Books that Aunt
Book Has Identified
"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
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
Solution: The Horse with
the Easter Bonnet, by Jane Thayer (Catherine Woolley);
illustrated by Jay Hyde Barnum. William Morrow & Co.,
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
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 http://www.junketdesserts.com/flibbity.asp
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
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
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
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,
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.
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."
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: http://www.theweeweb.co.uk/ladybird/ladybird_book_detail.php?id=3D688
and pictures of the other two dresses can be seen if one scrolls down
on this page: http://www.ladybirdflyawayhome.com/pages/gallery.htm
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. "
Light of the Oracle, by Victoria Hanley. David Fickling
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)."
written and illustrated by Irene Brady. Houghton Mifflin,
Underground Cavern Explored by Moon
"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,
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
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
"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
Grandchildren Solve Old Mystery About
"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
"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
Island Adventure (1975), Hermit Dan
(1977), and Ghosts of
Cougar Island (1986). They have been reissued in paperback
Boy Receives Special Powers on His
"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 http://www.notablebiographies.com/news/Li-Ou/Nimmo-Jenny.html
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
"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
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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Demons
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