287A: Children taking things literally (solved)

It is a children’s book that is about the way children see the world literally.  One page says: dad left his blue prints in the snow and the picture is a blue prince in the snow with blue feet prints in the snow.  Another page says: dad said mom is playing bridge and not to disturb her and the picture is a female with her head on a chair and feet on a couch and the cat walking across her like she is a bridge.  Another page says: mom said that my sister has a frog in her throats and the picture is of a little girl with a frog inside her mouth.  Another page has a little horse with clothes on and the caption is: mom said my brother is a little horse.


286G: One day the animals started floating (Solved)

I am hoping you can help me find a children’s book we used to get from the library in the late 1990’s and maybe early into the 2000’s.

It took place on a farm in the grain belt and one day the animals started floating up, then the tractor, then the whole farm separated from the ground and they were hovering in one spot, but not attached to the ground. In the end grandma got out her needle and thread and sewed the land back down and they ate a dinner of white food (white rice, white potatoes, white bread and milk).

Sorry this isn’t much to go on. I was hoping to get it for my daughter’s birthday as a surprise, but if you need more info I can ask her for more details.

285B: 90s children book, cooking with bugs (Solved)

Read this in January 1995. It is a Judy Blume or Louis Sachar-esque children’s chapter book. Some kids are doing some kind of report and/or competition to create outlandish dishes by new and inventive means.

The protagonist, a boy, decides to experiment by putting insects in the food. In one scene, he brings brownies to school that he’s put roaches in. (Particularly memorable because it just so happened I brought brownies to class for my birthday that day when we got to that chapter and everyone got a big laugh about the coincidence). He finds out that his chief rival is using the car to cook food; they come out of church or a PTA meeting to the smell of hamburgers because he put the patties on the hot engine. Thanks!

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.

282F: Boy and bearskin rug fight Mouse King (Solved)

There is a children’s picture book about a little boy sent to visit his aunt, whom he is told has many wonderful old things. It looks like it will be tedious, but a bearskin rug comes to life as a kind of floppy bear, and then they are attacked by the Mouse King and an army of animate bric-a-brac. Then the aunt comes and says “I suppose the bear is in tatters again,” and they spend the afternoon drinking tea and stitching the bear back together, but the Mouse King has eaten all the cookies. Does anyone know the author or title of this book?

281F: Boy looks out a window and see different creatures (solved)

A boy looks out of a window at night and sees different kinds of colored monsters (green goblin, blue unicorn, or some such, a new one every page) in the tree outside his window but isn’t scared because they aren’t real. Finally he sees a brown owl and IS scared (because the owl is real). I had this book in the 1980s. The words are a repetitive pattern each page until he sees the owl.

279G: Girl living in Purdah has arranged marriage (Solved)

A story about a teen or pre-teen girl from  who lives in purdah (in India, I believe) who is being prepared for marriage.  She gets pierced (ears and nose I think) and undergoes other ceremonies that are apparently traditional for a girl her age.  She belongs to a well-off family, and her father has been indulgent and somewhat spoiled her up to this point, but now a young man has been selected for her, and she is expected to assume adult responsibilities and accept this inevitable fate maturely.  I think an older female relative (aunt, or grandmother) attempts to soothe her anxieties by breaking tradition and allowing her to meet the young man–chaperoned, of course–before the ceremony.  I seem to recall the book is rather open-ended, leaving the reader with a slightly optimistic feeling that the main character may face a happy future with her prospective spouse, despite her reluctance for the whole thing.  I have a vague feeling that there were some tiger cubs were involved somehow in the story (maybe one of the outrageous gifts her father had given her?)  I can’t remember the title, but I think it had the word “Time” in it, and the girl’s name, which for some reason nags at me as having started with the letter “Y”.

279E: A girl travels back in time by measuring herself in a closet (solved)

A girl lives in an old house. Her mother is a servant there. The old nursery closet has measurements for growth from the children who used to live there. The girls can travel back in time to play with the children. She gets injured and stops growing in the past time. She also solves a mystery of a lost and valuable book hidden in a tree trunk.

278F: A picture book with a doll, a bear and a kitten (Solved)

I read this children’s book in the 1960’s. It contained photographs, not illustrations, and featured a stuffed bear, not plush, a doll with long blonde hair and a kitten. I think there is a scene in a barber shop where the doll’s hair is cut and I also seem to recall a ball of yarn being involved. The book was large format and I believe it was in color.  The bear was one of those that had movable mechanical limbs. The doll was also mechanical in that her arms and legs could be positioned. She reminds me of one of the early talking dolls from that era that were about two feet tall.

278E: Young Chinese monk loses way while transporting books (Solved)

This is a picture book probably published between 1988 and 1995 set in the distant past about a young Chinese monk who lives at a library in rural China. He’s always sleeping in, and one day the monastery needs to relocate because of a disaster (flood? war?). He sleeps in that day, too, and he and his donkey of books set out late in the day to try to catch up.
That night, he takes shelter in a cave where there are two old men playing chess with white and red pieces. They feed him and the monk stays up to watch their game. He falls asleep, and when he wakes up he’s been transported many years in the future.

He leaves the cave and soon comes across a huge battlefield with soldiers in white and red. Somehow, his arrival and the books he carries stops the battle. At the conclusion, he’s grown up to head a monastery-library of his own… and he always wakes up early.