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!

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.

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.

290O: The title might include the word yellow

The (few) details:

Adult book

Title might include the word yellow

A short book, maybe 200 pages


Read at least 15 years ago

Novel set in Southeast Asia

A woman wanders, losing herself, maybe also a child. Odd, sad, poetic, confusing. She may be starving and mentally ill, badly treated

I hope that’s enough to unearth the title! That would be wonderful.

Thank you.

290D: A fairy for every color

I am looking for a children’s book that I used to read in the late 1980’s – early 1990’s that includes multiple short stories. I remember that there was a short story near the end of the book that involved fairies and the aurora borealis. There was a fairy for every color and one dark/black fairy that would try to story the colors. Every night the color fairies would form the aurora borealis and the dark fairy would try to stop them. The story ends by saying that this repeats every night. The main focus was on the aurora borealis. Unfortunately, this is all that I remember. I do remember that the illustrations were very colorful.

I appreciate any information you might have!

290A: A young lady travels to Carmel-by-the-sea (Solved)

I’ve been looking for the following for years with no luck. YA novel from possibly 1980-1990’s about a young lady (18ish). I cannot remember the title or main heroine name but distinctly recall her traveling to Carmel-by-the-sea and the white wicker furniture that she decorated with. Possibly summer time or just after graduation. Seems she ended up going to work for a lady in interior design. And of course there was a boy…

Possibly part of the just for girls series or similar to that. 

289J: Spaceship disaster thriller (Solved)

[/private role="author"]Brandy Hartnett, bhartnett808@gmail.com[/private]

I read this in elementary school in the 90s. It’s more of a young adult book not a children’s book. There was a spaceship that people lived on and something happened, I think the ship got torn in half by an asteroid or a meteor or something like that. I think an asteroid/meteor field was coming their way, so everyone on the ship was supposed to evacuate to one side of the ship so they could seal off the middle in case of damage from the asteroid and a couple of kids or people got stuck on the side that everyone had evacuated from. They thought they were going to die but the side with all the people on it ended up being breached and everyone was exposed to space and died. So now the group of people or kids on the other side were alone. And all the controls for the ship had been on the side that got destroyed. So they try to figure out how to get rescued or land somewhere. I remember the end being very depressing. Their last hope of survival was to get their floating ruined spaceship close enough to the last planet that there were any people on, which I believe was Pluto, so that someone could essentially snag their spaceship. But they were too far away and the book ended with them floating off into space with the impression that they would starve to death. I always remember the book title having something to do with butterflies but I could be wrong. I remember the cover having a purple/ red magenta space swirl incorporated on it.

289D: A family of dogs (Solved)

I am looking for a children’s book that I used to read in the late 80s/early 90s at my public library in Merrick, NY.  It was about a family of dogs. I believe the main character is a male dog named Sammie or Sammy.  His mother dog is feeling ill, so his brother dog takes care of feeding him breakfast and getting him off to school. However, he is so used to the way his mother does everything that, when his brother tries to do things for him, he often replies that “Mommy doesn’t do it like that.”

288D: Woman in black kidnaps kids

It is a “scary” children’s picture book about a woman dressed in all black and she kidnaps children. She has a black hat with a black veil, yet has yellow eyes that can still be seen. She carries an umbrella and a bag of bricks. She has pilgrim buckle type shoes. She can run really fast and creates a black streak as she passes. As she kidnaps more kids, the parents of the remaining children send them to school with protection. The zookeeper’s son arrives with a boa constrictor around his neck, the beekeeper’s son wears a beehive, the military kid rides up in a tank, etc. The lady in black even takes a teacher. They eventually catch her and she leads the police to a cave where the children and teacher are kept, unharmed. The lady then slips out of the handcuffs and escapes. The book was written in English and had colored illustrations. I read it in Minnesota, USA in the mid-to-late 90s. I remember a specific illustration in which the lady is hiding behind a pole at a bus stop, just before she takes a kid.