348W: Who Kidnapped Toddler?

British psychological thriller, probably 2019. Small child disappears from yard while young mother carelessly supervises her playtime.  Meanwhile, a married woman is in  a relationship which begins to reveal itself as rather strange and secretive. Her evasive husband becomes a suspect when coworker points finger in his direction, but his alibi is that his delivery route is far from the kidnapping site. Clues and suspicions build until his wife can no longer avoid suspecting his cagey behavior and question his guilt.

348O: Book with a page that is a dream about nose turning into a pickle w/ illustration

It is a kids book from the 1990s, possibly got it through Scholastic book fair. The book is a disjointed collection of chapters or stories that are all related to night time, getting ready for bed, dreaming. The page and the only part of the story I remember most vividly is about having a dream that her nose turns into a pickle and she breaks it off and eats it, and on the page is an illustration of a kid with a big pickle nose.

Book was hard cover, dark blue, about the same size and length as Graeme Base’s “Animalia”.

The title itself is not about the pickle nose dream, and possibly is a little generic and so it is hard to search for, because the page I can remember and the title are likely unrelated (i.e. pickle is not in the title of the book) but the illustration of the kid with the big pickle nose is etched into my brain.
The illustrations were very beautiful, almost surreal, a little bit like Chris Van Allsberg but less realistic and more cartoon-ish, almost cubist. I remember one page had an illustration of a lone house at night time and all the windows are illuminated and it was very beautiful.
This is a long shot, but in searching on reddit I actually found other people who are trying to figure out what this book was called!

348N: Fern of the Forest?

I’m trying to find a picture book from the 90s about a girl who lives in a town where they only make dog houses. She runs away to the forest because she doesn’t want to make dog houses, and she builds an amazing tree house with the help of the forest animals. For some reason I remember the title as “Fern of the Forest” but that might be completely wrong.

348M: Kids Timer Afterlife House Purgatory

I read this book maybe around 2010, and it follows a duo of kids – I think they were brother and sister. At the start of the story there was some accident like a plane crash or something and then they are like taken to a different world. They are taken to a super awesome house, were they can get whatever they want, though at some point they realize a man who had a box with a timer on it like dies or something when it expires. This causes them to panic and travel to a purgatory type place where people go so their time stops. While they are there, time seems to like pass weird and without realizing it, 2 weeks pass and they are still there. The whole place is known to give off like bad energy so its just fill of miserable people moping around not doing anything – too afraid their timers will expire. There was one specific part I remember and that was the girl talking about how one of the girls was eating a sandwich with mustard, and I just always thought it was gross the way it was talked about.

348A: Children’s Puzzle Adventure!

