that Aunt Book Has Identified
Artist's Children Named After Colors
“It was, I think, titled Saphie's Angel, but I
am not sure. I do
remember that the main character had been left something by either her
grandfather or great-grandfather in his will. It was located in Italy,
from which he was initially came, and so she traveled there with a
new-found friend of hers whose name was Sarah, I believe, and she was
in a wheelchair. The mother of the main character was an
so she named all of her children after colors. For example, she named
her oldest daughter Indigo, I think, and I think that Saphie's real
name was Sapphire, or something like that. "
Solution: Saffy's Angel, by
Hilary McKay. Saffy's real name is Saffron. Other books in
the series are Indigo's Star, Forever
Rose, and Caddy Ever After (Caddy is
short for Cadmium).
You can find information here:
Minister's Daughter in New England at
"Do you know an old children's book (I read it in
1951 or'52) called Blueberry Hill? It's about the family of a
Congregationalist (I suppose) minister in New England in the
early-to-mid 19th century, and the main character is the oldest
daughter, Becky. All I can find under that title on Amazon is (1)
part of a regional series, (2) cookbooks, and (3) a Fats Domino song."
Solution: Blueberry Corners, by Lois
Mean Family That Eats Sticks
"I have always wanted to find a book whose
name I can't remember. It was about a little family of creatures
in the woods. They were mean and snarly and they ate rocks and
sticks. One day the little kid creature found a warm fuzzy or
something and came home and was nice to the mom and dad and then they
were all very pleasant. Could be from around the 1980's."
Solution: The Little Brute Family, by
Lillian and Russell Hoban.
Horror Story Involving Red Moths or
Butterflies and a Painting
"From what I remember, the story I'm looking
for is about a girl or woman who I think is for some reason cleaning an
old building (a greenhouse or glass building maybe?). She
encounters a painting (a portrait, but I cannot remember whether it is
of a person's face or if they maybe have their hands covering it) in
this building, and every time she comes back, more seems to have been
added to the painting even though no one else is there.
"She also encounters a group of dark red moths or
butterflies which seem to gather in a certain spot in the building, and
the combined patterns on their wings seem to form a face.
"In the end, the girl comes back to the building and
the painting has completely changed, showing the person with head
thrown back and the dark red moths covering the face.
"I read this years ago in a compilation of short
horror stories. Another story in the book was about giant, man-eating
snails (I think it was "The Quest For the Blank Claveringi" by Patricia
Highsmith), which also formed the basis of the book's cover, which
showed a man running into the foreground with an enormous snail chasing
Hitchcock's Supernatural Tales of Terror and Suspense.
The moth story is "Mr. Ash's Studio," by H. R. Wakefield. It was
in this book along with Highsmith's "Quest for the Blank
Claveringi." However, the cover with the giant snail chasing a
man is the Sixth Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories,
which features "Quest for the Blank Claveringi" but not "Mr. Ash's
Frog or Mouse Lives in Teapot;
"When I was little, my favorite children's
book was about a frog [maybe a mouse] who lived in a run-down
teapot. The book itself was also in the shape of a teapot and had
amazing illustrations. I'm not sure when it was published but it
was early to mid-1990's when I had it in my possession.
Definitely not Frog and Toad
Are Friends, by the way."
Solution: Muffin Mouse's New House, by
Book About Aunt in Russia
"Book about aunt in Russia. Believe
the name of the book was Aunt Kiev."
Solution: Aunt America, by Marie H.
Block. Set in Ukraine during Soviet times. A little girl
and her family are visited by her great-aunt from America.
Colors of the Rainbow in the Peacock's Tail
"The book has something to do with the colors of the
rainbow that are in the peacock's tail. The book was read in
Louisiana. It taught children the colors of the rainbow. It
was a black hardcover with a peacock on it spreading its tail.
Some words from the book: "purple peacock passing by;" "little
fellows dressed in yellow."
Solution: Seals on Wheels, by Dean
Walley. Hallmark, 1970.
