The Monkey in the Rocket
(Wonder Books, hardcover, $.59)
This is a children's story about a special monkey who lives at Blue Sky Rocket Base. The monkey, Sam, after very happily going through a series of tests such as being spun in a "special chair" and catapulted into the air, then parachuting back down, happily allows his captors to shoot him into space. Miraculously, Sam lives to tell his story, totally untraumatized. In fact, "Sam says he likes to ride in rockets. And next time he's going to the moon."
How Animals Get To The Zoo
(Wonder Books, hardcover, $.59)
Where did animals live before they got to the zoo? "They lived far, far away. In the hills." This scintillating work of children's literature, a good companion for The Monkey in the Rocket, deals mostly with the means by which "men from the zoo" capture wild animals. We learn the animals are more than happy to oblige the men from the zoo, as they all have smiles on their faces when they enter pits, cages, nets and other traps. And they should be. For an animal, life in human captivity is obviously superior to fending for itself in the wild.
How To Make Good Pictures
(Eastman Kodak Company, hardcover, $.50)
Many handy tips await the amateur photographer in this book, but when it comes down to it, what's the secret to success in "making good pictures"? Buying Kodak products, of course.
Heloise's Kitchen Hints
(Prentice-Hall, Inc., hardcover, possibly free)
Heloise prepared this enthusiastic book with her fellow housewives in mind, and to their great benefit! With a relentless love for exclamation points, Heloise tells you how to take the strain out of a stain, say goodbye to washday woes and find new uses for old standbys! (Hint: TV trays save energy in many ways!)
Know Your Beagle
(The Pet Library Ltd., paper, $1)
This thorough little reference contains contents such as "your beagle's diet," "scientific breeding and genetics" and "mating the bitch," as well as answering questions such as "what is a beagle?" It also serves as a companion to volumes such as Know Your Monkey, Enjoy Your Skunk and Enjoy Your Alligator. Really, no kidding.
The Best Party We've Ever Had!
The Party Guild
The Party Guild, paper, $.35
This book has great ideas, from throwing a Gay ’90s party to playing an ice-breaker autograph game called "Cheerio" to staging April Fools gags that are sure to "crack the laughter ceiling.” The problem with the book is that it totally fails to explain how to execute the themes and games. You get the feeling that this is only aimed at getting readers to buy a larger volume titled Laugh Fiesta.
Let Me Tell Your Fortune
(Reader Service, paper, possibly free)
This is your complete guide to predicting marriage, wealth, misfortune, friendship and many other lifetime concerns via stars, cards, crystals, dominoes and teacups. With the aid of this revered volume, anyone can turn a leisurely gathering into a date with destiny (and the devil).
Fireside Book of Favorite American Songs
Margaret Bradford Boni
(Simon and Schuster, hardcover, possibly free)
An engrossing volume of song from the 16th to 19th centuries, this book will transport you back to yesteryear ... in more ways than one. That's because it's unabashedly racist, as exemplified in songs like "Jump Jim Crow" and illustrations like the one for "La Cucaracha" where a carload of mustachioed, sombrero-wearing Mexicans wave guns in the air. It is stressed in the forward that this volume helps us to remember the history of our nation, but I bet Simon and Schuster didn't anticipate this particular kind of remembering.