I had a book when I was a kid that I really liked a lot. I was born in 1976 so it would have been published before the mid-80s, probably. It was about an alchemist, possibly old and doddering, who was trying to turn lead into gold. If I remember correctly it had sort of sepia-toned line drawings, and there were quite detailed illustrations and instructions on how various alchemical apparatus worked. I remember illustrations of him working with tubes and liquids and flames and such. He also needed a unicorn horn so he had to get a young maiden to help him catch one. Can’t remember the title at all.
I’ve been trying to figure out the title and author of this childhood ‘book memory’ my brother has for the past 3 years. If you are able to solve the mystery, it would be a “Christmas Miracle”!! 🎄
Here is the memory:
“All the illustrations were in blues and greys. It was about a boy, I think with a number of brothers, and the brothers were possibly changed into animal shapes, or possibly it was princesses changed into animal shapes. I think there was a sorceress or magician. And there were pictures of horses? And maybe dogs?”
Main Character is a young woman hired to be a companion to a teen by the teen’s guardian. Takes place on an island that you have to take a ferry to the mainland. The teen goes missing and the guardian’s younger brother says she ran away and he cuts off his hand to cover up the murder scene. There is a scene where they make oatmeal by leaving it on the stove overnight. The companion starts to be attracted to the younger brother but discovers what he did.
Book was hard cover, dark blue, about the same size and length as Graeme Base’s “Animalia”.
I’m trying to find a picture book from the 90s about a girl who lives in a town where they only make dog houses. She runs away to the forest because she doesn’t want to make dog houses, and she builds an amazing tree house with the help of the forest animals. For some reason I remember the title as “Fern of the Forest” but that might be completely wrong.
I read this book maybe around 2010, and it follows a duo of kids – I think they were brother and sister. At the start of the story there was some accident like a plane crash or something and then they are like taken to a different world. They are taken to a super awesome house, were they can get whatever they want, though at some point they realize a man who had a box with a timer on it like dies or something when it expires. This causes them to panic and travel to a purgatory type place where people go so their time stops. While they are there, time seems to like pass weird and without realizing it, 2 weeks pass and they are still there. The whole place is known to give off like bad energy so its just fill of miserable people moping around not doing anything – too afraid their timers will expire. There was one specific part I remember and that was the girl talking about how one of the girls was eating a sandwich with mustard, and I just always thought it was gross the way it was talked about.
My mom remembers this book from approximately 1963 – 1965 when she was living in Menlo Park, California. It was a thin children’s book and she recalls a character named Uncle Oscar and at some point they make pancakes for breakfast.
I think I read this in the 4th grade (I was born in 1979). This girl was really unhappy at home, so she took a boat and rowed away to an island. On the island she learned to fend for herself. She made a cozy home either in a kind of dug out, or a hollowed out tree. She survives the winter, and eventually returns home feeling much better about herself because she has lost weight and is independent.