Girl Finds Boy In Underground Maze
"I remember some key bits about the
book. I read it 6 years ago but the book was kind of beat up when
I got it, so maybe it was older. It was about this girl and I
think she had to do this ritual thing where she went into this
catacombs/labyrinth/maze underneath someplace and it was completely
dark, so she remembered her way around by counting her footsteps.
"I can't remember how it happened but a boy ending
up living there (probably against his will because he needed the girl
to help escape) and I think she went down there to give him food or
just talk to him. I don't remember anything until the end when
they both get out and I think they have an illusion about food. I
don't remember the very end.
"That's about as much as I remember, it might not be
what I said, as a matter of fact, I'm not sure even if the girl was
going down there for a ritual (I'm guessing she did because she went
there everyday), or even if the catacombs/labyrinth/maze was actually
under something or if stairs just went down to the entrance.
"Also, I don't think it was an adult book. It
was in my elementary school library and it seemed to complicated for
little kids but probably right for teenagers."
Solution: The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula
K. LeGuin. It is the second book of the Earthsea Trilogy (to
which, years later, a fourth book was added). The other books are
A Wizard of Earthsea, The
Farthest Shore, and Tehanu.
More information about the book can be found here:
Dragons Adopt Boy
"I am looking for a particular children's book. It
wasn't very long, and the plotline went thusly: A young boy was
in the "Olde World" kingdom, and for some reason was wandering through
the woods when he found a dragon's cave. I think the boy was an
orphan and looking for a new home. In the cave was a dragon (obviously)
and the dragon's wife. They had old-sounding names. I think
they were called the Pendragons, and the wife insisted she be called
'née' something. The boy had a pet wolf that he had raised from
a pup, when he found the pup's mother killed.
"In one part, the dragon decided that the boy needed
new clothes, so he rode the dragon and pretended he was taming it, so
all the villagers were terrified and gave over all their clothes and
things. Then, the dragon wife laid eggs, but none of them hatched. The
boy stole one of the eggs and incubated it in a pile of old moss or
something, until it hatched. Then he surprised his dragon adopters with
a baby dragon girl."
Solution: Dragon Boy, by Dick
Family of Four Sisters and One Brother
"I would like to find a children's book I read here
in the U.S. back in the 'fifties. i think it may have also been
serialized in "Jack and Jill," or at least excerpted. I read it
in braille so cannot describe the book's appearance.
"As I recall, there were four sisters and one
brother. The brother was Chris, and the sisters were Bonny,
Debby, Emmy, and Althea. Bonny was the youngest, maybe about four
years old. In one episode she was to little to skate on the ice,
so her father and the other children carried her with them in a kitchen
chair as they played. She enjoyed it but still felt sad that she
could not skate herself.
"In another episode the father has all the children
hunt for arrowheads, planning to give a prize for the best
collection. Bonny is almost attacked by a snake but older sister
Althea is able to save her and wins a special prize. I think the
family may live in a cabin and perhaps in a cold climate."
Solution: The Fairchild family series, by Rebecca Caudill. Happy
Little Family, Schoolhouse in the Woods, Up
and Down the River, and Schoolroom
in the Parlor. At least some of the stories did
appear in Jack and Jill;
the May, 1950, issue had part of one of the stories and Bonnie and
Debby were the paper doll insert for that month. The books have
recently been reprinted in paperback by Bethlehem Books.
Clown Doll Missing His Heart
"It' a book about two clown dolls who fall in
love and such, and one of the clowns has to go away for some
reason. The other clown that was left there is all alone and
depressed and takes out his heart (or he gave it to the other clown
when she left, I don't remember).
"If I had to try to remember the name of it I would
say it's something like "The Tale of the Velvet Heart" (or Silk).
It had something to do with velvet, I think.
"Also, this may be a short story or in a big book of
short stories. This book was read to someone I know when she was
little (she is 15 now)."
Solution: The Jewel Heart, by Barbara
Berger. Gemino is a clown doll who has a jewel for a heart.
When he falls in the woods and loses his jewel heart, Pavelle, the
ballerina doll, tries to fix him, and plants a seed in his chest and
waters it with her tears.
