291W: Girl wants tassels for her sled

This book must date back to the 1940s. I remember finding it at our summer home in NH, where there were all kinds of odd books for young people about.

It is a picture book. The illustrations are similar to pen-and-ink drawings that have been colored in, quite bright, beautiful sense of line.

The story is about a girl (and her brother) in a northern country (Scandinavia?). In the winter (Christmas?) they decorate sleds with strings of colored tassels for some procession. The girl cleans house for an old woman who makes her the tassel string. The girl gets caught in a terrible snowstorm on the way home and takes shelter in the root-hole of a much loved ancient oak tree. (The oak tree is a character in the story too.) This is where she is found.

I have never encountered this book anywhere else. It doesn’t ring a bell with anyone I have ever talked to.

Thanks for your suggestions!

291V: Fox Trapped in a Smokehouse

This is a book of interconnected short stories. It was an oversized hardcover book with full-page text and color illustrations, meant for an older reader. The stories all concern a community of animals who live in the woods adjacent to a farm. I’m fairly sure the title of the collection has the name of the animals’ home in it — maybe the lake they all live around, or the name of the woods, or the name of the farm? The book was published in the 80s or 90s. Each short story ends with a well-known moral or saying. I think there is a story about a badger or raccoon who is sick of it all at home and doesn’t want to get out of bed. There might be a story about an animal collecting (quail?) eggs that then get destroyed or eaten — the moral is don’t count your chickens before they hatch (or don’t put all your eggs in one basket?). The story I remember most is about a fox (perhaps the main character in the book) who gets trapped in the farmer’s smokehouse. He sneaks in to steal some of the farmer’s ham (I think?) and gets his leg stuck in a claw trap or gets locked in, and he has to beg another of the animals to help him escape before the farmer finds out and shoots him with his shotgun. In one of the later stories, I think the fox runs away from the animal community. I loved this book as a kid but can’t seem to work my Google magic to identify it! Thanks in advance to all you sleuths out there!

291U: It definitely wasn’t Harriet the Spy

I’m looking for a book I read as a child in the 1960s. My clues are very vague (sorry!), but here goes:

The book was a middle-grade novel about two girls who play at being detectives. They follow people around and write in their notebooks. I thought the title was The Key House Mystery or The Key-House Mystery (with a hyphen), but I haven’t found it on sites I’ve tried.

Unfortunately, that’s all I remember.  I don’t know the color of the cover, whether there were illustrations, or when it was published.

The book definitely wasn’t Harriet the Spy.

291S: Death Flees Me

So, the title if this small novel as i recall it is “Death Flees Me”. However, I cant find it under this name so i am probably mis-remembering.

The novel was about the End Times, written from the point of view of a non-believer. As I remember it, it was not very religious at all. It simply played out the story of his wife and friends disappearing one day. I recall nothing else about the story. It was short, a very thin book.

291Q: Selfish Girl Loses Candies and Finds New Friends (Solved)

This book would be from mid-late 1950s. Color illustrations throughout, done in a painterly style. A girl (with pigtails?) named (Belinda?) gets some money somehow. She sneaks off to the penny candy store to spend it and doesn’t want any of the other children to see her. In the old-fashioned candy store, they wrap her purchases up in a brown paper cone. As she runs home to avoid the others, the candies fall out one by one. The neighborhood children pick them up and return them to her. She learns about selfishness and makes new friends. I think she is wearing an old-fashioned coat with muff. I tried to find this book when my daughter was little, to no avail.

291P: Suddenly No Men on Earth/No Women on Earth

I read a science fiction book in high school (1969-1973) about some kind of catastrophe that resulted in the sexes living in separate worlds. In the “Women’s World,” planes fell out of the sky.  Maybe the women didn’t know how to operate heavy machinery?  In the “Men’s World,” other things happened because they were lonely…?

I found it totally mesmerizing at the time.  I thought it had a title like “Island of Vipers,” but I have never found that title.  All help appreciated!

291O: Cap’n Patchy Rat

Captain Patchy Rat, as I recall from my very early youth, is the story of the rat who organized a swashbuckling rebellion against the tyranny of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Illustrated. I recall an eye patch, of course, a pirates sash with rapier brandished. The book dates to 1950 era.

Have not been able to locate with desultory inquiries.

Would like to locate before all my grandchildren are too old for it.

291N: Keyo the cave boy

I read this probably in the early 80′ maybe late 70’s. The title may in fact by Keyo but I can not find it anywhere. Keyo is a boy. Probably a Neanderthal. Or an early modern human. In the opening scene he leaves the cave. He hunts some small birds perhaps with a sling. He has a grandfather and sister(s). Later he takes part or witnesses a woolly rhinoceros hunt which I think involves a pit trap.