Category Archives: Picture Book

365F: Inventions for Children (Solved!)

Can you please help me find a book I read at primary school??
I read it in 1985 or 86 (87 at the very latest) when I was in primary school in the UK.
I would have been 7 or 8 years old.
Book title: Possibly ‘Inventions for Children’ / ‘Top Secret Inventions for Children’ (but that’s just a guess, as I really don’t remember!)
Book description: It was a hardback picture book. Each page, which were mostly double page spreads I think, had roughly 2 to 3 fictional inventions on (all aimed at children).
Some of the inventions I can remember: an armoured vehicle for a child, driving down a street (narrowly missing a cat and a lamp post I think??). Some kind of periscope / binoculars that let you hide behind your desk in school without the teacher noticing (possibly in the shape of a boy sitting upright??). Some little booster rockets (disguised as decorative circular medals?) that went on your swimming trunks to make you swim faster.
I remember all / nearly all of the inventions having a cross-section / cutaway section to them, so you could see the internal mechanics.

That’s about all I can remember, it’s been driving me slightly crazy for years (having tracked down nearly all the other books I loved as a child already).
I will give you any more information if I can, just let me know! 

365D: Castle on a Hill

As a small child in the early 2000s I compulsively read a picture book in the school library but for years have been unable to track it down.

It followed the history of a single hilltop in I believe England. Every page would open to a new period of history with a new drawing, as new groups of people would use the hilltop for its advantageous position.

The first were Celts, who built a stockade around the hill along with dirt walls.

Then a Roman fort with intricate buildings and brickwork.

Eventually there was a Manor House with a rudimentary wall.

And finally a huge castle with lots of towers and a moat.

There were other examples I don’t remember but these are what have stuck with me. Each page includes people in the various forts living, working, and doing activities. Parts of roofs and walls were cut out in the drawing so you could see inside.

And there was even a “Where’s Waldo” type game. In each variation of the hill were a pair of “lovers” (for lack of a better word) who were hidden among the people and activities and you had to seek them out.

Around the drawing was information about the time period, the purpose of why they built something (e.g. a drawbridge), and interesting facts like stuff about defending a medieval castle from attack.

I know this sounds like a lot of depth, but I promise this was a children’s picture book. Somewhere between the ages of 5 and 10 I was obsessed with it. Please help!

364I: Wizard with prism brings color to gray world 

Description: Likely published in 80s to early 90s. Educational content about prismatic light and rainbow colors. Illustrated story book. I remember it being hard cover, but may have been published both ways.
World is grey and wizard/magician/sorcerer brings prism to introduce light and color to the people. Takes children characters (more than one) on the journey to discover the colors of the rainbow throughout the world which may be better defined as a kingdom. I think there was a king and a castle involved. 
I’ve located a similar book titled The Color Wizard by Barbara Brenner. It is very close to the story line, where there is a magical person painting the colors of the rainbow. In the book I’m searching for there are children and a prism is involved in the story. I don’t remember the magical one inhabiting the castle, but as a visitor. 
Thank you to anyone who is able to contribute to finding this!

364B: Big and Little Mother and Daughter Pair

I am looking for a children’s picture book which I read in the mid 1980s (not sure if it was new at the time) at a public library in Columbus OH.  The story has a mother and daughter that plays on the theme of big and little.
The title is something like ‘When you were little and I was big’ or ‘When I was big and you were little’  – I did find a book with a similar title, but it wasn’t the right one.

Some memorable lines include  – ‘When you were little and I was big I gave you a bath in a teaspoon, and one piece of spaghetti was your whole dinner, and I carried you to school in my pocket’

364A: The bird who got a job

I am looking for a children’s book about a bird/vulture/hornbill that is different than other birds and gets a job. Wears hat and briefcase in the book. I remember hornbill specifically but could be another type of bird. Pictures from the book are abstract kind of, moody/dark different from normal books. May be set in Africa? I think he’s also reading a book on another page.

363Z: Being creates world/people, comes to Earth to visit and forgets he created it all

I am looking for an illustrated children’s book about a being/person/creator/god/maybe child who creates the Earth and people (the people are each unique but also a part of him), he watches them and thinks it looks like fun so decides to come to Earth and join them but then he forgets he created it all. Purchased in the late 1980s, at a metaphysical book store, I believe it was considered a used children’s book. I loaned it out, it never got returned.

363O: A picture book about a house with too many books

I am searching for a picture book I really loved as a child, but neither my mother nor I remember the title. It was published, we think, around 1996 (it was given to me as a gift around then). It was about a house with so many books, they piled up to the ceiling, they used books as furniture, and so on. It is a little like the 1980s book TOO MANY BOOKS, but with a very different aesthetic. More pastel or oil painting style art, full color full page paintings, no white space. There were cats and, we think, two ladies (maybe librarians?) who live in the house. I remember being enchanted and a little creeped out, in terms of vibe. We think it was either 8×8″ or 8×10″. We hope you can find it, because we want to give it to a friend who is expecting a baby! 

363K: Tree Competition

I am looking for a children’s book, possibly from the 80’s, with beautiful illustrations of trees.  The trees are in competition to be king of the trees (?), with each tree arguing why it would be best.  May have an orange tree and an olive tree.  My adult son remembers liking this book and wants to find it now that he has a son.