Girl Buys Accordion for Birthday
"I remember a children's picture book from the late
1980's or early 1990's that I read in the UK. It was about a girl
who lived with her Mother and Grandmother. Every year they would
save up money in a glass jar and the girl was allowed to spend it on
her birthday. The girl goes shopping with her mother to choose her
present, but she is very indecisive. Each time she goes in a shop
she picks an item and just as the shop assistant is wrapping it up she
changes her mind and is not sure if that is what she really wants to
spend all that money on for her birthday. The presents she
selects but never buys include new roller boots, camping gear, new
clothes. She is sad that she hasn't chosen a present, but as they're
making their way home the girl hears music. They come across a
man playing an accordion and finally the girl decides what she wants
for her birthday: an accordion! She buys it and is very happy
with her purchase.
"I can remember the last page in the book had a
picture of the accordion on a little wooden stool by the girls bed."
Solution: Something Special for Me, by
Vera B. Williams.
Very Old Soldier Still Alive Because
"Published prior to 1963, popular in early 1960's
for juveniles. Reporters in the story hear rumors about an
old soldier living in nearby hills, so they search for him. When they
find him, he is not 100 years old as they first think, but 200+ years
old and a Revolutionary War veteran. The secret to his youth has
something to do with the moonshine he drinks.
"Patron thinks it's a one-word title, possibly the
name of the soldier. Cover could possibly have a man sitting in a
tub pouring something over his head."
Solution: Joyleg, by Ward Moore and
Avram Davidson. Has been reprinted quite a few times over the
years, including recently.
Cricket, a Little Girl Who Lived Out
"When I was in fourth grade (I'm 56 years
old), I checked out a chapter book....my first. Our teacher said
it was time for us to move from pictures books to the fiction section.
(My, how times have changed). I checked out the thickest one I
could find. I'm positive the title was Cricket. The print was
small and my Mother was upset with me for picking a book I couldn't
possibly read on my own. In anger she said she would read it
until we had finished. She was a first grade teacher. Every
evening she would read to me. Little did she know that I loved
"The book was old then already and I haven't been
able to find any mention of this book since. Of course the title
doesn't help me in finding it. Lots of cricket titles. I've
checked the Library of Congress. It's a book about a little girl
whom her father calls Cricket. He is a military man and they live
on the desolate prairie of North Dakota. Her mother is sickly and
they have a hired woman who takes care of everything because the father
is gone for long stretches of time. They have adventures and I'm
not sure if I get them mixed up with the Little House adventures
(another of my favorites).
"I think Cricket makes friends with an Indian
man. I can picture Cricket's house with a porch set alone on the
prairie with the wind and dust blowing."
Solution: Cricket: A Little Girl of the Old West,
by Forrestine Hooker. There is also a sequel, Civilizing
Cricket, and a book of the author's memoirs, Child
of the Fighting Tenth. Forrestine Hooker
seems to have based the Cricket books on her own life.
Choose Your Own Adventure Haunted
"This book I'm looking for is at a 10- to 12-year
old reading level and likely printed in the early 1980's by
Scholastic. It is a Pick-a-Path / Pick-Your-Path / Which Way
Secret Door book and the plot involves teen sleuths trying to solve a
mystery at a neighborhood "haunted" house.
"If I remember correctly, there is a black cat
central to the story, as well as a mean old lady. I believe the
black cat was on the cover of the book. I think the main
character was a young boy who rode his bicycle quite a bit, and other
kids were involved if you chose that path. Some of the endings
included the kids shrinking or turning into mice; maybe trapped in the
cat's body? Trapped inside the house? There is a lot of
evil in that house!"
Solution: The Mystery of Chimney Rock,
by Edward Packard, one of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books. It
has been reissued ad The Curse of the Haunted Mansion.
