Category Archives: 1970s

367Z: The Rainy Day

I’m looking for a book that probably came out in the late 70s/early 80s. It was illustrated with primarily line art, orange and yellow colors. A little girl lived with her parents in an apartment (I think?) and had a rainy day. She went outside to play in the rain, came inside for a bath and soup. It is such a simple book but it always comforted me because the family stayed home and made their own fun together. Being a child of divorce, this was foreign to me. I’d dearly love to find it again.

367X: Family takes an elevator underground – whistle if you get lost

The book I’m looking for is as follows:

Children’s book   – from the UK
I read it in the UK when i was a kid in the 1970s

It was illustrated but with line drawings – was for older kids, maybe 7/8 and up?
There was a story in it about a family who takes an elevator down into the ground, and they whistle to each other if they get lost.
It was a collection of stories for kids. 

It might have also had poetry in it
This story has haunted me for years, no idea if it will ring a bell with someone somewhere

367T: Fantasy creatures sing boy to sleep, get stolen, then rescued

I am looking for a children’s picture book from the late 1970s, early 1980s. The book was on natural/beige paper with brown line drawings. The story was a fantasy where a young boy lives in a small cottage. Every night, flying creatures (birds? harpy-like things?) fly over his home and sing him to sleep. Possibly as the sun sets. They sing the same song every night. The lyrics were along the lines of “Remember my friend of the song of your heart. Remember my friend, for the rest of your life. Love conquers all, for it never grows dim. Love conquers all, for all time”. The book came with a cassette tape and my siblings and I could probably hum the song to this day. One night, the bird things don’t come and sing. The boy gets worried. He hears knocking at his door or window. It is a talking animal or non-human of some sort. He hears that the local monster thing that lives in a cave or mountain through the woods has stolen the bird things and plans to eat them and/or make them sing only for him. The boy says, “We must get them back. We must!”. The boy climbs on the back of a horse or four-legged animal and they race through the woods to the cave/mountain. The boy sneaks into the cave where the bird things are in cages. He releases them somehow and they escape. Not sure what happens to the monster thing. The book ends as the bird things once again fly over his house and sing him to sleep. I want to say that the monster thing is a Gorgon but I’ve maybe conflated Greek myths later on with this early fantasy children’s book. Or, it is a really well known adaptation and this will be an easy solve.

367P: Victorian Dolls Get Beautiful New Clothes

I have been trying for a long time to remember the name of a book I loved as a child in the 1960s or very early 70s. In the book, Victorian-era dolls were outfitted with beautiful new clothes, shoes, and in one case, a muff. There was velvet involved, and the descriptions of the clothing and care the dolls received were beautiful (at least in my child’s mind). The dolls’ hair was fixed up as well. The colors of the clothing were rich. One of the dolls was a boy. The central character of the story was a little girl. There may have been a shop window or house with windows on the cover, but I have looked at so many books in trying to identify this one that I could be confusing this! It is also possible that this was a chapter book or series in which a particular doll needed to be repaired, as I recall multiple dolls with various problems that needed attention, and each was treated individuallly.

367I: A Magical Trip

As a fourth grader in 1980, I had a teacher who kept a personal library of paperback books for us children to read when we were finished with all our other work. I read dozens of books in Mrs. Cohn’s classroom.
So assume this book to be anywhere from 1950s-1970s publication, a novel but fairly short. Things I recall:
There were at least two boys on the trip to another world/realm/dimension which they may have accessed via a cave.
Somehow they were equipped with a small wooden box of sausage and cheese. Intending to conserve their rations, they only ate half of each and discovered upon reopening the box that the food had regenerated to the full, original proportion.
They also had a blanket that would cover them both but fold down to pocket handkerchief sized and a “magic” match that could be struck and used again and again and even be stuck in a crevice and (perhaps rotated?) to become bright as a torch.
In one scene they passed a gangrel/beggar/wastrel on the road and as he came toward them he morphed into a well-clad, upright gentleman with a sandwich board or a handbell and advertised some type of ware or service and upon passing, returned to his former low state.

367H: Dragon of the Mountain (Solved!)

I came across a website called “what to do when you can’t remember the title of a long lost children’s book” and I used their guide to scrape the inside of my skull for details to give your group-mind.

