Category Archives: Early Reader

367M: Person who eats along with story they read

I think this might have been a short story published in Cricket Magazine in the 1980s – early 90s, perhaps with Quentin Blake illustrations? It was a short story that told about a reader that had a voracious appetite for books AND for any food that was mentioned in the books they read. If the character in a book was drinking tea, the reader had to have tea, and so on.
The memory of this story has plagued me for years, I’d love very much to read it again.

367C: When the Sweets Come Alive

I remember this book from childhood, where on one page there is this bakery where it is either run by a witch or vampire and the treats are alive. Like the devil dog cakes are actual devil dogs with a tail and wings. The lady fingers are actual fingers. It was cute and cartoony and these treats were all in a glass case like a real bakery. It was definitely an elementary book like a beginner book. I must have been reading it in the 1990’s. I can’t recall the overall theme of the book but vividly remember this particular page. I think the overall theme must be fantastical or magical, maybe Halloween but I can’t remember a title or author. Please help me.

366D: Anthropomorphic pastels at a cafe

I am looking for a children’s book that I remember, featuring anthropomorphic oil pastels or chalks as characters, set in a cafe or restaurant where they spent time. It was somewhere between a “picture book” and a “chapter book” in terms of length and balance of illustrations vs. text — some pictures but mostly text, I think. In fact, I wouldn’t swear that it was intended for children, but it was appropriate and comprehensible to an elementary school student. The tone was somewhat serious and melancholic, with bohemian themes. The cafe may have closed or changed hands, or a character may have stopped coming or left town. It would have been published before 2002.

364O: Mr. & Mrs. Bumper books?

In the early/mid 80s I read a series of books I referred to as the Mr. Bumper books. No clue what the plot was, just that the main characters were an adorable plump elderly couple with round glasses who gardened. I probably have the name of the character wrong but it was something like Bumper or Bumpus. Pretty sure they were illustrated hardcover books with large chunks of text. Early readers. Any ideas?

358M: Children’s book on a boy and too many cats

I’m hoping you can help us find this book we read to my daughters when they were young in the late 1990s, early 2000s:
The book is either a picture book or a beginning readers book about a boy who loses his cat, and decides to put “wanted” posters up around his neighborhood. But he forgets to put a picture of his cat on the poster, and neighbors bring all sorts of cats of every variety to his house and his home fills up with cats. There are lovely illustrations of the different kinds of cats. We can’t remember the author, illustrator, or the title, so this might be a challenge for you.

357C: 70s Purple Dragon (Solved!)

I was in elementary school in the 70s and I remember reading what I think was an early chapter book series with a boy and his purple dragon/dinosaur/monster. The illustrations in my memory were very minimalist and had a Quentin Blake feel to them but I’ve researched Quentin Blake’s work and don’t see it listed. The dragon/dinosaur/monster was very tall, definitely purple, and walked on two legs. I have a vivid memory of the boy riding on its shoulders. I don’t remember anything about the plot except they seemed somewhat surreal (maybe?) so I don’t know if the creature was real or imaginary. It’s possible the series was school literature only (not mass market published).

354A: Dog who can drive and lives in a mansion

When I was young (likely about 5-9 in 1987-1991) my mom would often read me a hardcover kids book about a dog who wanted to live like a human. He could drive a car and he lived in a mansion.

The cover was a turquoise-shade and on the cover was the dog and the mansion he lived in. It was the size and shape of a Doctor Seuss book and about a similar number of pages.

Likely relevant: we lived in Nova Scotia, Canada and the book was in English.

352X: Puppy Cat

For years, I’ve searched for this story. It is a children’s short story that came out of an old school reader that I had in first grade. I was in first grade in 1977 in Spruce Pine, NC, USA. I’m sure the readers were pretty old by then. The title of the story was Puppy Cat, I think. It was a dog who thought he was a cat. There are several newer stories that are similar, but I’ve been looking for this particular version. I’ve had no luck over the years!

350Q: Book with Tape Picture Book of Planetary Explorers

From early-mid 1980’s(?), book + tape children’s read along picture book. Brother and sister(?) visit all the planets in the solar system along with a ‘captain’ astronaut guy. There’s a part about each planet. There is music and sound effects in the production. In one part the captain almost dies on a space walk and the kids save him. I’ve been looking for this for decades now.

346K: Girl + boy eat so many pumpkins / pies that they roll away happily ever after

Read 1973-76, for young readers, pictures every page, text every page?, fields of pumpkins between their homes. I think the girl was the pumpkin princess and the boy was a commoner or vice versa. Does he invent pumpkin pie? They both love the pie or pumpkin so much that they eat until they are each as round as pumpkins. Story ends with them literally rolling away in their happy roundness, likely disobeying parents through their connection.