Books that Aunt Book Has Identified
page 2


Mommy Book   
    "I remember some of the illustrations in this picture book's being of the 1950s-1960's style.  I believe one of the pictures featured a red pedal-type toy car.  From what I can remember, it's about a little girl who is playing with her dolls, Annabel, Betsy, and Bonnie.  Here are some lines that I remember from the book:

'This is the house and I am the mommy.
My children are Annabel, Betsy, and Bonnie.
They are good little children, they do as I say.
I put on their coats and they go out to play.'

And then another part goes something like this:

'This is ________________ and he is the daddy.
He has a new car.  Isn't it pretty?'

If you could help me identify the title and author, I'd really appreciate it.  Thank you!"

Solution:  Little Mommy, by Sharon Kane.  It is a Little Golden Book, published in 1967 and again in 1972.   


Good Little Girl with Mischief Inside
    "A children's book (possibly a picture book) about a little girl named Lucretia.  Lucretia apparently has a mischievous side deep inside of her that comes to the surface on occasion.  Title was available as a book/cassette as that is the format the patron had when reading the book."

Solution:  The Good Little Girl, by Lawrence David; illustrated by Clement Oubrerie.  Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 1998.  (The name of the little girl is Miranda; Lucretia is the not-good alter ego inside her).  


First Ellis Island Immigrant Girl
    "The book I am thinking of is a children's picture book.  It is about the first immigrant girl to pass through Ellis Island.  I think her name is Annie.  There is a statue of her at Ellis Island."

Solution:  Dreaming of America:  An Ellis Island Story, by Eve Bunting; illustrated by Ben F. Stahl.  Troll Communications, 2000.  The girl's name was Annie Moore.   


Easter Bonnet Horse
    "I am trying to identify a book about a horse, Josie, who pulls a carriage through the park.  She is getting tired of the job, when all of a sudden an Easter bonnet lands on her head."

Solution:  The Horse with the Easter Bonnet, by Jane Thayer (Catherine Woolley); illustrated by Jay Hyde Barnum.  William Morrow & Co., 1953.   


Curious Little Lamb
"The first is 'Lindsey Woolsey.'  It was a small hardcover (Hallmark size?) from the early 60's, probably.  It was white with Tasha Tudor style illustrations.  The story was about a little lamb who was too curious and got entangled in a bee hive, resulting in many bee stings.  I must have read it a thousand times!  It has disappeared from my mother's bookcase now."

Solution:  Linsey Woolsey, by Tasha Tudor.  Oxford University Press, 1946.    


Ghosts and a Well
    "I read this book in fourth grade (1977).  It was paperback and seemed a bit dated.  I think the cover had a drawing of a girl sitting on a tree swing looking down.  It was part of our teacher's classroom collection - books we could read on rainy days.  The reading level was probably about the same as the "Little House" books.  It involved a girl who went to live (or visit) in the country with her grandmother or great aunt.  The girl may have been orphaned.  She discovers ghosts that live on the property.  There's also a well that figures heavily into the story.  The ghosts live in the well or they fell down the well - something like that.  I do not think it was set in the present day.  I think it may have been historical, or maybe the ghosts were historical."

Solution:  The Ghost in the Swing, by Jane Patton Smith.  Steck-Vaughn Co., 1973.  ISBN:  0811477525. 


Flibberty Jibbet Royal Gelatin Story
    "The second was an advertising pamphlet from Royal Gelatin(late 50s?) with the story of "Flibberty Jibbet".  As I recall, it was black and showed an illustration of a castle on the front?  (I know this sounds dumb, but I just loved that little story!!)  I have watched in vain for years, going through antique stores, hoping to spot a copy!"  

Solution:  Flibbity Jibbit and the Key Keeper, published by The Junket Folks.  Aunt Book thanks the Dear Niece who sent her this information, and who directed her to a copy of the story that is available online at   


Boy Helps Two Old Ladies Who Turn Out to be One
    "I'm looking for a book that was in my elementary school library back in 1972.  It's about a boy who helps two old ladies; one accepts charity, one doesn't.  He finds out that they are actually one person, a retired actress who dies in the end and leaves him a fortune.  The old lady was always quoting Shakespeare and made him learn it.  This made him popular with his English teacher.  He kept his helping them a secret and didn't know she was wealthy until the end.  Another person I found seems to remember that the boy was playing baseball, or delivering newspapers and accidentally broke her window and worked around her house to pay for it, but continued to do so after the debt was paid.  I think the boy's name was Ted and he was in high school.  Please help, I've been trying to find this for 20 years!" 

