321A: Halloween Tales For Kids

I had this book when I was a kid, so around 15 years ago, and it might have been a few years old by then. I can’t remember the title, but here’s what I do remember. It was large. Not just thick, but tall and wide. (I was a kid though, so it might be smaller than I’m remembering.) The one I had was hardcover. The cover might have been dark blue/purple/green, but I don’t remember what was actually on it. It had full-page illustrations, I think through most or all of the book. It had several stories about Halloween characters for kids: – King Neptune was lonely, so he became friends with the ghost of a whale or dolphin. – The ghost of a castle was rambunctious and scared people off from his treasure. – Two witches lived near each other and didn’t get along. – A vampire wanted to act in his school play, and his vampire parents attended in the end. Please help! I love this book, and I would really like to have it for my kids someday! Thank you!

320W: Children’s anthology: Billy Goats Gruff and others

This was a hardcover anthology of stories for children. I believe it measured about 6” wide by 8” long, but I could be wrong about that.
The book contained a number of stories, but I can only remember two of them: one was the classic Three Billy Goats Gruff. In fact, I think that was the very first story in the book. I remember it had very stark illustrations; thinking about it now, they kind of remind me of Picasso’s “Guernica.”
 The other was a story about making pies, and I remember it very clearly because it was the first time I’d ever heard of a mince pie.

320Q: Fairy Tale Book(s?) From 70’s Or 80’s

I am trying to identify one or two books from the following two images (I cannot remember if they are clues to two books or if they are both from the same one.)

I remember a rather thick book with a mix of fairy stories, myths & legends from around the world, probably printed in the 1970’s or 1980’s. (I was born in 1981.)

The first image is of my Grandma reading us a book, although it is blurry.

The second image, is a sketch by me of a calligraphy detail in the book, on a title page, I think, which I loved to trace as a child.

I am trying to identify the book(s) represented in each of these photographs, whether they are one in the same or two similar books with collections of stories.  If you could help solve the mystery, I would be much obliged.

Please find the two picture clues below:

320F: Kids Find Clues To The Pirate Treasure


I read this book when I was in elementary school sometime between 1960 and 1964, so i know it was written before then but don't when. It was a big book, not very high quality paper (not expensively bound). It contained many different stories (each with entirely different characters). One of the stories in the book was about a family (with children) who move to a seaside town for a summer. The kids aren't all that enthused until they start to discover clues. They follow these clues to a hidden pirate treasure, at some point becoming close friends with some of the local kids from the town and solving it all together. I seem to remember there being a big old empty house involved (perhaps the big old house they rented for the summer had attics or basements or something where they found clues? Maybe there was an old house that the townie kids thought was haunted?) I LOVED this story as a kid and have been stumped on what it was called for years until my daughter suggested I contact you! I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful with the details, and I hope someone is able to track this down!

320C: Teen Girl Befriends Contessa On The French Riviera

I remember an excerpt of a novel for teens, reprinted in some English literature compilation under what I think was the title “The Contessa and Me” but that was not the title of the book it came from. A teen is at a hotel that her possibly British or American parents run on the French Riviera. She befriends a Contessa there. There is a scene where she cleans up after a party where I believe the Contessa had too much champagne to drink. It’s kind of a coming of age story. The excerpt was one part of the book which I think was divided into three parts total or possibly was a series of short stories on the same characters. At one time I read the other two parts somehow but don’t recall the overall name or author.

319N: Stories Where Teenagers Reflect on Becoming Adults

I read a collection of short stories in the late 80’s (maybe very early 90’s.)  The stories from the collection that impacted me involved teenage girls coming of age.  One story involved two teenage girls shoplifting at a Woolworth’s (this helps date the collection maybe.)  There was a story of a teenager babysitting some little girls whose mother was in the hospital after a terrible car accident.  The mother passes away during the time the young woman was babysitting.  She must act as an adult to break the news (or not) to the girls.  This story had mermaids within the title.  Another story involved a young woman at a wedding in a faux chalet-like event space.  She goes off by herself (in a bridesmaid dress?) to have a moment alone reflecting on her new near-adulthood when some creep exposes himself to her.  I’m unsure if the collection was classified as YA, but the stories definitely resonated with me as teenager at the time.

319A: Aeronautical Adventures

1930s or 1940s adventure books (of short stories) for boys featuring airplanes.  I remember a story that featured a crew of men attempting a record breaking non-stop (transcontinental? Transatlantic?) flight, in a 3 engine plane that could be refueled midair.  I remember a scene where one engine was shut down for in flight maintenance. 

One story featured two pilots flying an old biplane in a barnstorming content that was won because the co-pilot dumped itching powder down his partner's back.  Another featured WWII aircrew captured by Germans and they manage to escape and steal a German plane equipped with skis for the snow.  These books had belonged to my father, and were probably given to him by his uncle, who was a pilot.

318Y: He Fell Down In The Mud

Greetings!  My “bookstumper” originates from a story my grandmother read to my brother and me in the 60s.  I don’t know how old the story is; I think the story might have been in an anthology of short stories.  The operative phrase is “I fell down in the mud.”  It could even be a bit of a poem, as I remember a dialogue between seemingly mother and son, as the mother rages on how could the boy have done this, how could he have gotten his clothes so dirty, etc.  After each of these Mom rages, the boy simply says, “I fell down in the mud.”  My brother and I have not been able to find hide nor hair of this on Google and other search engines.

318T: A Runaway Train and a Human Cannonball, Plus More

The book is a collection of short stories, documentaries, and possibly some poetry and such.  I remember stories about a runaway train, a human cannonball and possibly some sort of road trip.  I think there was a board game printed in the middle of the book that related to one of the other stories.  There were black and white photographs of the human cannonball performers, and they talked about knowing lots of languages and sometimes switching languages mid sentence.  I remember it having a blue cover but that may not be very applicable.
I know it was published before 1980 and probably before 1970 or possibly even in the 60s.

318A: A Princess on a Hill at Sunset

In the late 1960’s a friend gave me a fairy tale book that she owned.  I LOVED IT!!!  It was a plastic coated hardcover, perhaps 8×10 (it was a larger book) with various scenes (in color) depicting the stories inside.  One cover picture that I vividly remember was a princess on a glass hill at sunset.  In the body of the book were a lot of drawings (black and white from what I remember).  I think there was a knight in armor on the cover, but I could be mistaken.  I also think there were pictures on the front and back cover.  I LOVED the interior pictures and traced many.  Stories that MAY have been inside were one about “Roland”, definitely princess on the hill story.

I kept the book for years, but thinking that I would not have children to share the book with, I gave it to my stepdaughter, who promptly lost it.  (I love her a ton, but of course she didn’t value the book as much as I did – reading material is a hugely personal preference).

I did read fairy tales to my daughters, but I would love to have this book to share for possible grandchildren.