Information about the book can be found here:
A picture of the cover is here:
Young Boy, Man With Pet Chicken,
"I am 33 now but when I was in middle school I read
a book I really enjoyed. I don't remember the name of it much
less the author. I can remember only a few bits and places
in it. Here is what I think I remember about the story: I
remember that a young boy was the main character. I remember a
man with a pet chicken that either stayed on his head or under his hat,
or maybe it was both. I remember their both being on a city bus
at one time and I remember their taking a small boat out in the ocean
and diving under the water under an invisible force field shield and
coming up in a strange land. I think
the inhabitants were lizard-like. I remember some kind of
cylinder-like thing the inhabitants sat in front of and I think they
"watch" humans like we watch TV."
Solution: Lizard Music, by D.
[Daniel] Manus Pinkwater. Dodd, Mead, c1976. Reprinted
Box Turtle and Cow
"I read a book in elementary school about a
farmer and his wife who discover a huge box turtle and rescue it.
The wife has a pet cow (who wanders!) and as part of the story they
discover that the turtle was one that the farmer had found as a child,
carving the date (or his initials) at the time into the turtle's
shell. As I recall, the farmer's wife puts honey on the turtle's
shell (which is covered with a thick moss?) to get the cow to clean off
the shell gently so they can see if it is the same turtle as the one
from the farmer's youth."
Solution: The Little Cow and the Turtle,
by Meindert de Jong. Harper, c1955.
Animals Keep Taking Things
"There's a book I had in the early 1980's about a
boy who kept having his things taken by animals. Some of the only
lines I can remember are 'Give me back my pants, you llama you!' and
'Give me back my tricycle, you tiger you!' I'm pretty sure the
llama ate the buttons off the jeans. I'm afraid that's all I can
remember about it. I'd appreciate your help. Thanks!"
Solution: What Do You Do
With a Kangaroo, by Mercer Mayer. Four Winds Press,
c1973. Reprinted since. The child is a girl, rather than a
Illustrated Adventure Puzzle Books
"These books were nicely illustrated and had quite a
They told stories in which the reader was cast as protagonist (though
there was no 'fighting fantasy' choice element as in 'turn to page 10
to go North, turn to page 11 to go South.' Each page featured
sort of puzzle(s) and there were common puzzle themes running through
the book. Often some sort of problem or cliffhanger would arise
there would be a question about how the character was going to proceed
and overcome the problem. When you turned the page you'd find out
whether you had guessed the right solution.
"One I recall as being about a run-down burlesque
funfair, and some
sort of evil plot involving poison gas hidden in light bulbs (one of
the puzzles running through that book involved spotting the bulbs which
contained the gas). The other book, in the same series, had a
setting and the
only puzzle I remember involved a question of where a character could
hide having escaped from a castle into the surrounding moat, the answer
that he should use some reeds to form a snorkel to breathe
recollection is a fairly large format book. I also remember the
character to be a small monkey or chimp."
Solution: The Which Way? books, also known as Walker Gamebooks or
Choose-Your-Way. The specific books are The
Funfair of Evil and The
Castle of Fear, both by Patrick Burston, both published
in 1986. The British publisher was Walker; the US publisher was
Purple Drink From Aliens Makes Boy
"This kid gets a purple drink from aliens (I think)
that makes him smarter. Which turns out to not be that great because
his newly acquired intelligence alienates him from his fellow
Solution: Brain Juice, by R. L.
Stine. A Goosebumps 2000 book. Scholastic, 1998.
On Other Side of Door, Good Food
Tastes Bad and Bad Food Tastes Good
"There's a door, someone goes through it. And on the
other side food is reversed. Good food tastes bad and bad food tastes
good. Ketchup tastes the best.
"I'm sure there are other things reversed too."
Solution: The Boy Who Reversed Himself,
by William Sleator. Dutton Juvenile, 1986.
Trees In Scary Forest Give Boy Presents
"I am desperately searching for a book from my
childhood. It was a picture book from the early to mid 1970's (at
least that was when I read it). It was about a little boy who was
scared of the forest/woods. He didn't like to walk through
it. One day he heard music and went in. The trees were
magic (or enchanted) and they each gave him something. One tree
gave him marbles, another gave him ice cream and I think there was a
blue telephone tree."