Solution:  The Ghost of Garina Street, by Lillian S. Freehof.  The book was published in 1959.  Aunt Book can claim no credit for this solution; the Dear Nephew who sent the original inquiry was able to find the book on his own, and reported his findings to Aunt Book.   


Ballerina Cast as a Newspaper Boy
    "Hi, I'm trying to figure out if the "Susie" series you describe contains the book I'm looking for.  Here's the tiny bit that I remember of the plot:  A girl lives in the city, or is living with relatives in the city.  She loves ballet.  She wants a certain part but doesn't get it for whatever reason or gets injured.  At some point she gets cast in a ballet but is cast as a newspaper boy.  But she dances the part really well, and is a good actress as well as dancer.  At some point she can't dance because she's ill or something, but in the end she gets a part that she really wants.  Is this in any of the Susie books?  Please help, it's driving me nuts!"

Solution:  Jennifer Dances, by Eunice Young Smith.  Bobbs-Merrill, 1954.  There are five other books in the series:  The Jennifer Wish, 1949; The Jennifer Gift, 1950;  The Jennifer Prize, 1951;  Jennifer is Eleven, 1952;  High Heels for Jennifer, 1964.   


Birds with Keys for Beaks
    "The book was a Weekly Reader book from (I believe) the mid-'70's.  It was about birds with keys for beaks and they could open various things with their 'key beaks.'"

Solution:  Aunt Book believes that this book is The Ice Cream Cone Coot and Other Rare Birds, by Arnold Lobel.  Parents' Magazine Press, 1971.  The "rare birds" are made up of household items. In one case,

"Over our heads the Key Cranes are flocking,
Looking for doors that might need unlocking."

Aunt Book is not able to confirm this title with Dear Niece who originally asked for help as she does not have a current e-mail address for her.   


Ghostly Gypsy Girl at the Alhambra
    "The book is for slightly older readers, maybe 10-11.  It was about the Alhambra, with a tale about a ghostly gypsy girl finding treasure, and a Spanish princess with pearls in her hair, and Moors and dust old knights.  The illustrations (maybe three to a chapter) were done in a strange aquamarine green with black lines, giving it a ghostly quality.  The cover was brown, with the title in a bright yellow block, framed by an orange red pattern, with the text in green.  I had thought it was called "Nights in Spain," or something like that, but I can't be sure."

Solution:  Castles in Spain, abridged from Washington Irving's Tales of the Alhambra, illustrated by Vincent Colabella.  A Reading Shelf book, published by Garrard, 1971.   


Poems for Very Young Children
    "This is a picture book for very young children.  I had thought it was called "I Can Fly," but I can't find it under that name.  The text consisted of a poem a page, each one about four lines long and very simple.  Each page had a different illustration:  kids playing hide and seek on a leaf-covered hill, kids sitting on a rainbow connected to a tiny tree house, a boy and his mom with stars falling out of their pockets.  They were all vividly illustrated, in bright, bright colors.  I think the cover was a boy in the sky, riding a rocking horse.  One of the poems used "Up, up, up" as one of its lines."

Solution:  Come Play With Me, by Margaret Hillert.  Modern Curriculum Press, 1975.  The Dear Niece who sent in this request was able to find the book on her own and sent Aunt Book the information.


Forest Ranger and Boy He Thinks Started a Fire
    "I remember reading in grade school (we're talking early nineties) a book about a forest fire.  It started off with a forest ranger, a gruff man who smokes, and this kid who shows up in the forest. A huge forest fire starts, and the Ranger spends the whole novel blaming the boy, thinking him a vandal and arsonist, even as he rescues him.  I believe that one of the scenes involved the boy and the man in one of those little silver-reflective tents in a creek, while the fire passes right over them.

"Anyway, they survive, but at the end of the book, the boy reveals that it was the ranger who'd started the forest fire, because he was careless when he put out a cigarette - it blew out from under the bare (protected?) area under a lookout tower, and right into the dry grasses.

"I am dying to find out the name of this novel, as it affected me oddly - not much of an ecologically-minded person even now, and less interested in moralizing, but something about the Ranger's reaction to the twist ending really affected me."

Solution:  Fire Storm, by Robb White.  Doubleday, 1979.   


Survivors of a Nuclear Holocaust
    "This was a young adults' book about the survivors of a nuclear holocaust.  It was split into three parts; the first set during the , the second set in a bunker, and the third set in the desert after the attack.  The character from the second part meets one of the characters from the first part, who is now grown up.  It was great and had the people in the bunker slowly dying, while the people out in the wasteland were evolving to survive their new world.  The little girl from the first part survived by drinking only bottled water rather than the rain water her sisters drank.  She survived to become a mysterious old lady later on."

Solution:  Children of the Dust, by Louise Lawrence.  1985.   