This is a child’s adventure book. Its format is kind of unique, because it narrates the story and throws some questions at you in the meantime. It’s a drawing book with pictures and stuff, so as you read the story, you also need to stop at each question to think, before the next page tells you the answer.
For example, at the start of the book I remember some young guys gathering around a table looking at a map. The next question is: where is the plane flying? The next page then shows you the answer is Naples. This may not sound vivid enough, but the format is like this: a picture above, and a word of answer underneath. Like this:
                                                    answer: Naples!
And then the adventurous kids took off on a transformable plane to Naples. One more vague impression I remember is that they mentioned the paper production factory in Naples or something.
The next part of memory is about this. A couple of boys (probably the same batch of people) wanted to sneak in someone’s house from their backyard. The picture of the backyard is drawn on the book and you have to find a way in for them. I remember even back then I thought this was pretty easy.. It’s so obvious from the picture you could see a big tree sticking the limb into their balcony. The answer of course, is to climb through the tree and up to the balcony. Then they managed to sneak into their house and got something they were looking for out. I don’t remember what that something is though, maybe it was a picture or something? Excuse me for my bad memory again, because I was only six or something when I read the book.
All of this is just not enough to describe the book. Because it was a picture book, not in words can I put it clearly. I also remembered the book by the strange impression of Naples. It’s really hard to remember a book from those words so I will just go on anyway.
Another part is those boys got onto an island with cannibals. I remember they hid behind a bush as they watched the cannibals cook a large pot of meat over the fire. And they noticed something shiny in the corner. This actually came as a question and the book asked you what have they found? It’s a skull with some drapery on it. Maybe it was a gem or a crucifix? I don’t remember what’s on the skull but definitely something important they sought after. So they took the gem and went away without being noticed by the cannibals. And then they came into a cave or something. And there was a skull in there, too. What’s special about this skull is that there was a note left behind and on the note it said: I’m Alfonso! This actually came as a question before they showed you the content on the note; they asked you what have you found? And I was like, oh how can I know. And then I turned to the next page and saw this line of words. What’s special about this guy Alfonso is that he was a main character in this story, or at least has to do with the story line, and he was some sort of pirate or something that probably held a large treasure? I don’t quite remember. Anyway I (the main character of this story) was quite shocked at first to find out the identity of this skull. At this point I guess you could see that I actually play as a character in this book. The book would ask what “you” would do instead of say, what “Peter” or what ever the name of the main character of the book would do. Guess I was pretty enchanted by this book at that time?
The other part is I went to a castle or something and I got caught by the villains who live there. I was put into a dungeon and watched by guards. At night time the guard gave me some cookies of different colors to eat, but they came with descriptions. For instance, the red one says:”Eat this and you will never wake up in the morning to see the sun again”. The green one says the blue one is safe to eat or something blah blah blah. And in the end the book ask you which one should you choose to eat? Next page comes with the answers: the blue ones and yellow ones are safe to eat or something. So you took the right choice and went to sleep filled. I never actually have to work out these puzzles you see. I just turn over when I’m stuck. Not cheating, because do you really expect a six year old or something to do much when in a dilemma?
Then I remembered the kids who took off in a transformable plane came back again. They went underwater this time and of course the plane could turn into a submarine at the press of a button or something. They headed towards the base of the bad guys in this story. The underwater fort was like a huge dome of glass on the outside, with a castle or something like that on the inside. The concept is really ridiculous by the way. Then I remembered the hook asking me a question: where are we? The next page comes with an astounding answer of: Atlantis!
Ok, actually it wasn’t that astounding because when I was a kid I didn’t know what Atlantis is for it was the first time I’d heard of it. And so I was like: ok, Atlantis. Then I read on to the next page.  The next page had a picture and it is like the entrance to the fort is blocked by heavy guards. So we can’t pass in that way. Then I saw a pipe floating across the surface with some trash in it coming out. I guessed it was the sewers or some garbage path that we can go through. So I went through there and got in.
In the enemy’s fort, we sneaked in and the door was locked on the main entrance of the office. Though there was a piece of glass on the door that you could look into. Then comes the strange part. The main character (me) looked through the glass and saw two men talking in the office. One man was sitting at the table like the boss or something, and the other sit across from him. They didn’t notice us at all because they were talking. Then I gasped: it was the same guy sitting at the table! I some how recognized him as Alfonso! Wut? I remember I was really puzzled when I remembered this part, because if this is true, wasn’t he already dead in the cave before? I must have misremembered something or the plot is about reverse or time travel. Because he (the main character) must have recognized something weird to gasp, and I don’t remember what it was the name he remembered at seeing the guy in the office, but I’m a hundred percent sure the guy he saw buried in the cave was Alfonso. It could be either one of these three: I remembered the name of the guy wrong: who he recognized at the office wasn’t Alfonso. This story had a time travel element in it and they traveled back in time to see the great pirate before he’s dead. Or this skull in the cave was fake: it wasn’t Alfonso who had died in the cave, the skeleton was somebody else’s! Alfonso faked the note to disguise himself. And now that they’ve seen him alive they’ve broken the conspiracy. Three both could explain why he was so excited to see the guy in the office.
The next part comes with a bit of a change in character. I wonder if this was a next story in the same book. The main character was no longer a child, and in the previous parts certainly was unless I misremembered again. This time I play the role of a detective or something. I’m a detective who went to a exhibition on the queen’s treasure or something in Paris. Or at least I thought so. Then in the exhibition there was a crown which drew my attention. The queen’s crown. It looked something different from before. So I took out a photo of it and compared it to the crown in exhibition. The question then is to find the difference between the two. And of course I found it: the crucifix on the crown looks different and a jewel had been stolen. I soon found out that this was a fake crown and the real crown was stolen by some petty thief. Then I tracked their traces and tried to find more evidence that they’ve been here. And sure enough I found it. It was a diamond sitting in the corner of the wall shining at me through the page. Then I kept searching for them but couldn’t find them.
Then I remembered I had a good friend that’s called Mel or something, she was a crystal gazer and can tell me where the thieves had gone through a crystal ball. Then I found her in her lodging. I asked her if she could help, and gladly she did with her crystal ball. Through her crystal ball she could see the vague impression of something somewhere, which later became the clue as to how I find them.
That’s all the things I could remember from that book.. I was delighted at this book. Could anyone give a clue as to what it is?  I didn’t fake all this out I promise.
Date of this book was probably around 2006, though I don’t remember either.

