348T: Children’s book about alchemy, 1970s or 1980s

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.

348Q: A little girl and a racoon (?)

This is a paperback book that I believe was bought new around 1980 – 1981. (I think my mom bought it, and we lived in Western Massachusetts at the time, although she gave it to me to read on a trip to New York City to visit my grandparents.) It was a slim book with pictures for school-age kids, but I think it was closer to the size of a typical chapter book rather than a picture book.
The story is about a little girl who at some point ends up fighting or having some kind of conflict with an animal outside, who I think was a racoon (although for some reason a fox also comes to mind, maybe instead of or in addition to the racoon? There also may have been no fox). The conflict in the story was quite emotional – I remember the little girl feeling both mad and maybe sad, and I’m pretty sure she also ultimately cared about the racoon/animal. The racoon/animal may have also been injured or in trouble somehow. I liked the story, but it wasn’t the most bright or cheerful tale.
I think the little girl had straight or wavy black hair worn up in a ponytail. I also feel like she wore a skirt ending above her bare knees. The pictures were delicate, and – at least in some cases – had dark features or strong shadows. The color I remember most apart from the dark aspects is orange…which kind of overlaps with my memory of a fox and its reddish-orange fur.

348K: Fat girl runs away from home by taking canoe to an island and living in the forest

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.

348F: Sam and the Seashore

Looking for a children's picture book written in the 1980s, possibly late 70s or early 90s. The book we had was hard-backed, medium sized average children's book. NOT a toddler or baby book. Illustrations were colorful, and detailed. Almost resembled Where's Waldo but not quite as intense. Images included illustrations of beach animals, shells and sand. and I remember beach trash was involved as well. The main character was a bald or short haired white boy. He might of had a dog. I am almost positive that the boy's name was Sam, Sammy or Samuel. I also remember that he doesn't like the beach at first, and at some point in the plot, he has a problem with an octopus. That's all I can remember. Both my sisters and I vividly remember this book, but cannot find it anywhere. We thought it was called something to the effect of "Sam and the Seashore" but a google search yields absolutely no results. It's been driving us nuts! Please help!

348C: British family children’s novel

I’m trying to find a book I read in the late 80s. It was about a British family with several children. The book was told from the perspective of a younger brother. His older sister was named Helen and he didn’t get along with her at all. At one point in the book he leaves a towel balanced on the bathroom door as a “Helen-trap.” I remember thinking this book was hilarious but I don’t remember much more about it.


347V: Shape Shifting Amnesiac Becomes The Thunderbird

I read this book in the 1970s or early 1980s. It is fiction/fantasy about a man with amnesia (modern times of the 1970s or 80s) who through adventures eventually discovers that he is a shape shifter who morphs into the SW Native (Indian) god/entity the Thunderbird. I think there are two books in the series and I seem to recall a female protagonist who also turns into a Thunderbird and the two characters go off into the sunrise together, but don’t quote me on that! The cover art was intriguing. And the end was sad because to become Himself as the Thunderbird the guy with amnesia had to give up the self he had become while in human form.

347R: Kids hunt for a treasure at a lake only to find it’s confederate money

I read the book in grade school in the early 80's.

I remember it's a mystery book where kids visiting a lake look for a treasure.  In the end, the treasure turns out to be worthless confederate money.  One scene I remember vividly:  The boy is tricked by the girl to swim to the bottom of the lake with his snorkel and look up.  She claims it's a beautiful view.  When he does so, the protective valve on the snorkel opens and water floods into his mouth.

I also seem to recall a dragon on the lake at night, but it's made of paper and burns up from the candles used to illuminate it.  It is possible, however, that this memory might be from another book...

347L: A Japanese Boy Turns Into a Peach

I am looking for a book from my childhood (1975-1985).  It had the most beautiful detailed pictures.  I remember each one like a painting of another word.   It’s about a Japanese prince …  He flies up to the gods.  Then I think there’s something about dragons … I think he turns into a peach and ends up flying over the land.

Not this book


Or this book


The pictures were so beautiful.  I hope you can find it.

347B: Rough Tough Gruff Pirates

I am looking for a children’s book that my children adored but I can not remember the title or author.

It was a pirate story from the late 80’s or early 90’s  My son was born in 1988 and we had a family mantra from this book: “We’re rough, we’re tough, we’re gruff gruff gruff” or perhaps “We’re gruff, we’re rough we’re tough tough tough.”

Good luck, you are me last hope.