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!

291B: He forgot to go “widdershins” (Solved)

Children’s book, enjoyed in ’60’s but probably from ’30’s or 40’s, possibly English.  Included a story about young brother and sister in a churchyard (castle yard?), playing with a ball.  The brother (possibly named Roland) went to retrieve the ball when it went over a fence, but forgot to go “widdershins” and was taken by a witch.  The little girl goes in search of her brother.  (It is possible the girl was taken and the boy went to save her, but I remember it as the girl.)  Illustrated with sweet old-fashioned colored drawings.

The story “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” may be in the same collection, or may just have been in the same bookcase.

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!

289M: A collection of fairy tales and legends

The book I am searching for is an anthology of stories that include fairy tales and legends such as Tales of Robin Hood which covers his death, The Waterbabies, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and Longshanks, Girth and Keen, I think even Aladdin, to name a few. It was at least 8×12 red and probably from the late 50’s or before, it had fallen apart by the 60’s. The collection was eclectic to be sure but it obsesses me. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

284B: An unsettling short story

At some point 15-25 years ago, I read a short story that I wanted to find for my son to read.  I have googled like mad but cannot find it.  Here is what I remember:

Set in a dystopian future, a couple puts on some special skin suits so they can have relations.  Then they discuss their desire to adopt a child and how they found a broker who can help them.  You learn that what children there are are wild and live outside the city. They drive out of the city into some ruined/abandoned area where the broker, an old man, is waiting at an old parking garage.  In the end, it is the wild kids who control the broker, not the other way around and they have used this ruse to lure the couple into their trap.

I so hope you can put me out of my misery.  These are the things that wake me up at night!

283H: Don’t Jump in the Puddles

I believe the book was named, ” Don’t jump in the puddles.”  I do remember some of the verbiage.  “It was a rainy, rainy day, but I wanted go out and play.  Mom said okay, but don’t jump in the puddles.  I walked through the puddles, I ran through the puddles, I even stuck my hands in the puddles, but I did not jump in the puddles.”

It was a blue paperback children’s short story.

Mid to late 90s.

283A: Boxed set of illustrated fairy tales (Solved)

I am looking for a boxed set of wonderfully illustrated fairy tales from the 1970s.

This was given to me in 1974 or 1975 by my grandparents.

The books were huge, maybe 11×14, and contained 3-4 stories in each. The set must have had at least 10-12 books. They were covered in a hard cloth-cardboard, thin, no more than a half-inch thick, and in pastel colors of blue, pink, yellow, orange.

There was a distinctive, oblong sun logo or emblem on each book but not sure if that was the publisher’s. They may have been from Reader’s Digest or Random House. I think they were mail order.

The stories I remember were Sleeping Beauty, Thumbelina (this was my favorite because of a sweet picture of Thumbelina nursing the Bird), The Brave Tin Soldier though there were many, many more. I think it was a mix of authors, not just one.

The last time I had the set was in 1992 in Ithaca, NY.