306J: Funny Practical Retelling of Fairy Tales

I am looking for a small hilariously funny book in which the author goes and analyses or re-tells several famous fairy tales using common sense and pointing out the truly ridiculous bits.

I remember in the pulling apart of “Little Red Riding Hood” he ponders why in the world everyone would name a kid after an article of clothing and wonders what if she had been “Little Dirty Tee Shirt” instead.

In “Snow White” he points out that the mirror is essentially creating the whole problem by maliciously or cluelessly making the queen wildly jealous. He also thinks that “Snow White living in the glen, with the seven little men” rather suggests they are getting up to something and is further evidence of the mirror’s troublemaking.

In Rapunzel he comments upon the whole idea of naming your child after a root vegetable and the wisdom of robbing witches.

In Rumpelstiltskin he thinks everyone is rather hard on the poor guy, and wonders why when she knows what his name is, and her baby is on the line, the queen decides it is funny to play around and wind him up by giving the wrong names at first.

The book was (I think) a half-sized hard back (half height but same length as a hardback book? Size of say an Edward Gorey single story like The Doubtful Guest.)  I think it had a black and white drawn illustration on the cover.

I know I gave my copy to a friend around 1983-1985 so it was in print before then. I am thinking it was probably published after 1972 as I think I would have been over 13 when I first received it. My vague memory is that my mother bought several copies as gifts and it was being sold fairly prominently one Christmas season in NYC possibly at Barnes and Noble.

I have tried searching for it but only ever get Fractured Fairy Tales back and that is not it.

I would really enjoy finding this book again!

 

306A: 1960s/1970s anthology of women in history kids

I’m looking for a book that I read many years ago – it would have been mid-1970’s or so. I’m not sure if the book was printed then or earlier (1960’s). It wasn’t a picture book, but rather, a chapter book (I had it in a hardcover edition). Although I was young when I read it, this wasn’t a typical children’s book. It might have been more along the lines of a young adult book.  It was an anthology of women in history and included chapters with summary bios on Clara Barton, Jane Addams (of Hull House), Florence Nightingale, Harriet Tubman, and Susan B. Anthony (I know these women were included). Amelia Earhart might be another. Abigail Adams or Dolley Madison might have also been included, but I may be wrong about them. I can’t remember much about it other than the subjects were all women and it was the first I had read of Jane Addams and Hull House.

 

304B: Tracks & Trails, nature books in the mail

Sometime between 1970 and 1974 my parents purchased a nature book series for me that was mailed to our house once per month (or perhaps bi-monthly).  It was for kids and contained different themes in each book.  I think there might have been 10 or 12 books in the entire series (but I’m not sure).

I distinctly remember the first book’s title (or theme) was called:  Tracks & Trails.

I’m trying to locate this book series (or at least this first book in the series.

Thank you.

300B: Not “Infidel” or “Stolen Lives”

The book I’m looking for was published between 2000 and 2007, is nonfiction and was written by a woman ( a lawyer or a politician?) from the Middle East about her life, including her imprisonment for her ” radical” views.   The author was interviewed on NPR by Terry Gross ( looked there without success) and there was a short ( on the last page) interview with her in the NYTimes magazine section ( and I contacted the editor) around the same time.

The book is not “Infidel” or “Stolen Lives”.

I’m hoping you can help.  Thank you in advance.

299I: Social insect lifecycle in cartoons

I had this book in the 1950s. It was almost certainly British, though I got it from family who left India after the war when Indian independence made the British no longer welcome. It is a nonfiction children’s book describing the life cycle of wasps and ants, and possibly other social insects. It is illustrated with line drawings of the insects, rather in Aubrey Beardsleys style. I remember the picture of a newly hatched queen holding a dagger (looking rather like Cruella de Ville) as she kills all the other grubs so that she rules the nest. Also the rather foppish drones returning to the nest after the nuptial flight and being denied access by the workers.

 

299D: An illustrated non-fiction book of dog breeds from the 70s or 80s

This was a perhaps slightly oversized paperback book with illustrations of different dog breeds.  I believe the cover had a green border. I’ve been been poking around online to see if I could find an old copy with no luck.  So far the closest thing I’ve found that’s similar are the illustrations from How Why Wonder Books Dogs Wild Animals Irving Robbin Martin Keen, 1962.

The illustrations were grouped in a certain way on the page, similar to these (but it wasn’t these books):

 

It’s not impossible that our paperback was a reprint of a 1960s book.  There were no photographs in the book, and very little (if any) information about the care of dogs.  It wasn’t very wordy.  We got it at a garage sale in Michigan in the 1980s.

295R: Sandy

This book is titled “Sandy” or “Sandie” I believe.   It’s a story (real-life) written by a doctor about the death from his wife, Sandy (born as Alexandra) from cancer.  I think she must have died in about 1967 or 1968.  She had a 3 year old son called Alexander.     I read the book sometime between 1978-1982 when I was younger.   I’ve always wondered if I could find a copy of it and all my research has come up with nothing.   It’s possible I have some of the details wrong.  I got the book out of the Rochester, NY Public Library at the time.  It was in hard-cover.  I am sure that it was published by a “reputable” publisher.   I have searched for “cancer narratives” to no avail.

294K: Cut-out model airplanes

I do not know the title or author of this book.  The cut-out “book” came out sometime around 1940-1945, I believe.  It was about 8 1/2″ by 11″, possibly bigger, and perhaps 3/8″ thick.  The book contained cut-out WWII era airplanes in full color, perhaps two pagers per plane.  When assembled they had a 3D presentation e.g. the fuselages were cylindrical and the wings’ surfaces were curved.  They were not intended to be “flown” like a glider.  They were surprisingly realistic when assembled.