304U: The Pig Tree

Illustrated young children's book about a chef who buys a little bush, thinking he'll grow figs, but it turns out it's a Pig tree. After many shenanigans and difficulties, he replaces his bush with what he thinks is a proper fig tree bush. . . however it looks at the end like it's gonna be a frog tree! I was a child in the 1970s and guess the book dates from early 70s, but could be mid 70s, or possibly late 60s. The book was probably written for age range 4-7. My searches on Google/Amazon/eBay for "The Pig Tree" or "The Fig Tree" - the titles my memory has provided - haven't found the right book.

304Q: Rainbows and Dinosaurs

The book was a children’s book from the 1980’s that had something to do with rainbows and dinosaurs. Each page had a different dinosaur of a different color. The text would be something like the “the green dinosaur play in the grass”. I’m not sure if that is an actual quote from the book but it gives an example. The only sentence I do remember is “the black dinosaur waits for the dawn.” I learned to read by memorizing this book and then later recognizing the words and letters. I would like to find this book for my toddler son. Please let me know if you can help.

304N: Christmas Toy Shop

I’m having a hard time locating a picture book from my childhood (I was born in 1987.) I’m about to have my first child, and I’d love to have this book to share at the holidays.

The book takes place (I’m almost certain) at Christmas time in a toy shop. The shopkeeper closes the shop to take a holiday break and the toys come to life. They may or may not decorate the shop. I’m pretty sure that tin soldiers and gifts of candy are featured. I can’t remember if they are trying to do something nice for the shopkeeper (toy maker?) because he always fixes them when they are broken?

I don’t think Santa features in, nor do the toys make gifts for the less fortunate (as in one book I found.)

I grew up in Indiana, but spent some time when I was very young living in Australia, so there is a chance the book came from there. I don’t remember anything Australian about it, but thought it was worth mentioning.

Any ideas?


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.

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.