade to adult). Winner of the Newberry Prize in 1955, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, and so winsomely full of humor, suspense, character, and hope, that my 8 year old son and I could not put it down (although, at times, he had to hide under the covers because of the dramatic suspense). The storyline sounds improbably simple and boring (it is emphatically NEITHER); Amazon describes it like this:

“Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the six school children who first asked the question, and she set the others to wondering. And sometimes when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true.”

This is a happy story that makes a wonderful family read aloud.

It may even serve as a hopeful and tender allegory for our own time.

It is available through the National Emergency Library as an ebook download:

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