342M: Children’s Book – Whale who changes color (Solved!)

I’m racking my brain to remember a favorite childhood book. The premise of the story is a whale who is traveling down a river in the jungle (I think it’s a jungle?) who meets other animals along the way and he is sad that he is not colorful like they are. The other animals help him become colorful by rubbing different colored plants on him. I vaguely recall the cover of the book, but I do remember that it was rectangular in shape. I was born in 1979 and I don’t think this book was published much before or after that. Maybe 1987 at the latest? Does anyone recall coming across this book?

 

342K: White Horse Turns Pink After Eating Strawberries (Solved!)

As a child in the 1940’s I had a picture book about a white horse who loved strawberries but was allergic to them and turned pink when he ate them.  I do not remember the title or the author, but I do recollect a blue cover with a picture of a white (maybe pink horse).  I’d love to see that book again, or at least learn something about it.

342I: Children playing in a tree


My brother and I have been searching for a picture book that we were particularly fond of as children. I don’t remember the title but it would have been published in the late 60’s or early 70’s. The story is about a boy (possibly named Keith) who has his father help him built a fort in a large tree in his back yard. Some neighbor children come by to play, and they end up adding their own structures to the tree. I remember one of the friends puts a big wash tub up in the tree and pretends to be an astronaut in a ship. Some girls bring their dolls up in the tree and make a tent with a blanket or some kind of hammock. There’s also a plank that they stand on that is supposed to be a raft? Maybe one of the kids was a pirate? Not sure, but before you know it, all the neighborhood children are playing in the tree. I can still see the illustrations in my mind’s eye and and would recognize it if I saw it. Thanks!

342E: Siblings Time Travel through Aunt’s Past (Solved!)

A girl and her younger brother go to live with their aunt (I think after their parents have an accident?). They aren’t fond of her. The book is in the girl’s perspective. The siblings go through some of their aunt’s things in her house (attic?). Somehow they are transported back in time to her childhood. They witness several events from her past. (I feel like I remember reading that when they are transported back in time, the sister is in the aunt’s body and the brother is in their father’s body. I may be wrong about that though.) Anyways I believe their grandfather was abusive towards the aunt and father in the past, so the aunt was protective of their father. I remember one of the last moments they traveled to was a peace rally, or an anti-war rally. (Think it may have been a protest against the Vietnam war- I remember mentions of peace signs.) I think by the end of the book they had grown to respect and appreciate their aunt more because of the experience.

341W: Deadly sociopathic woman obsessed with her imaginary son resorts to multiple murder (Solved!)

Looking for title and author for newish book, British, contemporary suspense…

Plot highlights: main character is a disturbed divorced woman obsessed with her imaginary child (male). She joins other mothers as they bring or pickup children at the beginning and end of the school day. She deflects not having a child join her at dismissal by saying he must be staying late with teacher and enters school; other mothers leave. She joins mothers in coffee shop most mornings.

This scenario repeats until she meets man at the coffee shop and they strike up a relationship. He is a con artist who befriends lonely women to debunk them and is originally drawn to our main character for this reason. They quickly form a sexual relationship but he remains a bit mysterious and leaves everyday for his ‘secret’ life, to keep pursuing other female victims, one of whom commits suicide and he plays the role of sympathetic suitor/victim to pursue the dead woman’s sister. The main character (Jane?) is suspicious and follows him misinterpreting his relationship with the mystery woman who is now blackmailing him. Main character is successful at sexually manipulating this man, however, and she convinces him they must kill the “son’s” teacher before she reveals main character’s deception…Main character suspects boyfriend of betraying her and starts to slowly poison him. After moving to another school district, Main character is recognized by former mothers group member whom she stalks and kills…

341R: Boy in future accidentally falls down garbage chute? (Solved!)

I am looking for a juvenile fiction book, written sometime in the 1980s. The premise is that people of privilege live indoors and never see the sun; the main character is a very haughty, arrogant teenager who lives indoors. A big deal is made about how pale and fat these people are. Somehow he accidentally ends up outside — I feel like he falls down a garbage chute — and ends up finding a village of families who live outside. After a while, he loses his arrogance and begins to enjoy his life outdoors. Eventually he makes his way back to his home, and I distinctly remember people shunning him because he has gotten muscles and a tan. I read it in the fifth or sixth grade, so it would have been aimed at children ages 10-12 or so.

The cover of the book shows the back of a pale bald boy, dressed in robes (they may be purple or blue?), running down a hallway. Thanks for the help!

341L: Little girl’s doll makeover at her father’s Doll Hospital (Solved!)

Looking for a child's fiction/picture book circa 1950's-1960's, maybe even 1940's -Hardcover - Colored pictures drawn like doll wigs of different colors, new clothes in tissue paper, clothes accessories, etc. Pictures are not 'cartoony'; more true to life.

Story: Little girl has been asking her father to fix her doll but he has been too busy at his shop. Finally, on the little girl's birthday, he closes his doll hospital early and dedicates the rest of the day to fixing up her beloved doll with new eyes, face and clothes that she gets to pick out all by herself.

340O: Incredible Sunday? (Solved!)

This is a YA book from, I believe, the 80s. It’s about a preteen (named Sunday or Sundae) whose mother gets her an agent, so she can audition for TV commercials. I remember that her signature look is a French braid or two braids? She has some difficult auditions including one for peanut butter where she has to do a cartwheel,  and the directors loudly discuss how awkward she is in front of all the other girls. She eventually makes a friend who is a young actress who is obsessed with Virginia Woolf’s suicide,  and eventually she finds the friend by the ocean wearing a raincoat stuffed with rocks contemplating suicide. I think the book was called Incredible Sunday, but I haven’t been able to find it under that name.
Thanks so much!

340L: The Woman Who Can See Killers In Photographs (Solved!)


This is the plot of the book.  In the story a woman has to go to her brother’s town because he is murdered.  She finds out that she has a special gift in that when she looks at photographs she can see a killer.  She can also see how the killer will kill someone.  Her brother had this gift and was killed because of it.  She meets a woman (can’t remember if this woman was a police officer or some kind of specialist) who believes in her gift.  Later this woman who helps her is killed along with the rest of her family.  Later a man who I think is some kind of specialist who knows about this gift meets her and helps her.  He is trying to find other people who have this gift.  He asks her to look at a photograph and she sees a killer and is able to tell him that this killer will I think plant a bomb somewhere.  At the end it seems like this man is killed but he survives and is rushed back to his home which I think is in another country.  The woman is not told that this man has survived.

I cannot remember the title or author of this book.  I want to read any sequels that are written.

I hope you are able to help me.

340I: Girl Wakes Up Inside Dollhouse (Solved!)

I read this book in 1995 from a middle school book fair. It was a children’s/young adult book. The cover had an evil doll with brown hair and looked like the doll was bursting through the cover. I remember the main character was a girl probably 10-12 years old. There was something about a dollhouse and waking up inside the dollhouse. Maybe she and her family had just moved to a new house? There was a part where the main character begins to realize she is inside the dollhouse because she finds a wide tooth comb and describes it as very large like someone would use if they had dreadlocks. Why I specifically remember that, no idea. I managed to lose the book over the years but it was a nostalgic favorite of mine. Hopefully you can help.