303N: Rowing through the air, as spirits, in a “spirit canoe”

In 1980, I read a book whose story details I recall only dimly. I do not recall the title.

Two children travel far from home to another place. I forget the purpose or motive for their journey. I believe it may have been a brother and a sister.

At one point during their long journey, they sleep in a friend / ally / friendly stranger’s houseboat (or boat or water-home of some kind.) The young girl (I think) listens to the water lapping up under the floor as she is going to sleep.

Near the end of the book, they encounter a civilization which had at some point stopped living in the world and now existed in a spirit form. The memory I recall when reading about this encounter, is that an individual (s) of this culture were rowing by them, or above them, as if rowing through the air, as spirits, in a “spirit canoe.”

The mood of their encounter with this race of spirit people was haunting, nostalgic, and a sense of loss or grief for the children. As a ten year old, I was moved somewhat sorrowfully when the children learned of or interacted with these spirits.

303M: Who Owns the Sun (not by Chbosky; much younger)

In 1974, aged 4, I repeatedly traced the letters of the book which I recall was entitled Who Owns the Sun?

I have since looked for it and only ever found Chbosky’s Who Owns the Sun online; that is not the book I’m seeking.

In the book I remember, it was thin and paperback with color drawings. The illustrations may have been watercolors but my memory isn’t certain.

The storyline: a chick hatches from its egg on a farm. Once out of the egg, the chick goes from farm animal to farm animal asking “who owns the sun?”

Each farm animal’s response is somewhat unique but amounts to “I don’t know,” or “it isn’t known.” The chick does not learn who owns the sun by the end of the story.

303K: Johnny Shiloh

I am looking for children’s book from 1960’s based on Disney Movie Johnny Shiloh with pictures from the Disney movie (shown on Wide World of Disney). This is Not the novel and NOT the gold key comic book. It may be from Scholastic Books but do not know. It would be paperback book.

303J: All For Nothing?

They had this picture book at my preschool in the mid-’80s, though it may have been published earlier. It was about a boy who got into all sorts of trouble “for nothing,” as he described it. Escapades included putting water in the gas tank of the car and chopping down the family Christmas tree (“Sometimes they even spank me for nothing!”). The story ended with something like, “Oh well…in the end I guess it’s all ok.” The illustrations were large, simple, and goofy, almost like kids’ drawings; I remember the characters had big mitt-like hands and line-drawn smiles and frowns.

303I: Eye of the Needle

I am looking for a childrens/YA book I would have read in the early 1980s (probably not written before 1950) in which there was a rock formation known as the Needle, because it was needle-shaped, with a hollow at the top, in which was a haystack – so at some point the hero or heroine was looking for something in a haystack in the Needle.  That is the one detail I remember.

303H: Frogs in a bike race in France?

This was a children’s book/ picture book I remember from my first grade teacher’s classroom in 1979. There was either a bike race happening, like the Tour de France, or the characters were using bikes in pursuit of or running away from something, and one of the characters was a tall and kind of lanky frog (wearing a beret or newsboy cap). He was dressed kind of like a Provencal country gentleman. He ended up going through underground tunnels (or sewers) either to escape or catch up. I remember artwork showing the frog climbing out through a manhole. This has bugged me for years and no one seems to have any idea of what I’m talking about.

303G: 80s Children’s Chapter Story Anthology Big Book

I think from the 80s, it was an anthology with chapters of different kids stories in it. I think there was a Judy Blume chapter (Fudge), a story about a boy picking between a blue or red toothbrush, a story about a kid not wanting to touch the gunk in the bottom of the sink that is left after the dishes, maybe the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle story about the kids not hearing their parents so they put powder in their ears, maybe a Wayside story chapter. I think it was a big white book (hardcover with a white jacket).

303F: 1970’s cement stream

I’m looking for a book from 1970-74ish. I think it was in a city; there was a neighbor that the kids started to hang out with. It may have had a nature/environmental feel/message. They worked together to dig a stream bed in the guy’s front yard, which they lined with concrete and then painted rainbow colors. I remember my imagination soaring with this book!

Thank you!


303E: NYC resident replaces priceless art at museums with forgeries; no one notices

I read this book as a young adult in the early 1980s, so it must be older than that. The book is NOT From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

As I recall it, there is a character who lives a modest life in New York City. The character is a passionate painter. He/she meticulously recreates great masterpieces, then from time to time sneaks into the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or possibly some other museum) and replaces an original with a forgery. Over the years, he/she has done this a dozen times, but no one ever discovers that the paintings are forgeries. The originals then sit in his/her modest apartment. The forger makes no money off his/her expert forging talents. A few of the forger’s friends know he/she does this, but there is never any sense that the forger will get caught.

This character may not be the main character of the book. I seem to remember that the book had an ensemble of unusual characters.

It is possible that the forger character, or another character, lived in Central Park.


This is probably a young adult book.