Solution: The Haunted Forest,
by G. Warren Schloat, Jr. Knopf, 1961. The Dear Niece who
submitted this was able to identify it with help from someone else.
Childless Woman Finds Tiny Little
"In the early 90's in elementary school I read
a book about an older woman. She had no children, but one night she
found these tiny little babies, I think in the snow. She brought them
into her home and kept them in a dresser drawer for the to stay warm
and sleep. I can't remember much else though. Thank you!"
Solution: The Rainbabies, by
Laura Krauss Melmed; illustrated by Jim Lamarche.
HarperCollins, 1992. ISBN: 0688107559.
Machine Gets Boy Ready in the Morning
"When I was a girl I lived in Cherry Hill, NJ.
I attended Joyce Kilmer Elementary School. I used to check this
book out several times from the school library. It was in 1980,
1981, 1982. The book is about a boy who has a machine that gets
him ready in the morning and evening. It wakes him up, feeds him
breakfast, gets him dressed, brushes his teeth, etc. One day the
machine goes haywire and puts his clothes on funny, etc."
Solution: Lazy Tommy Pumpkinhead,
by William Pene Du Bois. Harper, 1966.
Boy Watching Circus
"I can't seem to remember the name of a book I had
as a child in the 1980's and I really want to see if I can get it for
my daughter. The book was about a parade or a circus and I think
the main character was a little boy watching it. The illustration
was wonderful. There were acrobat monkeys in tutus, and men,
women and children dressed in tight cat costumes doing
acrobatics. There were also women dressed in amazing animal
outfits but I can't remember what they were. It look kind of like
Cirque du Soleil."
Solution: The Circus is Coming,
by Hilary Knight. Golden Press, 1978. ISBN:
0307137376. The Dear Niece who sent in the inquiry located the
Popular Author is Brainwashing Children
"In the book, there is an author who is very popular
and who brainwashes the children reading her books, first causing a
gummy worm fad to test her abilities. Her ultimate goal is to get
all the children in the world to forget how to read so that the older
generation will be more powerful.
"The name of the book has the (fictional) author's
name in it, and then some phrase, I think. The author's name is
initials and a last name; I remember because I was unsure of her gender
until the end where the protagonist meets her at the author's home in
the woods. I think she is a recluse.
"They end up foiling her plot, although I am unsure
of how. I read it in the mid-1990's.
Solution: The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine,
by Diane Stanley. HarperCollins, 2001. ISBN:
Mean Substitute Tames Wild Class
"The library teacher used to read this book to my
class back in the late 1980's or very early 1990's, so something from
1993 and on is definitely not it. The story is about a school
teacher who has a bratty class. She takes a week off of school
and a substitute comes into the class. The sub is a mean old lady
who gives out insane homework assignments and is strict with the
students. For one of the homework assignments, she orders the
class to do over 200 pages of math problems, due the next day.
When the teacher returns to the class, the students are well-behaved
because they are afraid that if they misbehave, the substitute will
back. At the end of the book, you see the teacher sitting in her house
with the closet open a bit and in there you see the costume of the
substitute, which means she wore the disguise and was the substitute
Solution: Miss Nelson is Missing, by
Harry Allard. Illustrated by James Marshall. Houghton
Mifflin, 1977. There are also two sequels: Miss
Nelson is Back (1982), and Miss
Nelson Has a Field Day (1985). The mean
substitute's name is Miss Viola Swamp.
Girl and Friend Run Away to Mexico
"I am trying to remember the title and author of a
book. I would classify it a a young adult/teen girl lit. It
is a story about a girl who runs away and goes to Mexico with her
friend, and they smuggle in their Blazer. It is not Go ask Alice or Tiger Eyes but is
similar. I don't remember the whole story but the themes are
similar: coming of age, runaway teen, drugs, etc. I read it
in the early 1980's."
Solution: Kathleen, Please Come Home,
by Scott O'Dell. Houghton Mifflin, 1978. A description of
the book can be found here:
Old Man Makes the Moon
"When I was in kindergarten around 1992-3, my
teacher used to read our class a book about a very old man. He
may or may not have lived in the forest. Each day he would walk
around outdoors collecting a glowing string or light, something like
that. At the end of the story he puts together the string and
sends it up in the sky and it becomes the moon."
