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!

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.

291L: I’ll be the mommy (Solved)

The title is something like, “I’ll Be The Mommy and You’ll be The Little Girl”or vice versa.  It also may include “I’ll be the Daddy, you be the Little Boy,” (or vice versa as well.)  The book is from the early 1980’s, I think, suitable for early primary children.  It is two stories in one book  The first part is about a mommy and little girl going for an outing and they change roles briefly.  If they book is turned over and similar story involves a daddy and a little boy doing the same thing.  In the middle of the book is a two page illustration of the parents and the boy and girl meeting up in the home…just adorable.  It is nicely illustrated and while I don’t see it listed on any Sesame Street lists, the illustrations of the characters remind me of that company’s type of drawing.

291A: A Native American parable

Wow! I just read in the NYT that there is a possibility of finding this book that I remember ! I believe I read it in the 1970’s or 80’s. As I remember it, it is a  Native American story. A  father does many things for his child. The child says to the father, “when I grow up I will do things for you”  The father replies,” when you grow up the important thing is not that you care and do things for me, but that you care and do things for your own children .” Or something to that effect. The moral of the story being that a parents actions are to teach a child how to be a good and loving person, a parent does not teach a child how to be good using the idea of reciprocity.

290Y: A lady starts a diary

I read this book in London in 1992. It was a used paperback. The writer was a woman.

The heroine is a (rather dislikable) single, English woman of a certain age; she considers herself “on the shelf” and not a success in life. She has a small world.

Then she decides to reinvent herself and starts a diary. She writes her diary entry for the day at the start of the day and then forces whatever she wrote to happen. She writes that she meets a man and that day she forces a quiet dude into becoming her suitor, etc.

It was a recent novel: probably the 80s.

290V: Transcendental Meditation (Solved)

I just read about your bookstore and the Book Stumper in today’s New York Times. Amazing! And I have a book: written perhaps in the 1970s or early 1980s, it concerned two kids, an old house, and a crystal or other glass ball on a pedestal in the yard of an old house, and the kids used transcendental meditation to perhaps travel into the ball, maybe solve a crime or something.

290S: The chicken is delicious and possibly addictive

A children’s book I read in the early-to-mid 90s; could have been published earlier. A school cafeteria serves chicken (I think), possibly tenders. The chicken is delicious and possibly addictive. A student, male, investigates the cafeteria situation and, towards the end of the book, discovers that the chicken is made with a poisonous ingredient hidden in the cafeteria kitchen that gives it its flavor/addicting quality; the ingredient is stored in a large vat. There’s a fight between the hero and the evil cafeteria employee. The book is NOT Bone Chillers: Back to School or Eat Your Poison Dear.

290Q: YA historical novel about the Biblical matriarchs ca. 1980

The book was divided into several sections, most or all narrated in first person and each about one of the Biblical matriarchs: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, etc. Along the lines of “The Red Tent” but young adult and published somewhere around 1980, give or take a couple of years. The author was female, and I think it was published in US (though possibly UK or other British Commonwealth, since I got it out of a Canadian library).

290J: A girl named Drucilla

I read this book in the 1980s. I remember for sure that the girl’s name was Drucilla, spelled with a “c” not an “s.” I think she had long black hair and was tall and thin, and she was possibly magical, like a young witch. I think she was an outcast; maybe the story was about her finding a friend? Definitely NOT from The Worst Witch series. I remember it being kind of moody, with Edward Gorey-style ink illustrations.