Category Archives: 1990s-

368E: The Witch’s Apprentice

I’m trying to recover an illustrated children’s book from before 2005 or so. It was hardback, with a green cover, I believe. The illustration style was quite unique and lovely, almost Celtic? Lots of green. The main crux of the book was an alchemist/witch and her apprentice who she sends into the woods to gather needed ingredients for a potion or spell. It took place primarily in the forest, and one of the ingredients I remember was a specific type of mushroom. Other tasks involved something in a marsh/swamp, and maybe something about flying creatures? But what I remember most was the alchemist/witch. She had long dark hair. 

368D: YA Book from the early 90s about a boy who spends a summer in California

This was a pretty small paperback, sold at Scholastic book fairs in the early 90s. It was meant for late elementary school to early middle school readers. It’s fiction, and I believe it might have been in the format of a diary kept by the main character. Pretty sure the cover had a mountain lion on it.

It was about a boy from Michigan or some other Midwestern state who for some reason had to go to California for a summer (maybe he was in some trouble at school or his parents were getting divorced, don’t remember). I remember a scene with a rattlesnake, where someone ends up chopping its head off with a garden hoe.

The ending involved him getting lost in a canyon and stalked by a mountain lion. He was about to try fighting it with a rock when search and rescue showed up to help him.

367Y: The Slimey Monster’s Weak Spot

I’m in the UK & I read this book as a child in 90’s, it was a collection of stories but not a huge collection. It was a picture book.

The main story I remember is a boy going into a slimey castle that had been taken over by a monster with tentacles. There was slime everywhere, he found the centre of the monster & it was a big eye & he stabbed it with a sword right into the eye. This killed the monster & covered the boy in slime. He crawled out of the castle & then washed himself off in a river. I think there was a friendly dragon there too.

Other stories in this were a ufo kidnapping a boy & a monkey having nightmares, construction robots shaped like dinosaurs & an artificial horse with a lever in its back. It was an odd collection of stories, not classic.

367M: Person who eats along with story they read

I think this might have been a short story published in Cricket Magazine in the 1980s – early 90s, perhaps with Quentin Blake illustrations? It was a short story that told about a reader that had a voracious appetite for books AND for any food that was mentioned in the books they read. If the character in a book was drinking tea, the reader had to have tea, and so on.
The memory of this story has plagued me for years, I’d love very much to read it again.

367K: Pebble removed from horse hoof grows and explodes

The main character is a young girl, moody, sent to live with a family member (possibly aunt and cousin). She’s a bit of a troublemaker and/or lies a lot. – She sits on a fence outside and sees an old lame mare in the field. A man (named Joe, says “Aye” a lot) who owns the horse chats to the girl and gets a pebble out of the horse’s hoof to stop her lameness. – The girl likes this unusual pebble and keeps it on the windowsill in her room because the light hits it nicely. – The pebble grows and eventually falls off the windowsill. – It gets so big she and the other girl (her cousin?) have to lump it into a wheelbarrow and get it away from the house, where it tips the barrow and eventually explodes into many pebbles. Read between 1990 – 2005 in the UK.

367F: Collection of short children stories

I am looking for a collection of children’s stories I read to my kids in the 1990s. I can only recall the title of two of the short stories inside this wonderful book. One was A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno and the other was The Pudding like a Night on the Sea by Ann Cameron. I am sorry but that is all of the information I have. Any ideas?

367E: Children’s book, dispute over bag, magical claims but ultimately not magic

From what I remember of this children’s book, there are people disputing over a small bag and someone asked them to describe what is in the bag to prove ownership. Fantastical claims are made of what’s in the bag, I believe they say animals are even in the bag, things that couldn’t possibly fit in a bag unless it was magic. In the end, the bag is not filled with any of these items. If I remember correctly, it is filled with fruit peels and seeds? Or something similar. I believe it’s set in the Middle East but I can’t fully remember. This is a book I thought about many times over the years since reading in the late 90s as a child but I’m not even sure I remember it correctly. I’m hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

367C: When the Sweets Come Alive

I remember this book from childhood, where on one page there is this bakery where it is either run by a witch or vampire and the treats are alive. Like the devil dog cakes are actual devil dogs with a tail and wings. The lady fingers are actual fingers. It was cute and cartoony and these treats were all in a glass case like a real bakery. It was definitely an elementary book like a beginner book. I must have been reading it in the 1990’s. I can’t recall the overall theme of the book but vividly remember this particular page. I think the overall theme must be fantastical or magical, maybe Halloween but I can’t remember a title or author. Please help me.

366Z: Unknown name of a Science Fiction title of a family that uses mirrors

I read part of this book 25? years ago. It was a stand alone book or maybe the first in a series. The book was “normal” sized, not hugely big.

I only read a half to 2/3rd of this Sci-Fi book, do not remember even how it ends.

The female protagonist ( late 20’s, early 30’s ) is coming back home after years away. Maybe hilly, maybe country like area. But the family lives in a large large home that has mirrors on many surfaces. Somehow they help Earth by using the mirrors. Going thru the mirrors?

Her family helps Earth along with some other families that have mirrors.
There’s an attractive Sheriff new to town who sparks her interest. He has friends from his military days who send him beers. He was special forces and likes the different beers his old buddies send him.

He tells her that he knows there is something going on with the family / maybe the small town? / but he trusts the folks and hopes they would tell him what was going on.