Solution: Grandfather Twilight, by
Barbara Helen Berger. Philomel, 1984.
Picture Book About Different Kinds of
"I'm looking for a children's book that describes
different types of homes or houses. As I recall there is a young
child who goes through the book looking at different types of
homes. The ones that I remember are a house on "stilts," a hut,
and I think even the Taj Mahal was mentioned. It is for younger
children, ages 5-8."
Solution: Come Over to My House, by
Theo LeSieg (Theodor Geisel, or Dr. Seuss). Illustrated by
Richard Erdoes. Random House (Beginner Books), 1966. Some
information and a picture of the book are here:
Titanic Survivor, Time Travel
"There are these two kids. One of the kids (if
not both; they could be brothers) has a relative who's old, and he was
on the Titanic. The elderly relative doesn't remember much. He's
not really 'with it.'
"Somehow they time travel onto the Titanic.
They even run into their relative, who of course is much younger."
Solution: Back to the Titanic, by
Beatrice Gormley. Scholastic, 1994. Information about the
book can be found here:
Poetry Book for Boys
"I'm looking for a poetry book for boys
written in the '50's or '60's. It may have been published by
Scholastic. The poems were kind of naughty, in a wholesome
way. One of the poems was 'Guess what I have in my pocket, Not a
spaceship, not a rocket. It's a one-way ticket to the moon, I'm
going to send my brother soon.' I'm wondering if the poet could
be Jack Prelutsky or Shel Silverstein."
Aunt Book has checked, and this is definitely not the book A Rocket in My Pocket, by
Solution: Hooray for
Chocolate and Other Easy-to-Read Jingles, by Lucia and James
Hymes. W. R. Scott, 1960.
Brother and Sister with Bicycles;
Father Is at Sea
"This story concerns a brother and sister whose father is in the navy
and away at sea. The mother is busy writing a novel, so they are
left pretty much on their own. When the mother is finished with
the book, she gives the children bicycles and they go off to visit a
friend, and are surprised and delighted by how short the distance is on
the bikes versus walking. In the end, the father comes home from
his assignment. It was definitely not a picture book; I don't
even remember if there were any pictures at all. There was
another boy involved who lived a bit away (hence the appreciation of
the bicycles). It must have been in the early 60's when I read
Solution: Sea View Secret, by Elizabeth
Kinsey. Franklin Watts, 1952. Reprinted by
Scholastic in paperback. Aunt Book believes this is the correct
book, and thanks the Dear Nephew who suggested the solution, but has
been unable to confirm this with the Dear Niece who submitted the
Kit That Builds a Magic World
"I remember that the main characters, a boy
and his sister, go to a store and the boy is drawn to this kit (I'm
sure they used the word kit). He spends all of his money on it
(perhaps her money too?) and takes it home. They build a castle
and/or a city out of the 'blocks' within the magic kit, and soon the
world they have built comes to life. I think they are transported
into the magic land and have adventures within it. The kit was a
magic kit, but not in a 'pull-a-rabbit-out-of-your-hat' kind of
way. I'm sure the kit contained magic building blocks or
something of that sort. This is NOT Edith Nesbit's Magic City."
Solution: Do It Yourself Magic, by Ruth
Chew. Scholastic, 1987.
Dolls or Marionettes, One Named Lucinda
"I am looking for a children's book I read as
a child. I read it around the mid '70's, but it could have been
published before that time, maybe in the '60's. There were these dolls,
or they could have been marionettes, I'm not sure. They
came to life when no one was around and there was a boy doll as well as
girls. One of the girls was named Lucinda. They had tea parties,
and I remember their sitting on a table and having to get down from the
table. I think this was a series of books or one huge book with a lot
of their adventures. They could have the name
Solution: The Muffletumps, by
Jan Wahl. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966. Thank you to
the Dear Niece who provided this solution.
