296E: Littlest Joe

About a mutt dog, a many-paged book and the longest I’d read at age 11 in 1957, who goes through many awful experiences through his lifetime and dies at the end. I think the dog was part pit bull and maybe bulldog, definitely a short, squatty and solid guy. I had checked it out as many times as possible, then finished it all through the night so I could drop it off at the library the next day. Intending to reread it, I found that it had been withdrawn for repairs and never returned to the shelves.

292Y: And The Sun Came Up

My grandfather read this book to me over and over, probably around the early 1950s, so it may have been published as early as the 1930s. It was a children’s picture book, and all I can remember is the last page read, “And The Sun Came Up.” That phrase was most probably used throughout the book.  I loved it and have looked for it all these years, at antiques stores, rummage sales, etc. I would love to know the title and see if it is still around somewhere, so I can read it to my own grandchildren.

292X: Animals he could make small and take home

I have no idea about the title of this book. It is one I read (and owned) in my childhood. I think it was sent as part of my subscription to a children’s book club–perhaps Children’s Literary Guild. Probably I encountered it between 1940 and 1946. Plot was about a child–I think a boy–living rural, who went to a visiting circus. There he encountered animals who he could somehow make small and take home with him.

292T: The Adventures of Little Tom (Solved)

Hello, I am trying to help my 89 year old mother locate a beloved book from her childhood. Her memories are vague, but here is what she told me.

The title is something like The Adventures of Little Tom or something similar. It was probably published in the 1920’s or earlier. It had a green, faded linen cover.  There were gorgeous, colorful illustrations, maybe by a Czech or European illustrator. The pictures were very detailed, of tiny people and flowers.  There was a soldier fighting ants. He had a girlfriend who died and there was a picture of her lying in state surrounded by tiny, white flowers.  That’s all my mom can remember. She has been looking for the book for years. I searched online but had no luck. Maybe you can find it.

Thank you!

292R: Betty Realizes her Dream to Become an Author (Solved)

The book I want to find is titled Betty. It may have a subtitle, but I can’t recall it. I read this several times from cover to cover before I was 12, and oddly can’t recall the name of the author, but it made a great impression on me. I had found in my grandmother’s home, and I never knew who, from among the family, was the original owner/reader. The volume went missing when I was at college.

I infer that Betty was set in Australia, because when the young woman who is the protagonist and title character goes to the big city to make her way, I recall it was “Sydney”. Betty was one of several siblings, and with her twin, Cyril, the next born after Dot (for Dorothy). She had a tempestuous relationship with one of the younger ones, Nancy, made more difficult since the loss of their mother and Dot’s job away from the home put Betty in the role of surrogate mother and homemaker. Betty judged herself very harshly for the unkempt condition of the house and children, who ran amuck while Betty spent long hours writing fiction. Their father was at with them in the home, and very loving but not about very much. At one point, one of the small children went missing for several hours before being found unhurt, and Betty so blamed herself that she conducted a midnight funeral ceremony to bury her writing materials “forever”. For a while, the children were regularly bathed and the house neatly maintained. Not long after, she dug up her writing materials and resumed her writing. By some luck, she was offered a writing job in Sydney, where she went to live in a flat and had an adventure.

My guess at to the era the book was written and published would be the 1930’s. There are just a few clues in the transportation and communication as described in the book, and the well-worn cloth-bound style, paper and fonts.

292H: The Weiry Wax

I am looking for  a children’s book . . .

Title:      (not sure)     The Weiry Wax         Alternate spellings: Wiery, Weary       Wacks

Approx publication dates:   older! I read it sometime between 1945 and 1950. It could have been a 1930s publication. I’m born 1941. Been seeking this book for 60+ years, for my grandchildren, and myself. Contemporaneous with PING, the Chinese duck and the junk boatman.  I mean, I was reading these books at roughly same time. Also that Brownie book, of 1930s or ’40s.  Barbar….that era.

Description:  children’s book, roughly that picture book format/size, glossy cover, with the 30  or so pages of text and  art.

The main characters, I believe on the cover, were the Weiry Wax  (or ___ Wacks, or Weary ___), but I think the spelling was like a ‘weir’ (low dam) They were roundish, something like a mummer meets a sea urchin. Black.  A coal-black snowball, with spines.

I’m reminded of them whenever I see the soot sprites in Miyazaki’s TOTORO–the little black dust balls. These guys were bigger than that, but not more than knee or waist high on a child.

I can’t remember the other characters….was there a human? don’t know. It’s just that the Weiry Wax themselves scared me mucho, but they weren’t too evil, I think, and I came to be fond of them. Wanted one for a pet.  (They may have been dreadful: I was a weird kid, only child, active imagination.)  Pretty sure they had eyes, like the Miyazaki sprites, and not much else.  Stubby legs/feet maybe. Like a Shmoo, but definitely in the dark part of any shmoo universe. I don’t think they were there to help.  Guess they lived in a forest. They might have carried a staff or spear, ergo hands/arms.

291B: He forgot to go “widdershins” (Solved)

Children’s book, enjoyed in ’60’s but probably from ’30’s or 40’s, possibly English.  Included a story about young brother and sister in a churchyard (castle yard?), playing with a ball.  The brother (possibly named Roland) went to retrieve the ball when it went over a fence, but forgot to go “widdershins” and was taken by a witch.  The little girl goes in search of her brother.  (It is possible the girl was taken and the boy went to save her, but I remember it as the girl.)  Illustrated with sweet old-fashioned colored drawings.

The story “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” may be in the same collection, or may just have been in the same bookcase.

288E: Ragamuffins and a talking cat (Solved)

I remember my mother reading aloud to us a chapter book (in the early 1960s) about a group of children called Ragamuffins (maybe just four children). They meet a talking cat named Pouffon (that is how she pronounced the name; I don’t know how it is spelled). Each time the cat speaks though, it loses one of it’s special whiskers, or it’s whiskers changes back to a normal color. It was very sad when the cat spoke for the last time, to help the children, since the cat only had one special whisker left. I think the book is probably a literary award winning book, since my mother made sure we read all of the Newberry and Caldecott Award winning books. I hope it is still in print. I think the book had a navy blue cover, (hardback), and maybe a line drawing at the start of each chapter. It may have been published much earlier than the 60s. It was probably a library book, and was pretty well-worn then.


Thank you so much for your help!