307I: Boy and Agoraphobic Sister Orphaned in NYC (Solved)

I am looking for a fiction book I read as a child, probably in the 1970s, about a brother and sister living in New York City (possibly Soho?).  They are left alone and their parents do not come home, so the brother learns to scrounge food on the streets.  His sister is afraid to go outside.  The boy meets a children’s book illustrator in another building, who begins using him in her drawings.  She takes him to the beach (the Rockaways?) in her convertible, and I believe she eventually adopts the boy and girl.

307H: Children’s book with moveable character on a string (Solved)

Last summer, I bought my son a new children’s book which contained several characters which dangled from the book on strings – the concept was that you could move the characters in between pages so they could give “hugs” to the other characters. I bought it because it reminded me so much of a book I loved as a child. When I brought the new book home, my sister had the same reaction: “this is making me think of a book from when we were growing up!”
The best clues I can come up with:
– I was born in 1984 and my sister in 1980 (we also have a younger brother born in 1987).
– Our grandma loved to give us vintage books, so it may have been even older, though I suspect it was from the 1980s.
– There was one character on a string, sturdier than a single sheet of paper but not as thick as a board book. The string–about 6 inches long–was glued into the binding of the book. The concept was to move the character from page to page and bring him throughout the story of the book. He was probably about 2 or 3 inches tall.
– The book had interactive elements – for example, I remember vividly that you could somehow insert him on a slide, and he could “ride” down the slide as you pushed the little character along the page.
– I think the character was an animal (a bear? A weasel? Something brown?) but my memory is so faint on this that it may very well have been a human.

306W: Animal figurines come alive, children’s book (Solved)

It was a book that my 5th grade teacher read to us in 1996-97 in Missoula, MT. There were magical rules to when the animals can come out of the china hutch. It’s really hazy, but I do remember that one of the main characters was a dog and something tragic happens to him. I feel strongly that the book had a red, white, and black cover. Something makes me think it has something to do with ‘Valentine.’ Maybe it’s a character’s name? It was probably a chapter book. I think the figurines where porcelain? It may also be set in the Victorian era, or other era I would have considered old timey as a child. The memories of this book are very visceral and strong but not detailed. It made me cry. Please help!

306O: Crushed Toys (Solved)

Hello, I remember a set of books (we had 2 but there may have more to the set) they where hard back and about 2in thick. Plain cover with no illustrations, short stories with just a title on the cover. Each story was about 10-15 pages long and had a illustration at the beginning of the story. I remember one illustration with a car that was 1950’s looking. One story was about a kid leaving his toys (toy cars maybe) in the driveway and dad came home and ran them over. I really don’t remember any other stories from the books. I think the covers where dark blue or grey. The stories where life lessons and not really fantasy, no talking birds or stuff like that, as far as I remember.

305O: A jewel from the ruins (Solved)

 

I read a hardback book, in the ’70s, about a girl on a coast, Ireland or Britain, who finds a piece of jewelry, a ring or broach or a necklace (in the ruins of an ancient building maybe?) She has dreams that reveal the life of the girl who had the piece a long (centuries?) time ago. The dream girl was maybe Spanish.

There were dolphins, and an island that figured very large in the story.

It didn’t seem like a new book at the time. Looking back I would guess that it was written after ww2. It had a sad tragic feel to it.

Does this ring any bells?

305L: Magician and girl fight spiritualism together (Solved)

Children or young adult historical fiction book, set during late 1800s or early 1900s. Girl is on cruise ship with silly female relative who believes in spiritualism, meets stage magician (Anton?) who smokes something distinctive (briar root? cheroot?) and teaches her how to do magic tricks. Author emphasizes logic over belief. Mystery involved? Published between 1950 and 2000, probably late 20th century.

305C: Family, priced to sell (Solved)

Dear Book Stumper, 15-20 years ago I acquired a children’s book that was old at that time (it had been in a library that was being closed). I didn’t have the book long before I somehow lost it and since then I’ve not found another copy, nor have I found anyone who has ever heard of such a story. I don’t know the title, but the story line is this:

A man decides he wants a wife so goes to a Wife Store and selects one. After a while the couple decide they want children so they go to a Children Store and select several. As the story goes on, the children are given “names” (numbers or letters), pets, and I think the family gets a home and/or land. Several other stores are involved in the story. I seem to remember that the man’s/ family’s last name was “Hunkendunk,” but am by no means sure about it.

I’ve tried local libraries, local book sellers of new and used books, online, entering what information I remember, without success.  Does this story line ring a bell with anyone out there?