"A little girl has a collection of glass
animals, but the pig is special. She takes it places with her and
it is magical, somehow. I read the book in the 1980's sometime
but am not sure when it was published."
Solution: Good-Bye, Pink Pig,
by C. S. Adler. Putnam, 1985. There is a sequel, Help,
Pink Pig (1990).
Lonely Girl and Her Cat
"When I was in third grade (in 1988-1989), my
favorite book was about a lonely girl who wanted to be a prima
ballerina. I can't remember the details now, but she was given or
found a cat and she gave it a bow with a bell on it. At the end
of the book, the cat has been dead for some time and the girl is now a
prima ballerina. Before she goes onstage for what I think was her
first performance she remembers her cat and hears the bell it used to
wear. This book was part of my school's library and was a
paperback that was not new when I read it. I believe the story was set
at the end of the 1800s or the early 1900s. Please help me find this
book so I can now share it with my daughters."
Solution: Jenny Lind and Her Listening Cat,
by Frances Cavanah. Vanguard Press, 1961. It was
reprinted as a Scholastic paperback, a picture of which can be found at
this fascinating site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jl-incrowd/2454496353/
. Jenny Lind was not a ballerina but a singer, one of the most famous
Girl and Snails
"I read these books about 18 years ago or so
(early 1990's), and my mother bought them at a military store called
Stars and Stripes. There are three books I can remember and I
think they were big oversized books with hardback red covers.
They were about a little girl. In one book, she goes out with a
younger sibling, I'm not sure if it was a sister or brother, and they
go into a garden of lettuce or cabbages after the rain. When they
come back in they take off their boots and coats and start to draw or
paint and suddenly snails start crawling everywhere. Another
story has the little girl not wanting to eat her dinner because it
looks nasty and she says she doesn't like it even though she's never
had it and she makes a face at the sibling who is eating the
food. I think the last story is about bath time, or maybe potty
training, but it's foggy from then on. I'm pretty sure they're
all about the same girl, but there is a chance that only the last two
about the same girl and the first story about the snails is unrelated."
Solution: The Emily books by Domitille de Pressence. They
were published by Checkerboard Press, translated from the French.
The series includes Emily and the Snails (1992), Emily
Won't Take a Bath (1992), Emily
Won't Eat (1992), and Emily
Wet the Bed! (1992).
Asian Boy With Long Name
"I remember reading a book when I was a kid with my
parents. It was about a Japanese (or at least Asian) boy
with a crazy long name, something like:
Nicinicitumbonosarambotamiyaguchitaganyou. The cover was blue,
with line drawings. I think that the boy falls into a well.
Mostly I remember the long name. "
Solution: Tikki Tikki Tembo,
by Arlene Mosel; illustrated by Blair Lent. Holt, 1968. A
retelling of a Chinese folk tale. Scholastic reprinted it in
Mysterious Doll in the Window of a
"The next book is a juvenile mystery book about a
doll in the window of a store. A girl sees this mysterious doll
(or statue) in the window of a
shop. I thought it was perhaps Phyllis A. Whitney or Catherine
Woolley but nothing I find seems to fit."
Solution: The Mystery of the Silent Friends,
by Robin Gottlieb; illustrated by Al Brule. Funk and
Wagnalls, 1964. Scholastic reprinted it in paperback, and a
picture of the cover can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jl-incrowd/2491522812/in/set-72157601903080963/
Blue Nosed Gnome
"I live in the United States of America. I can
read books only in English. I'm looking for a book that I had
read when I was a little boy back in the 1970's or possibly the very
early 1980's. It's about a Gnome who lived in one of the coldest
places on earth (Alaska or Antarctica). All the Gnome had to keep
him company was his cold blue nose, until he heard a noise or saw
something oddly different. It was an otter. They become the
best of friends whose friendship keeps them warm or at least they don't
notice the cold any longer. The Gnome's cold blue nose was
possibly not blue or as cold any longer either. This book was
also color illustrated. The otter was also wearing (or given) a
scarf to wear. Possibly, they shared the scarf together."