Rocket Ship to Twin Planet
    "What was the book where the kids build a rocket ship (along with their alien neighbor) and fly to the earth's invisible twin planet?  They end up taking along a chicken named Mrs. Something who provides the sulfur (through her eggs) that the people on the planet need to survive.  I think the planet was called Thallo or something similar."

Solution:  The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet (1954), by Eleanor Cameron.  Other books about the Mushroom Planet are Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet (1956), Mr. Bass's Planetoid (1958), A Mystery for Mr. Bass (1960), and Time and Mr. Bass (1967).   


A Certain Cinderella Book
     "It is the Cinderella fairy tale book.  I remember signing the book out numerous times from the library as a child, probably around 1975-1978.  The book was a small hardcover; dimensions were approximately 5x7.  The book was not cartoon, and the illustrations were breathtaking.  I believe her gown colors were blue for the first one, yellow for the second, and the last gown was white/sparkling.  I believe this book was old already when I was in school. 
     "Cinderella's hair was blonde.  The illustrations were very realistic, and were all in color."

Solution:  Cinderella, by Vera Southgate; illustrated by Eric Winter.  Ladybird Books, c1964.  This edition is from the British company that publishes small, hardcover books for children.  More information about the book can be found here:
and pictures of the other two dresses can be seen if one scrolls down on this page:  

Elephant Who Overeats
     "My daughter-in-law is looking for the title of a book she remembers from childhood.  She would have read this book in the early to mid-1980's; however, it may have had an older copyright date.  She's not sure.  In the book, an elephant wanders into a house and finds good food to eat.  The elephant eats and eats until it is unable to leave the house.  Eventually, the elephant breaks the house free of its foundation and walks off wearing the house."

Solution:  But No Elephants, by Jerry Smath.  Parents Magazine Press, c1980.    


Girl Who Can Control the Wind
     "The girl is shunned by her village for being strange but they come to find out that she can control the wind and they take her to a school so she can learn how to control her power. There she meets a redheaded boy with a pet wolf or something and they fight the evil headmistress and some other girl. I remember the story just can't remember the name. "

Solution: The Light of the Oracle, by Victoria Hanley.  David Fickling Books, 2005.   


Scruffy Black Pony Instead of Beautiful Black Stallion
      "I loved this book when I was young (about 25 years ago) and recently told my niece about it. She now really wants to read it but I can't find my copy or remember what it was called!   The story is about a young girl who's great wish is to own a horse of her own. she dreams of 'a beautiful black stallion with flowing mane and tail' so starts to do odd jobs and such to save up for one. Unfortunately she only saves a few dollars (I think it was about $14 or something like that) and realises she might only be able to afford 'one hoof maybe.'  But then she sees a scruffy lame  black pony (I think its at a horse sale). She feels sorry for him and so spends all her money to buy him. She does manage to fix him up but finds she can't ride him as he has a very uncomfortable, jolting  trot. She discovers he knows how to pull a cart though and her father helps her paint one up so it looks smart. She still feels a bit ashamed of him however, especially as another local girl who owns a handsome chestnut mare (with 'a very smooth trot') teases her about not being able to ride her 'stupid pony.'
     "One day whilst driving him in his cart, a couple pull up next to her in their car and jump out. They examine the pony in great excitement, not even noticing her at first. It turns out that he used to be their horse and was stolen as he was a champion racer in the trotting world! Although his injury is healed he would never be able to pull a sulky in the ring again and they allow her to keep him (although I believe they bring mares to him for stud). She realises at the end that she had a beautiful black stallion with flowing mane and tail all along.  : )
     "The whole book was filled with lovely illustrations that were also very accurate (i.e. not cartoon style)."

Solution:  Doodlebug, written and illustrated by Irene Brady.  Houghton Mifflin, 1977.   


Underground Cavern Explored by Moon Colonists
     "The book is about a large plant and a lake in an underground cavern on the moon.  Some exploring children from a nearby moon colony chance upon it and the adventure begins...   The book was very popular in 1978.  One of my teachers is looking for the book, which was the book that got her son hooked on reading when he was a third grader."

Solution:  The Lotus Caves, by John Christopher.   Macmillan, 1969.   


Cowboy and His Pal
     "A series of books relating the adventures of a Cowboy Sam[?] and his pal, Slim."

Solution:  The Cowboy Sam series, written by Edna Walker Chandler, including:
Cowboy Sam and the Rodeo, Cowboy Sam and Porky, Cowboy Sam and Miss Lily, Cowboy Sam and the Rustlers, Cowboy Sam and Big Bill, Cowboy Sam and Freddy, Cowboy Sam and the Indians, and Cowboy Sam and the Fair.  There are more in the series.  They appear to have been written from the 1950's through the 1970's.   


