337D: A boy, a little good luck person, fighting roaches (Solved!)

I read this book as a young child in my grandmother’s house so it must have been published prior to 1950 ( late 30s?- 49?)  My sister thinks it was called Piccolo, but that title brings up no hits.  It is the story of a young boy who get a little “person” good luck charm who helps him. ( I think bullying was a theme back then too!)   In one illustration the little charm person is seen in his shirt pocket when a photo is taken of the boy doing something heroic, I think.   Along the way, the little charmer meets up with a cockroach who is going to attack, but the little guy puts a sewing pin in him ( I know weird)  but they become friends with the little boy, who paints the cockroach bright colors and he becomes the leader of his group winning against his adversary because of the paint job and pin!
The good luck little person ends up leaving because the boy doesn’t need him anymore.
It was an oblong book with plain blue/grey sort of cloth cover and had “flat” illustrations.  Another illustration showed the cockroach all painted different colors.


337A: The Adventures of Merlin the Magician (Solved!)

I am looking for two books from the 70’s featuring Merlin the Magician.
A little boy and his dog (Max?) go for a walk in the fog and find a store. The store is actually run by Merlin, who tries to trap the boy. The boy damages Merlin’s hat, which is the source of his power.
The boy and his dog escape, and are later unable to.find the store.
In the sequel, Merlin poses as “Auntie Nilrem” and bakes pies – all the while looking for the boy.
Illustrations were black and white with some pink for Merlin’s clothing.
I hope this helps.

336Y: Pioneer Girl Loses Locket, Then Family, Then Works Her Way To New Home (Solved!)

This book was one I read in maybe elementary or middle school (between 2000-2006) that I have been unable to find anything about for years. I’ve googled every detail I remember, called libraries and purchased books online that I thought might be it only to be disappointed.

The books cover I think was beige or brown, with maybe the back of a covered wagon on it?

It starts out that the family of the girl the book is centered on is moving to settle land in maybe the west? I assume they are settlers or pioneers. They are going to a big wooded area to build a log cabin. She has a little brother or possibly little sister.

Before they depart, the girl’s grandmother gives her a locket with a piece of her hair in it to take along with her. I remember the hair maybe being brown or gold and the grandmother joking her hair had not always been silver. They leave and along the way they stop at an inn/tavern? Some men try to mug or harass them and the little girl’s braids are tugged by these men hard enough to hurt. That night she was so upset about this that she took a pocketknife and sawed them right off at the base. Her hair was very short after doing it. Her mother is very upset when she wakes up to discover this and smooths them out on her lap. Her younger sibling remarks they looked like maple syrup? I could be falsely remembering that. The father was very angry, thinking those men had done this to his daughter in the dead of night. The girl admits it was her, though.

They leave this area and somewhere along the way it starts to storm horribly. The children are in the back of the covered wagon resting. The younger sibling is asleep and somehow the girl’s locket falls off the wagon. I distinctly remember her hopping off the wagon and it explaining she concentrated very hard to visualize where she saw it fall. She plunged her hand into a puddle and felt something cold, her locket! She found it and tried to run to catch up to the wagon, but could not for whatever reason. The storm was too loud for her family to hear her shouting to them, so she was left behind.

She now has to go the direction she knows her family is going and find them. The rest of the book describes her journey.

At one point, she finds her way to another inn where she begs for food. The owner is a woman who makes her work for her food, clearing the tables. When she is done, the innkeeper sits down with the little girl and watches her eat the scraps and leftovers. She is allowed to stay so long as she works. There are two? other girls staying there as well. They make fun of her short hair calling her “fuzzy” as a mean nickname. One night she has trouble getting to sleep and somehow sloshes pickle juice onto her clothes. The other girls kick her out of bed because she stinks, so she gets up and leaves.

Along the way she is walking through a wood and encounters a hunter? who she is afraid of. The hunter realizes this and starts to tell a story or sing so that she comes out and comes to him. He remarks he thought she was a little boy. The man is kind and helps her find her way. It’s blurry here, but he either helps her find a sign to follow or he helps her all the way to her family. When they get close to her family, she observes the trees are all cut from the very tops. Someone explains that they were cutting the trees down and cutting off the narrow part on the top and when they do that, the trees base is so heavy it ends up standing back up by itself with a loud “thump”? Sounds weird so don’t take this detail to heart.

She does find her family eventually and its great and her father has already begun work on their cabin. They celebrate with new neighbors and family. There is dancing and everything. The mother ties a ribbon in her daughter’s short hair and runs her fingers through it, remarking on how there was a natural curl to it. I think the girl dances with the hunter that helped her? and that’s the end of what I remember.

I think maybe there might be “home” or “journey” in the title but I have expanded beyond that.

It is a lot of info but I have dug and dug and I haven’t found anything for this book. I know more of what book it is NOT than I do about what it is. I’ve looked over every archive of ‘pioneer’, ‘covered wagon’, and ‘Oregon trail’ on the internet.

It is none of the little house books, it is NOT Ellie by Dean Cummings. This was the closest I could find to it and bought it because there was no summary of the book online. It is not Painted Sky, not Sarah Plain and Tall. It is not Pioneer Girl. I’ve looked at the Dear/My America books and it doesn’t seem to be any of those. I’m super stuck on this.

Thanks for any help!

336R: Large painted picture book with little people at war in forest (Solved!)