Solution: The Gnome from Nome,
by Stephen Cosgrove. Serendipity Press, 1974.
Woman Gets Her Many Children from a
"I read this book in the early
1970's. It's about a woman with a lot of children that she gets
from this plant in her backyard. Maybe a roanoke?"
Solution: Mrs. Purdy's Children, by
Ruth Loomis, illustrated by Stephen Kellogg. Dial, 1970.
Figurine Dog Named Gloria
"As a young child in preschool in the late
1960's or early 1970's, I vaguely remember the teacher reading a book
to us. I believe that it was a chapter book because it seemed
that she read some out of this book every day. I was living in
Fort Smith, Arkansas at this time. All I can remember about this
book is that it involved a dog named Gloria. It seems that Gloria
was a figurine until the little girl came around her and then she would
come to life. I hope you can help; this book has been bothering
me for most of my life."
Solution: No Flying in the House, by
Betty Brock, illustrated by Wallace Tripp. Harper & Row, 1970.
Clubhouse in the Attic of an Old House
"The book I am trying to remember is about two
young children who make an old house attic into their very own
clubhouse. It also takes place near a bog, and I am almost
positive an elderly woman is one of the characters in the book, too. I
thought that the two children's names were Caleb and Anna, but
those are the names of the children in Sarah, Plain and Tall, and I know
that is not the book I am looking for. Can you help?"
Solution: Gone-Away Lake, by Elizabeth
Enright; illustrated by Beth and Joe Krush. Harcourt,
1957. There is a sequel, Return to Gone-Away
(1961). The children in question are Portia and her cousin
Julian. Other characters are Portia's little brother Foster, and
the elderly woman, Minnehaha Cheever, and her brother, Pindar Payton.
Little Boy in Taxco, Mexico
"I'm trying to find the name of a children's book
about a little
boy in Taxco, Mexico. All I remember is that he had a mule and
very poor, and the descriptions of hilly Taxco and the silver trade
there were enough to make me want to vacation there this year (some 50
years after reading the book; I must have been 8-10 when I read it)."
Solution: Pico and the Silver Mountain,
by Margaret Phelps; illustrated by Ann Eshner. Macrae-Smith, 1942.
Boy With a Crayon
"Around 1975-1980 my family had a story book about a
little boy with no hair. I think that maybe he was just
wearing a nappy but I may be wrong. The pictures were not
coloured in, just black and white lines. I remember it was
a simple round face boy with a crayon. This story book had no
words from what I can remember just good pictures. As the boy
went from page to page he draw his environment as he went. He
drew the coast with cliffs and he was like a giant wading
through the ocean, even passing a ship, drawing steps as he
climbs up, and I think there were mountains in the story.
The book was at least 10 pages long if not more."
Solution: Harold and the Purple Crayon,
by Crockett Johnson. Harper, 1955. Information about the
series of books about this character is here: http://www.k-state.edu/english/nelp/purple/books/harold.html
Polar Bear Cub Falls Into Black Paint
"This book is from the early 1960's or before.
A family of white (polar) bears. One baby bear falls in black
paint. Bears' names are Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe, and Nig."
Another Dear Niece wrote to say, "I think this may
have been a 1960's Golden Book about five black bears that decided they
wanted to be polar bears, so they painted themselves white. After
being caught by a zookeeper, they end up being caged and chased, and
then one by one they fall into some icy water where all the paint
washes off and they become themselves again. It was a really cute
and well-illustrated book and I would like to know if it is still
Yet another Dear Niece wrote to say, "The book you are looking for is called The Five Busy Bears.
I have been looking for this book forever! My dad has a copy from the
early '50's, before the names were changed to Tipsy, Flippsy, and a
bunch of silly names that rhyme with those. I don't think they
changed the title when they changed the names, but they might have."
Solution: The Five Little Bears,
by Sterling North. Illustrated by Clarence Biers and Hazel
Frazee. Rand McNally, 1935. Re-illustrated and reissued in
1935 as The Five Busy Bears, illustrated by Jean Tamburine, as a Little Elf Book.
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