Now, I’m only assuming the title of the book is “Dragon of the Mountain,” but I could be mistaken. That’s just… what the book was about, and since nothing comes up on Google or Amazon, I’m probably mistaken. Maybe it was Tears of the Dragon, or who knows, uh, Dragon Mountain and How the River Came To Be or…. take a guess and yours is as good as mine, honestly. So, here are my scrapings:

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STORY–Write down what you do know about the story.
It’s about an Asian (Chinese? Japanese? I don’t know where, just somewhere in Asia…) folk tale of a village that lives in fear of the Dragon of the Mountain, except for one little boy who goes up to visit the dragon, because he thinks the dragon must be very lonely, and then the dragon starts to weep with joy, and floods the land, and the boy is going to drown, but the dragon takes him on his back and they float down the river of tears together, and the dragon turns into a boat, and sacrifices himself to save the boy.

Do you remember character names or where the story took place?
The title character is the dragon, and it takes place somewhere in pre-industrial Asia. Can’t be more specific than that.

Were there anthropomorphized animals in the story?
Only the dragon, insomuch as he was able to speak and reason. He was still fully a dragon, of course.

Do you think the person reading the story to you may have “improvised” a bit?
No one read the story to me, but given that it is a folk-tale, I would assume the author probably did.

ILLUSTRATIONS–What do you remember about the illustrations?
Were they colorful or monotone?
Very colorful illustrations!

Very detailed or line drawings?
I have the impression in my mind that they were watercolors, but that might just be because of the subject matter, with all the tears and the flooding and the boat and it being an Asian story.

Did they fill the page or just accompany the text?
Just like a Dr. Seuss book.

Do they remind you of any specific illustrator or artist’s style?
Uh, watercolors. They were beautiful watercolors, at least in my mind’s eye they are.

BOOK FEATURES–Physical features are important, too: was the book you read hardback or paperback?
It was hardback.

Was it a picture book or chapter book?
It was a picture book.

What color were the covers?
My memory is extremely vague on this, but I remember a predominantly maroon-ish feeling. I honestly never paid much attention to the cover, I was interested in the inside, not the outside.

Was there a dust jacket?
I don’t remember one, but I don’t have dust jackets from any of my books from back then.

How big was the book?
Similar to a standard Little Golden Book or Dr. Seuss Book.

Were the pages glossy or matte?
I believe they were glossy.
   

MEMORIES–Personal information is also helpful. How old were you when you remember reading the book and what year was it?
I’m pretty sure I had it at least by the age of eight, which would be 1979.

Were you able to read it yourself or did you need someone to read it to you?
I read it entirely on my own.

Do you think it was a book bought for you at the time or was it a hand-me-down from an older sibling or a parent?
I believe it was bought for me, though I could be mistaken.

Was it borrowed from a public library for you to read?
No, I owned it.

Did you read it in school or at home?
It was my own book, I read it at home.
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I just would love, as all your customers would, to be reunited with my old friend.

367G: Soap soap soap don’t forget the soap (Solved!)

I am looking for a book, it may have been in a compilation book, called Soap Soap Soap, Don’t Forget the Soap. My boyfriend read it as a child in the 1970s. There is a book with the same title that was published in 2003. It is not the same book, but it sounds like the same story. A young boys mother sends him to the store to get soap, and as he tries not to forget the soap, a bunch of things happen to him. The 2003 version says it is an Appalachian Folktale.

367D: 1970s Children’s Environmental/Dystopian

I’m looking for a book I read in the seventies (or maybe 1980), it was a children’s book about kids that lived in a high rise and never went on the streets because of too much pollution/a ruined world. They may have gone outdoors only once a year. They may have worn gas masks or breathing masks. I remember dark illustrations and it being a cautionary tale. I believe that all the remaining world’s population lived in one high rise building. I think there may have been one remaining plant or flower and that going to look at it was extraordinary/special. Definitely a picture book.

367B: Animal Shelter Book

Looking for 70’s Scholastic (?)? paperback. A dad is forced to take a job at a kill shelter, needs the money. The kids find homes for animals, and they shut down the cremation building where smoke billows out In a country type place. They are happy. Maybe 2-3 grade level book. Approx year read ‘76 but could be classroom book and older.