314G: Duck Looking for Water (Solved)

The book I am trying to find is about a little duck that is looking for water but there is no rain so he finds a truck that is spilling water out of the back to follow. My father-in-law had this book as a child in the 1950’s and passed it to my husband but it is now lost. They don’t remember a title or even possible words, they do recall it having wonderful pictures and illustrations. Any help is appreciated!

314D: Encyclopedia Brown without Mysteries (Solved)

I have strong memories of reading a chapter book in my grade school library where Encyclopedia Brown (or maybe another boy genius) plays harmless pranks on this hometown with the cooperation of the other kids. I remember it as a special edition of Encyclopedia Brown outside of the series where he solves mysteries.

In one story, the kids take all of their change from purchases as pennies for a few weeks, building up a huge stockpile of pennies — and then on a predetermined day, they go on a spending spree all over town making payment with pennies, leading to overflowing cash registers and befuddled clerks. In another story, the kids

In another story, the boy genius bets a friend that he can fool the whole town into believing that an imaginary person exists, and manages to get a library card and open a bank account in that fictional person’s name. He also describes the appearance of that person enough times that he convinces a whole crowd that they have seen him. He eventually reveals his duplicity and everyone is shocked to learn that they were fooled.

I have done hundreds of keyword searches on Google to track down this book, and have completely failed. I hope you can help me!

313U: Visit to Aunt Rachel (Solved)

The book I’m trying to find is from the 70s. The protagonist is a teenage girl visiting her elderly Aunt Rachel for the summer, I think. There’s a handsome man who’s a caretaker, I think, named Ewain? Ewan? In any case, it turns out that he’s hundreds of years old, and he’s really Merlin, and the aunt has some sort of charm that keeps him under her power. He has to do her bidding, and that keeps her young. I think they kidnap a young girl every 20 years or so and all of Aunt Rachel’s physical problems and aging gets transferred to the girl. And the protagonist is next in line. But I think Merlin saves her. Jeez, I read this about 35 years ago, over and over again! I’d love to find out what book it was!

313H: Monkey Brain Time Travel (Solved)

I’m haunted by a (probably YA) time travel book I read in the mid 70s. I believe it takes place in England, where relatives are visiting (maybe from America?) their professor/scientist Uncle (?) who has produced a time travel potion. I think one of its main ingredients is monkey brains, but I’m not 100% sure. The serum allows the imbiber to travel back to Middle Age Britain, not sure if it’s as an active participant or as a fly-on-the-wall. Whichever character it is that starts taking trips, soon gets caught up in the people and events of that past. He becomes addicted to it. The danger is that his body stays more-or-less in present day geographically, so when he comes out of the trip he may be standing in the middle of a super highway or some such that wasn’t there hundreds of years ago. I don’t remember the resolution. I just remember loving the imagery and concept. Anybody?

313A: Christmas Cat (Solved)

The book was older, around in the 80’s/90’s, maybe older than that. It was a children’s Christmas Story of an old man who lived alone. He was known as a grumpy old man. A strange cat came to visit him everyday before Christmas and everyday he would angrily make the cat leave. On the final day (Christmas maybe?) something happened  (a memory of a loved one or something?) he was overjoyed with the cat for some reason and he let him stay. The story ended with him loving the cat and it being the best gift he had ever received. The title seems like it was “Mr. Mcdoogal’s Best Christmas Ever” or something similar. I feel strongly that the old man went by Mr. Something that starts with an “m”. The central theme was how angry/grumpy the lonely old man was and how his anger grew everyday the cat showed up until something changed and he loved the cat suddenly. Maybe the cat stopped coming for a while and it made him realize how he had grown fond of the cats visits and he was overjoyed when he returned?

312J: Medieval Castle (Solved)

Children’s fantasy adventure with magic model boat and Ramses II I’m looking for a children’s book. Set in Britain, I think in the 1930s, and written then. Basic plot starts with a boy discovering a strange ‘antiques’ shop in a seaside town. In it is a model boat / ship, I think of a Viking longboat, which he acquires. Boat becomes a means to various time travel adventures to the past for boy and his family (brother & sister, or were they cousins?) which an adventure in ancient Egypt that involved rescuing Pharaoh Ramses II from an ambush by the Hittites at the Battle of Kaddish, visiting a medieval castle and later bringing back the daughter of the castle to ‘modern’ England – she is terrified by a motor car she thinks is a dragon. One other plot point. The boy tries to find the shop again once he discovers the boat is magic but cannot. But some time later does find it and knows he has to give up / return the magic boat model. I know I read it as child (1950s) but only came to mind when I came across a little Viking longboat model in a curio shop. Nice model, but not magic! Many thanks for any pointers.

312A: Jeremy Rabbit (Solved)

{private role=”author”]Mary Anne Smith,rejoicingmary@yahoo.com[/private]

I’m looking for a small children’s book (like a Golden book but I don’t remember if it is a Golden Book). It may have been titled “The Animals’ Christmas” or “The Christmas Star”, or something else.
The main character is Jeremy Rabbit. There is also a squirrel. They decorate a snowy forest fur tree for Christmas. The squirrel says to “Look up! Look up!” to see that a star from the sky has settled in the top branch of the tree.

I read this book to my sons Jeremey and Justin (I called the squirrel “Justin Squirrel) when they were young. Jeremey was killed awhile back and I’d love to find this book for his daughters.
Thank you for any help you can offer.

311L: Lost Little Girl (Solved)

My mother is looking for her favorite book from when she was in school. She remembers the cover art was a girl sitting on a wood fence. Her top is a white tank top and she has a long skirt and long brown hair. In the background there is a dirt road leading to a house. My mom says the title is something along the lines of ‘The Long Road Home’ or ‘A Long Way From Home’, and she says it might have been published in the 60’s or 70’s.

311F: Whacky inventions and contraptions (Solved)


I remember looking at this book in the mid 80s, so it was probably published around that time or before. It was a large book and, as I recall, every page was completely filled with full-colour image of many inventions/contraptions, all set in context. It was highly detailed annotated with descriptions. I don’t recall there being any narrative.

For example: one page showed a house with all the rooms in view. Each room had things going on all annotated with detailed little notes. I remember the bathroom had a special invention that allowed a cheeky child to lie in a bath without getting wet. Built into this contraption was a hidden computer game console which allowed them to secretly play games (to me this dates the book in the 80s). To emulate the sounds of him bathing, another contraption stood near by called the “bath-farter” or something.

Another page showed a huge wheel of mischief rolling down a street with arms extending from it. These arms could rattle windows or throw sot down chimneys. Again – the wheel was annotated with many notes.

Authors/illustrators I thought it might be but sadly aren’t are: Heath Robinson, Alan Snow, Donna Lugg, Steven M Johnson and Raymond Briggs.

I’ve been looking for this book for many years and any help would be very gratefully received.