Category Archives: Picture Book

367Z: The Rainy Day

I’m looking for a book that probably came out in the late 70s/early 80s. It was illustrated with primarily line art, orange and yellow colors. A little girl lived with her parents in an apartment (I think?) and had a rainy day. She went outside to play in the rain, came inside for a bath and soup. It is such a simple book but it always comforted me because the family stayed home and made their own fun together. Being a child of divorce, this was foreign to me. I’d dearly love to find it again.

367Y: The Slimey Monster’s Weak Spot

I’m in the UK & I read this book as a child in 90’s, it was a collection of stories but not a huge collection. It was a picture book.

The main story I remember is a boy going into a slimey castle that had been taken over by a monster with tentacles. There was slime everywhere, he found the centre of the monster & it was a big eye & he stabbed it with a sword right into the eye. This killed the monster & covered the boy in slime. He crawled out of the castle & then washed himself off in a river. I think there was a friendly dragon there too.

Other stories in this were a ufo kidnapping a boy & a monkey having nightmares, construction robots shaped like dinosaurs & an artificial horse with a lever in its back. It was an odd collection of stories, not classic.

367T: Fantasy creatures sing boy to sleep, get stolen, then rescued

I am looking for a children’s picture book from the late 1970s, early 1980s. The book was on natural/beige paper with brown line drawings. The story was a fantasy where a young boy lives in a small cottage. Every night, flying creatures (birds? harpy-like things?) fly over his home and sing him to sleep. Possibly as the sun sets. They sing the same song every night. The lyrics were along the lines of “Remember my friend of the song of your heart. Remember my friend, for the rest of your life. Love conquers all, for it never grows dim. Love conquers all, for all time”. The book came with a cassette tape and my siblings and I could probably hum the song to this day. One night, the bird things don’t come and sing. The boy gets worried. He hears knocking at his door or window. It is a talking animal or non-human of some sort. He hears that the local monster thing that lives in a cave or mountain through the woods has stolen the bird things and plans to eat them and/or make them sing only for him. The boy says, “We must get them back. We must!”. The boy climbs on the back of a horse or four-legged animal and they race through the woods to the cave/mountain. The boy sneaks into the cave where the bird things are in cages. He releases them somehow and they escape. Not sure what happens to the monster thing. The book ends as the bird things once again fly over his house and sing him to sleep. I want to say that the monster thing is a Gorgon but I’ve maybe conflated Greek myths later on with this early fantasy children’s book. Or, it is a really well known adaptation and this will be an easy solve.

367J: Grapes that go pop

Looking for a children’s book. It’s a goodnight book, what they’ve done during the day, including “grapes that go pop” when you eat them. I read it to my son in 1992-3, so it’s earlier than that. Included a picnic and possibly grocery shopping.

367H: Dragon of the Mountain (Solved!)

I came across a website called “what to do when you can’t remember the title of a long lost children’s book” and I used their guide to scrape the inside of my skull for details to give your group-mind.

Now, I’m only assuming the title of the book is “Dragon of the Mountain,” but I could be mistaken. That’s just… what the book was about, and since nothing comes up on Google or Amazon, I’m probably mistaken. Maybe it was Tears of the Dragon, or who knows, uh, Dragon Mountain and How the River Came To Be or…. take a guess and yours is as good as mine, honestly. So, here are my scrapings:

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STORY–Write down what you do know about the story.
It’s about an Asian (Chinese? Japanese? I don’t know where, just somewhere in Asia…) folk tale of a village that lives in fear of the Dragon of the Mountain, except for one little boy who goes up to visit the dragon, because he thinks the dragon must be very lonely, and then the dragon starts to weep with joy, and floods the land, and the boy is going to drown, but the dragon takes him on his back and they float down the river of tears together, and the dragon turns into a boat, and sacrifices himself to save the boy.

Do you remember character names or where the story took place?
The title character is the dragon, and it takes place somewhere in pre-industrial Asia. Can’t be more specific than that.

Were there anthropomorphized animals in the story?
Only the dragon, insomuch as he was able to speak and reason. He was still fully a dragon, of course.

Do you think the person reading the story to you may have “improvised” a bit?
No one read the story to me, but given that it is a folk-tale, I would assume the author probably did.

ILLUSTRATIONS–What do you remember about the illustrations?
Were they colorful or monotone?
Very colorful illustrations!