Charlie and His Escapades
     "Scholastic kids' book,  mid-'60s.  Paperback cover: boy on mattresses[?] going downhill on a street.  Title: contains the word 'Charlie.'  Plot: About the funny escapades of a boy named 'Charlie.'"

Solution:  Here Comes Charlie, by Lane Peters.  Scholastic, 1970.   


Runaway Girl Dressed as Boy Joins Outlaw
     "It's a kids book, probably about 'intermediate' level. It's about a girl between the ages of 10-12 (? unsure) and takes place out west sometime in the past. She lives with her relatives, not her father. Her mother is dead. Her dad is a sheriff in some other town. She decides to pretend to be a boy and run away and runs into a famous outlaw. She spends a moment reflecting on how her cousin would be jealous of her seeing a real outlaw. The outlaw doesn't seem to be very much older than she is. She gets caught in some awkward situations because he does not know she is a girl. For example, he walks in on her when she is in the bathtub. In another scene, she is in a tailor shop and is asked to strip. She weasels her way out of everything and eventually makes it to her father where she discovers that he has been paying her money through the mail periodically but her previous guardian had been stealing it. There is another scene when she pretends to hurt her foot so she can lean on someone and pickpocket a key out of their pocket without their noticing."

Solution:  The Gentleman Outlaw and Me - Eli, by Mary Downing Hahn.  Clarion/Houghton Mifflin, 1996.  Republished as simply The Gentleman Outlaw and Me and currently in print in paperback.   


Grandchildren Solve Old Mystery About Hidden Treasure
     "I'm trying to find a book that I liked as a kid.  I'm sure my niece would love it.I had this book in the 1960's.  It was hard bound and illustrated.  Maybe 30 pages long?
     "The story is about 3 grandchildren visiting their grandparent's home for the summer.  The house has been in the family for many generations.  Over the mantel, the family has an old drawing made by the great grandfather before he left for the Civil War.  The drawing is of an Indian headdress, a small clay pot and a strange looking key.   The tale behind the drawing is that the great grandfather knew he would be away at war for a long time, so he left a series of clues for his children to follow.  The clues would lead to some kind of family treasure.  The drawing was just a teaser that he made weeks before leaving to keep the kids occupied.   The great grandfather gives an envelope with the first clue to his wife on the day he leaves for the army.   Unfortunately, she puts the envelope in her apron pocket and then washes the apron.  The first clue is destroyed. The treasure remains a mystery."  (More information was provided, but since it reveals the end of the book Aunt Book has ruthlessly chopped it off).

Solution:  Key To the Treasure, by Peggy Parish.  Illustrated by Paul Frame.  Macmillan, 1966.  Sequels to the book are (1968), Clues in the Woods (1968), Haunted House (1971), Pirate Island Adventure (1975), Hermit Dan (1977), and Ghosts of Cougar Island (1986).  They have been reissued in paperback fairly recently.   


Boy Receives Special Powers on His Birthday
    "The main character is a young boy, and the opening scene is his birthday celebration, which his family is keeping hushed up from his father. His older sister vanished many years before on his birthday, so the father hates the date. He receives some sort of power in the book... the one clear scene I remember is when a school bully attacks him and he throws his 'magic' at the boy's face. Everyone thinks he hit him with a rock, but of course there was no rock involved. I vaguely remember contact with his sister later on, who is Someplace Else entirely."

Solution:  The Snow Spider, by Jenny Nimmo.  Methuen, 1986; Dutton, 1987.  The first in the Magician Trilogy; sequels are Emlyn's Moon (Methuen, 1987) published in the US as Orchard of the Crescent Moon (Dutton, 1989) and The Chestnut Soldier (Methuen, 1989; Dutton, 1991).  It was made into a television series in the UK.  Information about the author and the books can be found at   


Into a Computer Game
    "I read this in high school, in the 1990's.  I didn't get to finish it.  I believe there was a "part 2" of this book, too.
    "A young boy and girl have a computer and find a computer game cartridge.  They decide to play the game, and they go into the computer.  They have to shoot 'baddies' and they have a gun with no trigger.  I believed it worked by 'thought.'  They get really into it, and play the game a lot.  When in the normal world they see 'black spots' in the corners of their eyes.  When they try to look at the spots, they disappear (run away.)
    "The cover of the book shows the characters with the guns, and a few 'space invader' type black baddies.  The colour of the book was a little darker than light blue and not too dark (blue).  I remember there was some purple in the picture on the cover."

Solution:  Space Demons, by Gillian Rubinstein, first published in 1985.  There are two sequels, Skymaze and Shinkei.  A picture of the cover as described above can be found here:


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