296N: Cristobel and a tinkling Christmas Tree Fairy

Hi. I am trying to remember and locate a book that I loved as a child – possibly published between 1956 and 1961, in which the centrepiece was a Christmas Tree with a fairy that every now and then tinkled. In any memory the tree stood on the landing at the top of the stairs in the house.  It may have involved a girl called Cristobel /Christobel/Christobal.

Was it the same or another book in which there was a character, a girl, called Aurora. In this book there seemed to be a grove or woods.

Both were well-written and may have been Australian prize-winners from the Children’s Book Council or similar. However they do not seem to me to have been particularly Australian in flavour. Possibly English.

291W: Girl wants tassels for her sled (Solved)

This book must date back to the 1940s. I remember finding it at our summer home in NH, where there were all kinds of odd books for young people about.

It is a picture book. The illustrations are similar to pen-and-ink drawings that have been colored in, quite bright, beautiful sense of line.

The story is about a girl (and her brother) in a northern country (Scandinavia?). In the winter (Christmas?) they decorate sleds with strings of colored tassels for some procession. The girl cleans house for an old woman who makes her the tassel string. The girl gets caught in a terrible snowstorm on the way home and takes shelter in the root-hole of a much loved ancient oak tree. (The oak tree is a character in the story too.) This is where she is found.

I have never encountered this book anywhere else. It doesn’t ring a bell with anyone I have ever talked to.

Thanks for your suggestions!

289C: Curious old doll gets new clothes and a new owner for Christmas

From what I recall about the ending of the book: There is an older doll who used to be played with all the time but now had long since been forgotten and was put in an attic. One Christmas she comes down the stairs to experience the warmth and beauty of the Christmas tree lights once everyone had gone to bed on Christmas Eve. While she is downstairs, Santa Claus realises he forgot a present for one of the children (was this an orphanage?) and he spots the doll. (And for some reason I keep thinking the doll’s name was Clara.) The doll is mortified that Santa picks her up and puts her under the tree as a gift. She is too old (too stiff) to make it back up stairs and she realises how outdated he clothes and hair look when the newer dolls are laughing at her. The angel atop the tree looks down and feels sorry for her so she somehow manages to adorn the tree with lots of new clothes. When the children come down the stairs on Christmas morning they want to play with the old doll who now looks new and stylish. (I do not recall if the doll was intended for one special child or not).

250A: A Long Lost Christmas Book (Solved)

Greetings from upstate New York!
I hope you can help me identify and find a book I had as a child.
I do not know the title or what the cover looked like because my copy was missing the cover. But here are the facts as I remember them:

I was born in 1960, so this book had to be late 50’s early – mid 60’s
It was a Christmas book – containing many different stories/legends from the birth of Christ to the real Saint Nicholas to Christmas legends like the Christmas Spider
It was a large, oversized book, say 12″ x 18″ ish. It was not a thick book.

What was so great about it was the artwork – very beautiful renderings – not cartoony or modernish, more like realistic paintings. So the art was appealing for even adults, but the stories were short, maybe one or two per page. If I had to guess, I would say the art style was something similar to this picture below.


As a child, the images I remembered the most was the story of St. Nicholas paying the dowries of three poor women. They were all sleeping in a bed and he threw a bag of gold in through the window.
There was also a story of this flying ( but I don’t remember it with wings!), hairy, red-eyed beast with sharp tusks/teeth, but I can’t remember the story. LOL – I don’t think it was Krampus, because it was more like an animal (wolfish) than a human devil guy.
Another feature was the rich colors of the end papers. Like a renaissance fabric pattern. I think red with a little blue and gold in a repeating diamond pattern, I think – it has been a long time since the book was lost or given away.

So I know these are a lot of random details – I wish I had the title and publisher, but maybe you can help me – my desire is to purchase a replacement copy to pass on to future grandkids.

190C: Girl starts Babysitting to Buy Christmas Presents (Solves)

I’m looking for a book I enjoyed as a child around 1995, although I believe it was published well before then, probably around the 50s. It is about a girl who starts her own babysitting business because she wants to buy Christmas presents for her family. It details her escapes with the children along the way…she eventually gets her mother a set of orange (or maybe apricot?) scented bath products…bubble bath etc. Can you help with this? I’d so love to have this book for the holidays.

178H: Children’s Christmas book about animals helping Santa deliver presents.

I unfortunately do not remember the name or author of this book. I received it for a Christmas present as a child probably between 1955 – 1957. The book was about Santa Claus delivering presents on Christmas Eve. He stops in the forest for a break to eat the sandwiches and coffee that Mrs. Claus packed for him. He sits under a tree to eat and falls asleep. The animals in the forest find him asleep and decide not to wake him – but to deliver the presents for him. The large animals take the bigger gifts and the small animals the smaller ones. My favorite part of the book was the skunk – being too small to climb to the roof to deliver his present, leaves it at the front door. There was even a picture of him doing this. There are illustrations on each page. My memory of the title was “The Animals Christmas”, but I have never been able to find this book by this name. At the time I received this book I lived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was given to me by my grandmother and she would have purchased it in a local store.