347Z: YA/Juvenile nonfiction book about world issues, spiral bound, came with a bag of real rice!

I’m looking for a YA/Juvenile nonfiction book about world issues that I read in the 1990s. It was spiral bound, full colour, maybe 5×8, and came with two zippered pouches of real rice at the back. The rice was part of a world-hunger learning activity in the book, where the reader spun a spinner…

I think there were other activities in the book, but the story I remember most was about the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak.

347S: Emperor’s Son Cleans Up His Brother’s Elemental Messes

I got this book when the author came to my elementary school in Maryland in the early 1990s. The book is about an emperor who has to decide which of his (twin?) sons will succeed him. He challenges them both to go recover each of the 5 elements and bring them back to him. The first rash son runs ahead and steals each element leaving angry people and wreaking havoc. The second son cleans up each of his brother’s messes and then is gifted the element. He uses that element to fix his brother’s destruction at the next stop (ex. using water to put out fire). The other notable feature of the book is the illustrations – the illustrator used intricate cutout silhouettes.

347Q: The World of Fairies – Story Collection

There is a book from my childhood that was lost when our basement flooded, and while my parents remember it vaguely they don’t have any idea the title or author. Here’s everything I can remember about it — sorry this is quite long!

It was a collection of fairy stories (not fairy tales), and I believe the name had something to do with that fact. A large-format book, almost coffee-table-sized, with gorgeous detailed watercolor illustrations on almost every page. I was born in 1998, and while I’m not sure when we acquired the book, it had to have been before 2008 because I remember reading it when I was quite young.
The book opened with a description of the fairy queen and all of the fairies settling down in a woodland grove for a night full of stories on the full moon. We go around the group of fairies with each of them telling a story, and I think there were pages of transition sometimes between stories, when we would see someone else piping up with a new one. Here are the stories I remember, in no particular order (and some of these that I’ve separated might actually belong to the same story):
  • A parable (possibly within another story?) about an impatient fairy who wants to see a rose bloom before it is ready, so she tears open the petals. The rose is beautiful for a moment, but then its petals fall very soon and it dies, while its more patient and kind sister rose blooms naturally.
  • There is some sort of war between the seasons, and the armies of fairies representing each season come together to fight. I remember particularly the illustration containing all of the winter fairies gathered together, with armor of ice, launching snowballs at their enemies. Much description of each type of fairy– the autumn ones wearing acorn cap helmets, the spring ones clad in flower petals.
  • A fairy from the skies is sent on some sort of quest that involves diving beneath the sea to fetch something– maybe a pearl? She finds all of the underwater fairies very strange and is frightened of them. In the drawings, their faces are very sharp, and I believe they have some fish-like attributes. Even though they are unkind to her at first, eventually she gets what she came for. I think that this story also includes her seeking out each of the seasons, which in this case are personified as beatific humans covered in natural motifs that are relevant to their season.
  • A young fairy who grew up in a bird’s nest, I don’t believe she has wings, and eventually falls from the nest and begins wandering the world. I have forgotten much of this story, but have a vivid memory of the illustration of a will o’ the wisp, drawn as a young, pale boy with a huge shining head. I think the will o’ the wisp at first intends to drown her in the swamp, but she charms him with her storytelling or her singing voice or something similar, and he falls asleep and she leaves in the morning.
  • One about a human girl who believes in fairies, although she’s never seen them. She grows angry and resentful for some reason, and then one day she is outside and sees all of her wickedness grow up around her in a big black wall, illustrated with many little faces making horrible expressions hiding in the wall.
  • I don’t know if this is part of the above story or a separate one, but a human girl who is shrunk down small like a fairy for one day and one night. She learns what a fairy’s life is like, drinks nectar and plays on blades of grass and sleeps in a seedpod. I think there’s a little boat in this one, made of leaves or something.
Anyway, that is pretty much all I can remember. The most striking thing about it was definitely the illustrations, and that all of the stories were completely unique and unlike anything I’ve read since. Let me know if you have any ideas!

347M: A book about memory

Can you help me find a book title? Here are pertinent facts I can remember:
-Contemporary Fiction Novel (probably within the last 10-20 years)
– title might include swan or goose or geese
-story facts: its a story about a man who has an accident and with a brain injury, and can’t remember his sister. The primary storyline is about him relearning and remembering everything but can’t remember her.