287H: Rats taking Uncle Skinny somewhere on a raft down a river

There are a family of rats that have to take their uncle named “Skinny” somewhere via a boat. I believe he may be sick and they go down the river to take him to the doctor. I also think he is wearing one piece pajamas with the button flap in the rear, and either he or the driver has on a crinkled top hat. I wish I could recall more about the story. I read this book as a child sometime around 1982-1985. I would really love to get this book for my daughter.

287E: Children robbed in forest as they come home from a fair

This was a hardback picture book we read in the library in the 1980s. Two or three children go to a fair. On the way to or at the fair they get some small items (possibly a gold star?), which are put in a ‘cornucopia’. I think this was pictured as a paper cone. On the way home through the forest, robbers steal their treasures. I think it had the line ‘what wicked robbers to steal such precious things’, the point being these are items of no commercial value, but things of wonder to the children.

286F: Girls go to wrong house on Halloween, meet strange girl in spider costume.

This was a kids’ picture book from the late 70s or early 80s (probably 4/5th grade reading level, 32ish page length, not just a simple picture book but not chapter or young adult) level. The premise is that two friends (I think they were two girls, might have been just one) show up at a house for a Halloween party, They think it’s the right house, but upon getting inside, are met with another girl who I *think* was wearing some kind of a spider costume – she might even have been named “spider”. They proceed to go to the basement (which I don’t remember being a scary development). At some point they swap costumes (possibly against the will of the girl who showed up to the house).  The girl who came to the house doesn’t want to be there, and eventually finds a way to escape/leave. Important to underscore that even though it sounds a bit this way,the tone of the book isn’t scary or sinister – more just a vibe of “strange” and “oddball”. A fun little Halloween story that I vaguely remember and am desperate for help locating!

286E: Picture-only book with words next to items in several scenes

This book was a children’s early reader book from 70s/80s with scenes from a park (which had a pond in it, I think, and possibly a duck in the pond), classroom, hospital room, etc. In the picture of the classroom, for instance, it said “paint” next to where the paints were, and “chair” next to the chair in the picture.  No plot, just labels for items in the pictures. It is *not* a Richard Scarry book (which sometime label individual items as well).

286D: Friendly purple creature has magic yellow umbrella

I’m thinking this book would have come out in the 70s or early 80s. The general plot, as I recall, was a friendly purple creature was friends with a young boy, and the creature had a seemingly magic yellow umbrella. The umbrella was used in a variety of helpful ways, culminating in the umbrella being used as a big swimming pool for all of the neighborhood children. Those are the primary details I remember; any help much appreciated!

285D: Boy and cat are best friends

I am looking for a children’s book from around 1980.

I do not recall the title or author, and the book may have been published before 1980.  Let’s say anywhere between 1970 and 1982 or so.  This was a favorite book of mine when I was a kid, and I used to take it out of my local branch of the St. Louis Public Library pretty regularly.

The one thing I DO remember were the fantastic illustrations.  It was done in black and white, and the drawings looked as though they may have been pen and ink, or etchings, and they were very realistic.

Thematically, I remember a couple things about the story:  A boy and his cat used to sit on a hill under their (or maybe the cat’s) favorite tree.  At night, the cat would go have adventures on his own with his cat friends.  Toward the end of the story, the cat died, and the boy and his mom decided to bury him atop the hill under the beloved tree.  Then the boy would go there to remember the cat.

Specifically, I recall one page in the book that illustrated night time, when the cat would go with his cat friends.  There is a house (presumably the cat’s) in the background, as though he has just been let out for the evening.  In the foreground, you see the cat joining up with many, many neighborhood cats as they set off to roam around–a virtual cat army.

Thank you, and I look forward to seeing what you all come up with.

284D: Alternate outcomes become alternate worlds

In the world of this book, every time something happens, like a war, both outcomes come true. A new world is created with the alternate outcome. So there are many earths. The one that this one takes place on is not ours. In this Earth, America is called Atlantis.

The children survive the shipwreck because the boy is a witch and the sister hangs onto him. But you don’t find that out till the end. You think – because she says so – that she is the witch and she saved him.

He is left-handed, which where they came from is punished but where they have arrived at, is celebrated as it is a sign of being a witch. That’s all I remember….

I probably read it in the late seventies, possibly early 80’s. I was probably around 12 – it was a middle-year chapter book. It was really good.

I hope it sounds familiar to someone! Thanks for your help!

283F: Faint memories of a bad day

I’m looking for the title of a children’s picture book suitable for maybe grades 1-2 from late 1970’s or early-mid1980’s.  I can’t remember barely anything except an illustration of a checkerboard floor and spilled peas, another page with a character with black hair and red shoes.  I think the theme was how to cope with a very bad day or getting along with your sibling.  I remember it as big, like 12″x 8″, maybe 15 pages.  It’s absurd to ask given so little information but i can’t stop thinking about it!

283E: Martian or Moon dweller, visits earth

I’m looking for a vaguely remembered children’s book. It’s a picture book. I can’t reconstruct the whole plot but it had the following elements:

– EITHER a martian, extra-terrestrial or man-in-the-moon visiting earth, OR a boy that wants to fly to space. The former is more likely.

– This protagonist is reminded of his planet or the moon or the sun by seeing a balloon, and maybe also other round objects throughout the book.

– There is definitely a scene, towards the end of the book, where the protagonist walks back to his space vessel in the evening sun or moon.

– I remember the book had a melancholic feel. Maybe the protagonist is homesick or something. It was NOT a spectacular book on space travel. The martian is not scary, but cute and a little sad.

– It must predate 1983, possibly a book from much earlier (60s?) that my mother purchased at a library that got rid of old books.