321V: A Gazing Ball And Balloons (Solved)

So when I was in 6th grade (1992), I had a wonderful teacher. She pushed us to read and loved books herself. We had a project at the end of the year. I can’t remember if this description I’m about to give you is of 2 books or one. My 11 year old son is an avid reader and I’d love to find this/these books for him.

There was a gazing ball (like a mirrored one) in a garden. It was not scary, maybe some mystery but definitely not scary. Maybe a young girl.

And my other memory is of a hot air balloon. I feel like there were a lot of people on the balloon. It could have been actual balloons and not the hot air version. And I want to say they were on a huge piece of wood not a basket. I’m thinking it may have been an award winning book but I’m not for sure on that either. I have no idea if it is one book or two and this has driven me crazy for years. I’ve looked it up every way I know how.

320U: Wizard Teaches Children Life Lessons

1968 – 1970 I read a book about 4 children (2 boys, 2 girls) who lived on the edge of a wood. Their ages ranged from 8 – 12-ish. The setting was not a specific geographical location although the story was written as realistic fiction… with a bit of fantasy thrown in. I believe the author and publisher are English (from Great Britain) because of where I was living at the time and the phraseology used.  
     Each Saturday the children would visit a wise old man (wizard ?) who lived in the woods behind their home, at the top of a magical tree. His quaint little cabin in the tree was never visible to adults, only children.  During each visit, the children would ask what special “place” or “kingdom” had stopped at the top of the tree, which could be reached by climbing a ladder (inside his living room) that went up into the clouds that would settle on top of the tree. 
     Each chapter in the book told a new adventure the children had in the different magical places that stopped for brief time periods at the top of the tree.  Each adventure also taught the children a life skill, or a positive character trait.
     One such adventure was of a Carnival, where everyone was riding rides, playing games, purchasing trinkets and sweets. But, the children soon discovered that in this place they could not purchase anything for themselves, but only for someone else.  They realized they must work together and pair up to enjoy the day by learning what each other would like and then making the purchases for the other person.  At the end of the day, when they come back down the ladder to the wise man’s living room, he talks with them about what they learned.
    
I wish I could recall other adventures, but it HAS been 50 years!
I believe the book was newly published at the time, so circa 1966-68?  
Here’s hoping that someone knows (or can find) the title/author.

320F: Kids Find Clues To The Pirate Treasure


I read this book when I was in elementary school sometime between 1960 and 1964, so i know it was written before then but don't when. It was a big book, not very high quality paper (not expensively bound). It contained many different stories (each with entirely different characters). One of the stories in the book was about a family (with children) who move to a seaside town for a summer. The kids aren't all that enthused until they start to discover clues. They follow these clues to a hidden pirate treasure, at some point becoming close friends with some of the local kids from the town and solving it all together. I seem to remember there being a big old empty house involved (perhaps the big old house they rented for the summer had attics or basements or something where they found clues? Maybe there was an old house that the townie kids thought was haunted?) I LOVED this story as a kid and have been stumped on what it was called for years until my daughter suggested I contact you! I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful with the details, and I hope someone is able to track this down!

320E: Anthropomorphic Animal Mystery Story

I’m looking for a children’s book I read in the late 70s although I don’t know if it was published around that time or earlier. I was about 7-10 years of age. I had just read The Wind in the Willows and I was interested in this book because it also featured anthropomorphic animals. I want to say that the main characters were squirrels and foxes and the like. They were human-like in that they wore clothes, lived in houses, etc. I believe it was a mystery story perhaps involving a burglary or missing property. I don’t recall it being a picture book although I think it had spot illustrations. Unfortunately, I can’t remember much else except that I enjoyed it a lot, but the details have faded from memory over time. I would love it if someone is able to help me identify it.
Thanks so much!

320A: Rich girl on vacation solves mystery

A series, turn of the century? I'm looking for a YA or children's mystery book I read in the 1990s, though I'm not entirely sure that's when it was published. It was from a series, and this particular book was about a wealthy girl who solved a mystery while on vacation in Europe. It may have taken place around the turn of the century? It wasn't a popular series and the book itself was thin; I think I probably got it at Zany Brainy (if that's of any relevance). The cover was hand drawn, I think featuring the protagonist in a garden of some sort? Hoping someone remembers this!

319D: A Young Ballerina’s Struggles

The book is juvenile fiction about a young girl, age 9, who dances ballet.  She wants to start using toe shoes but everyone tells her she is too young.  She goes on a summer vacation to the beach and meets a famous ballerina and her choreographer husband who decide to stage a shortened version of The Nutcracker at the grand hotel where they are staying.  The girl is invited to participate even though she is not staying there.  The owner’s spoiled daughter makes a fuss and is cast as Clara.  She had started dancing with toe shoes but it is causing too much stress on her developing feet and she can’t dance very well.  I think her name is April.

319A: Aeronautical Adventures

1930s or 1940s adventure books (of short stories) for boys featuring airplanes.  I remember a story that featured a crew of men attempting a record breaking non-stop (transcontinental? Transatlantic?) flight, in a 3 engine plane that could be refueled midair.  I remember a scene where one engine was shut down for in flight maintenance. 

One story featured two pilots flying an old biplane in a barnstorming content that was won because the co-pilot dumped itching powder down his partner's back.  Another featured WWII aircrew captured by Germans and they manage to escape and steal a German plane equipped with skis for the snow.  These books had belonged to my father, and were probably given to him by his uncle, who was a pilot.

317P: Girls Search for Witch Parents with Mouse Father

The book I am looking for is one I read in the mid to late 70’s about a girl (and I think her sister) perhaps named Lydia. Their parents are part of a witch/warlock community that are in some kind of other dimension. Somehow they get abandoned by their parents and go off searching in the other dimension. The whole time they are carrying a mouse in a cage that ends up being their father (complicated family dynamic!). The book is printed with occasional drawings of their adventures including one where they are forced to clean up the kitchen of some captor. I think they end up freeing a dragon whose collar is unlocked by a key that the mouse had – or something like that. I have spent years googling and haven’t been able to turn up anything. Thanks!

317J: The Singing Heart

The Singing Heart – may not be the title, but that is how I remember it.   It was a hardcover I encountered as a child in the 70s.   It was heavily illustrated with black line drawings and was probably aimed at ages 9-12 perhaps.    In it a woman (maybe a good witch) dies, but her heart goes on singing.   Two kings wind up trying to get the singing heart; eventually they meet as beggars and become friends, having lost everything.   Pretty sure there is a wicked witch with a wicked dog.   In my mind the illustrations are similar to some in the Glass Harmonica, but I’m not sure about that.   I think one of the kings was named “Bagdamugus” or the like.
Thanks for any help!

317I: Native American Girl Moves From Reservation to the City

Children's chapter book about a Native American girl who moves from the reservation to the city with her family. The little girl is confused and embarrassed when she realizes, on her first day at the new school, that she is expected to bring lunch money. A woman gives her a donut. She makes a mental note that she has to ask her father for lunch money. Her brother runs away because of the culture shock and is discovered to have been living in a local park, hunting the urban wildlife. An officer or social services worker asks the family questions like, what is his name, how tall is he, how old, etc. and these questions strike the little girl as irrelevant because they don't mean as much as who her brother really is, like how he can run fast. Paperback. I think the cover was yellow with a picture of a Native-looking girl on it.