329O: Time Traveling Girl Becomes Subject In Colonial Sampler

My search is for a children’s book, probably in the 1970-1997 time frame.  The book was a time traveling mystery involving a shy, loner-type girl who escapes to sit in a nearby very old tree.  On rare occasions, while in the tree, the girl time travels back to colonial times where she meets two girl friends in the tree.  At this point, the tree is much younger.  The colonial friends remark about the traveler’s shoes and how different they are.  The shoes are modern sneakers.  On a subsequent meet up, the time traveler brings an alphabet book which shows a picture of a giraffe listed for the letter “G.”  The colonials have never seen a giraffe.  At some point, the time traveling stops and the loner girl wonders what became of her colonial friends.  On a library day, the loner looks up colonial samplers.  She finds the sampler her colonial friends made when they couldn’t find her in the tree anymore.  The antique sampler is of the alphabet with a giraffe for the “G” letter and a stitched picture of the modern girl with her sneakers!  The title of this book is not known to me and i remember it had nothing to do with the possible subject matter of the book; therefore, not colonial samplers, mystery, time travel, etc.  The author was a woman, but I don’t know the name.  Please help locate the title and author of this book.  I am sure my two grand daughters would love this book, which  my daughter read years ago in Virginia.  Thank you!

329H: Short Stories for Girls (Solved!)

I read an anthology of teen short stories probably from the 1960s. The two stories I remember are:
1) a shy, plump girl named Becky loved to bake, but she agreed to take a role in the school play because she had a crush on a boy in the play. The role was motherly (or grandmotherly) so Becky felt she could pull it off even though she wasn’t an actress. The boy crush would come over to “rehearse” but really he was there to spend time with Becky and eat the yummy things that Becky baked. He finally admitted that Becky wasn’t a very good actress, but he wanted to date her because he felt so comfortable with her in her cozy kitchen.
2) A slim, athletic girl who always wore pedal pushers had a special word “v’standen” that she and her dad invented to show that they understood each other, no other words necessary. When she got dressed up in a strapless gown to go out on her first date, her dad made a cold remark about how she looked. He wasn’t actually being mean, he was just shocked at how his little tomboy had grown up. When she came down the stairs to greet her date, her father tried to stammer an apology. She told him “v’standen” and everything was good.
Note: This is NOT “Stories to Live By” from American Girl Magazine. I bought the book, but neither story is in it.

327Z: Insectoid Alien Princess Becomes A Christian

I’ve tried to find this book for the last thirty years. It’s an old sci-fi novel.
What I remember of the plot:
Advanced insectoid winged aliens invade earth, they are very random and do things like cure disease and pour wealth from spaceships in one city, and then fire bomb/laser death another.
Hero is ex government something, like a soldier or bodyguard like secret service.
He ends up at some point at a rebel base where they are trying to fight the invaders, but are wounded and starving.
He gets captured by the aliens, and is enslaved by one of the very high ranking aliens, a Princess or equivalent, who is spoiled rotten, vain and very cruel. She has a sort of partner who is a warrior, but she outranks him and treats him badly.
They talk, but also use dancing like bees to convey extra texture to the conversation, she mocks her partner/mate because he is not graceful when “talking” by dancing.
She ends up trying to bang the human out of boredom, which is painful for him, and he jumps off her floating ship/palace to try to kill himself after suffering at her hands for a while.
She makes her mate/fiance fly to rescue him, but he signals that the price he will want in return will be terrible.
At some point she is stripped of power and exiled.
She meets the hero at a rebel camp some time later, and she has been de-winged and blinded by her kind.There is a church of anti-Christ that has something to do with what is going on.
Alien princess becomes a Christian.

323S: Reviled Colorful New Neighbor Saves Family From Fire

I’ve tried to track down this book periodically over the past few years with no success. I can’t remember the title or author at all. I don’t know when it was published, but I would have read this in the early 90s—and I don’t remember it seeming physically like an old book. I’m not sure if I can’t find it because it’s rare (hopefully not!), or if I’m just not using the right search terms. Maybe you can help! Here’s what I remember:

It’s a richly illustrated picture book about a quirky, flamboyant man (I’m pretty sure he wears a top hat?) who moves into a drab, stuffy neighborhood where he is ostracized by the uptight parents in the community. The illustrations are somewhat stylized (maybe — but not definitely — collage). One day, neighborhood children, who have been warned by their parents to stay away from this oddball, accidentally break his window with a baseball. (Or maybe they just hit it into is yard… I can’t quite remember.) In any case, when they go to retrieve their ball they discover this guy to be incredibly kind and welcoming. I think he gives them some pink lemonade.

The children, their parents, their houses, and the neighborhood in general are rendered in black and white, but the inside of the stranger’s house is bright and colorful. I can’t remember exactly what happens next, but I think the kids and the man become friends. When the parents find out, they are furious and forbid the children from hanging out with the man, which breaks his heart. I think the inside of his house turns black and white at that point.

But one night, the “ringleader” parent’s house catches on fire, and the strange man saves the family. I think I remember a page where the text is stylized to look like smoke. And I remember an illustration of the family members jumping from the window into a tarp held by firefighters (or maybe townspeople.) This leads the community to accept the strange newcomer, and the entire town bursts into color.

For whatever reason, I cannot figure out what this book is. And it is driving me crazy! If any of this rings a bell, I’d be thrilled. Sincerest apologies for all the vague rambling. And thank you!

313E: Pet Alligator’s Balcony Garden

In this children’s book, a pet alligator lives in a penthouse apartment. He wants a garden to be on his balcony. One day, he falls off of the balcony to either get at a plant or a balloon animal. (Somehow, balloon animals are involved. ) He gets stuck in a tree, and his owners frantically search for him. At the end, they buy plants to put on his balcony. Each page was full of intricate details when you examined them closely.