I read this book in the 80’s in my elementary school library. Large, detailed paintings, rendered realistically, of little cartoon-ish humanoid people dressed in WWI type clothes and gear. They lived and fought in the forest and used animals as we would use machines. I remember the pictures always showing both sides trying to get the upper hand on one another in each picture, and one wore WWI German type gear, while the other side wore British.
One picture was a guy riding a sparrow, dressed as a fighter ace, the sparrow having a intricate harness to hold the rider and two maxim machine guns mounted to its back. He is looking behind him, or below at the opposing Sparrow pilot.

I have included sketches of what I remember.

336O: The Last Unicorn (Solved!)

I feel as though the title of the book may have been along the lines of “The Last Unicorn” – but that book that comes up in my internet searches is not the correct book.  (The over 50 year old book that was made into a movie about the unicorn looking for more of her own kind is not the correct book.)

This novel was about a little girl that travels via carriage to an unknown family member’s home.  She passes through a gate of high walls.  There is a mysterious gate keeper who I believe turns out to be her grandmother who is very youthful and is a main character in the book.  There are geraniums at the home she ends up at and it is revealed later that the woman she interacts with is actually her grandmother…?  I’m unsure about all of this.  And there is a unicorn that she sees on a late night foray into the forest.  I believe she and a boy save it from destruction but all of my memory about this is foggy although I’m sure I read it many times.  I had a tendency to re-read books like this over and over and I’ll be very disappointed if I’m mixing plots.

336E: Creepy Girl Holding Up Egg (Solved!)

I read a book as a school aged kid in the 70’s and I think it was probably published in the 70’s.
The most memorable thing about it was the illustrations.  I found them so creepy, I could barely look at them.  Kind of like the illustration of Alice in Wonderland when her neck gets stretched by Tenniel.
The picture I remember most clearly was one that was a black and white drawing and the girl is holding a single egg in the kitchen.  The perspective is as if she’s holding the egg up to a camera on the ceiling.  She has large eyes and looks creepy.  Imagine Wednesday from the Addams Family holding the egg.
The plot was about a strange girl who moved next door to the main character – a girl of the same age I think.  Probably about my age at the time, 10 or 11.  I think the new girl holding the egg had some kind of magical powers.  I don’t remember liking the girl, so she wasn’t like a fun Pippi Longstocking character.  I think the setting was in the country.  Definitely not in the city.  The kitchen seems like a farm kitchen in a farm house.
I don’t think this was popular book at all.  I think I tried to make my friends read it to see if they found it as creepy as I did, and they declined.
I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got.  Thanks in advance!

335S: Captive Beautiful Woman and Her Captive Aesthetically Pleasing Children (Solved!)

I hope someone can help me with this one!
I’ll start with the part that I remember the most clearly – the part that has haunted me all these years for some inexplicable reason.
Two children are walking behind a beautiful woman down a long, grand corridor lined with mirrors. As they walk, the woman glances to the side to see their reflection in the mirrors.  She says to herself.  “Yes, that is better.  Much better.”  Because previously she had two large, beautiful, dangerous dogs (perhaps dobermans?) following her wherever she went.
I read the book in the mid 70’s, but it could have been written earlier than that.  I read a lot of old books as a kid.
The feel of the book is Gothic and dark.  Something like Wolves of Willoughby Chase  by Joan Aiken or a Bellairs book.  Or possibly even one of those creepy Scholastic paperbacks.  But for some reason I think the writing quality was pretty good.  Of course I was only around 10, so what did I know?
The children walking behind the woman are young and have been all dressed up.  Pre-puberty.  I guess you wouldn’t want sullen pimply teens following you around as decorative props?
I think the children are siblings, a boy and a girl?  Perhaps twins?  But that’s just a feeling.  Maybe because they’re so aesthetically pleasing to the beautiful woman?  In a way that a short, fat blond kid walking next to a tall, skinny redhead kid wouldn’t be.  Like an Edward Gorey drawing of two matching Victorian children in matching velvet outfits.
The children are there against their will.  Although it doesn’t seem like they got there by something as mundane as being thrown in your standard Pedo-Van.  I feel like there was some kind of magic involved.  Like a magic mirror or magic painting, something like that.  But without the humor and lightheartedness that say, an Edward Eager book would have.  These children are definitely in danger.  And are they in another dimension?  Another Time?  I don’t know.
I also think the woman may be held against her will as well.  Like some evil monster? power? man? is keeping her captive with his magic and brought the children there to appease her, but bringing her a couple of kidnapped children was hardly going to cheer her up given that she has zero freedom even though she does get to live in this fancy mansion? castle? wearing beautiful clothes.  She did seem quite depressed.
Does anyone remember anything that sounds like this?  I wish I could remember more.  And I wish I could trust what I think I remember.
Thank you in advance for your time!

335A: Babysitter Turns Out To Be A Wolf, Chaos Ensues (Solved!)

I’m looking for a children’s book I checked out of my elementary school library in the mid/late 1980’s, so the book is from that period or earlier.  I can’t recall much but it concerned a family of animals (pigs, sheep, lambs?) that lived in an urban setting (I think), an apartment with bunk beds (maybe) - there were lots of “kids".  The parents go out for the night and the baby sitter turns out to be a wolf!  Chaos ensues... That’s about all I’ve got.  The book was illustrated.