Very detailed or line drawings?
I have the impression in my mind that they were watercolors, but that might just be because of the subject matter, with all the tears and the flooding and the boat and it being an Asian story.

Did they fill the page or just accompany the text?
Just like a Dr. Seuss book.

Do they remind you of any specific illustrator or artist’s style?
Uh, watercolors. They were beautiful watercolors, at least in my mind’s eye they are.

BOOK FEATURES–Physical features are important, too: was the book you read hardback or paperback?
It was hardback.

Was it a picture book or chapter book?
It was a picture book.

What color were the covers?
My memory is extremely vague on this, but I remember a predominantly maroon-ish feeling. I honestly never paid much attention to the cover, I was interested in the inside, not the outside.

Was there a dust jacket?
I don’t remember one, but I don’t have dust jackets from any of my books from back then.

How big was the book?
Similar to a standard Little Golden Book or Dr. Seuss Book.

Were the pages glossy or matte?
I believe they were glossy.
   

MEMORIES–Personal information is also helpful. How old were you when you remember reading the book and what year was it?
I’m pretty sure I had it at least by the age of eight, which would be 1979.

Were you able to read it yourself or did you need someone to read it to you?
I read it entirely on my own.

Do you think it was a book bought for you at the time or was it a hand-me-down from an older sibling or a parent?
I believe it was bought for me, though I could be mistaken.

Was it borrowed from a public library for you to read?
No, I owned it.

Did you read it in school or at home?
It was my own book, I read it at home.
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I just would love, as all your customers would, to be reunited with my old friend.

367D: 1970s Children’s Environmental/Dystopian

I’m looking for a book I read in the seventies (or maybe 1980), it was a children’s book about kids that lived in a high rise and never went on the streets because of too much pollution/a ruined world. They may have gone outdoors only once a year. They may have worn gas masks or breathing masks. I remember dark illustrations and it being a cautionary tale. I believe that all the remaining world’s population lived in one high rise building. I think there may have been one remaining plant or flower and that going to look at it was extraordinary/special. Definitely a picture book.

366Y: Ricky the Rooster (we think)

In the 1960’s, my mom used to read the book about Ricky the Rooster who was very proud of his brightly colored feathers and pushed the other animals out of the way to eat their food. He grew so fat that all his beautiful plumage fell out and he was disgraced. He learned to let the other animals eat first before he did. His tail feathers grew back without the extra colorful splendor.

My mom is 91 and remembers the story well. She is about to get her first great grandchild and would like to find a copy of the book. I haven’t found one but any leads would be great.

366T: Picture book where kid finds clues hidden in a desk that lead to a treasure/inheritance

The kid in the book receives a desk from his grandpa (uncle?) and a note stating there is a clue hidden in the desk. The note also imposes a time limit that the kid has to meet in order to get the treasure. The kid finds a secret compartment that contains a key and that key takes him to a bus/train station where he uses the key to unlock a locker. There is a duffel bag in the locker that is full of chopsticks. I believe the chopsticks lead the kid to a Chinese restaurant. I can’t remember specifically where it goes from there but I think it ends up leading him back to the desk and the treasure is hidden inside.

Other details:

  • There is a man at a bank that will take control of the treasure if the kid can’t solve it in time
  • The pictures in the book were shades of yellows, browns, whites, and grays
  • There is a secret panel in the desk that reveals a combination style lock face
  • I read this in the 90s but it could be older
  • I think the kid had an animal companion but not 100% sure on that
  • Not Terry’s (Tony’s) Treasure Hunt

366P: Enters baking contest with old oven, wins new oven!

Trying to help out someone I know. They remember a children’s book
that was available in libraries in the US in the early 2000s (pre 2006
for sure), unclear when exactly it was published but didn’t seem like
a new book at the time it was first checked out and read.

Seems like it was a pretty thin book / short story, completely
fiction, talked about a woman that owned an old oven (or otherwise
damaged it during the baking process), that entered a competition to
win a brand new oven. (Or it was money that she used anyway to buy a
new oven. Like 300$ or 500$ or 1000$) Could have been a picture book,
they don’t remember. But most likely just normal book dimensions, not a
super wide one with big illustrations.

The competition was most likely a cake baking one? But there’s a
chance it could have been pies or food possibly. (unlikely)
There was an Amelia Badelia book they found with a cake baking contest
for money, but it didn’t match the old oven being damaged and getting
swapped out for a brand new oven by the end of the story part.