Category Archives: 1930s or earlier

366L: The Mouse’s House by the Waterhole

I’m trying to find a children’s book my mother read me over 50 years ago.

I remember vividly.

The mouse tells all the animals at the waterhole:

There’s a creature in my house yelling and screaming and throwing the furniture out of the windows.

He says this to lions, tigers, giraffes.  In the end, it turns out the creature is  an owl that the jungle animals trumpet and roar at, and it flies out of the mouse’s house in the tree.

Then, the lions realize they are hungry, and the giraffes and zebras etc. run away before the lions and tigers can get them.  The mouse returns to his house in the tree.

366K: Adventures in Nature

In the mid-1950s I had a book about two children learning about nature from their grandfather(?). Probably an elementary textbook from the 1930s (I had a second book at the same time: “Following the Frontier” by W. L. Nida, 1934, so the book in question probably came from the same school discards). The book in question had ink line drawings — I remember a drawing of a potter wasp or mud dauber wasps’ nest shaped like a vase.

363C: Mystery by Italian Psychologist

The book I’m trying to find was a mystery written by an Italian Psychologist. I believe he wrote three books, all mysteries with different modes of transportation as the setting (an airplane, a train, and a ship.) The book I’m looking for was the mystery on an airplane. The murder occurred during the flight and the killer was exposed during the end of the flight. The author being a psychologist introduced some of his psychological theories into the story and I believe that this was the purpose of the three books – to explain his theories.

The book was probably written prior to the 1960’s but after the 1920’s. The title was short. I’m not sure if all the books were translated into the English language.

I enjoyed the story and wish I wouldn’t have sold my copy (it was a nice English first edition.) If you need more details, I’ll try to recall what I can. Thank You and good luck.

361G: YA historical novel heroine Margaret Plantagenet of York, later Margaret Pole

Young Adult historical novel about the childhood/teenage years of Margaret Plantagenet of York, who later became Margaret Pole, and her brother Ned (Edward, Duke of Warwick), at the end of the War of the Roses and beginning of the Tudor period.  It starts in the court of her uncle, Edward IV, after her father (George, Duke of Clarence) has been executed for treason, and ends with her brother’s execution and her romance with Reginald Pole.  My memory is that the heroine is known as Meggy or Peggy. I probably read this in the early 60s, but it might have been written in the 30s, 40s or 50s. I thought the author might be Elizabeth Janet Gray, Rosemary Sutcliffe, Margaret C. Leighton, or Elizabeth George Speare but can’t find anything that seems to match this story among their titles.

358U: Book of children’s stories written 1930s-40s

1. No Title (the cover is missing

2. Book is about 100 pages +/-; Chapters are individual stories with a moral such as: Page 17, The Storm, Page 2, The Burglar; Page 71, The Letter to Mama, etc.; also includes black/white photography of animals, children, people, scenes with captions & guessing the “origin” such as “@ Topical” or H.A. Roberts titled “It’s Lots of Fun Helping Daddy” page 64;  or Page 58 Gendreau “Feeding the Horse”;

3. There were at least 1 or 2 others books very similar to the above. Our mom would read a story at nap time or bedtime in the 1940s-1950s; The books we had were soft-back.

355Z: 1940s or 50s U.S. Chapter Mystery – Kids, Summer, a ‘Chateau’, a Diamond Necklace?

When I was in about 3rd to 6th grade in the early 1970s, my favorite book in my NJ public school library was a hardcover chapter book about kids on summer vacation, possibly in upstate New York, who get involved in some kind of mystery involving a neighboring house they call the Chateau.  I think a diamond necklace came into it, and I’m pretty sure the children of one family joined forces with a boy from another family (maybe living in the Chateau?) to solve the mystery.  Either Chateau or Diamond Necklace might have been in the title, but I’ve had no luck Googling for it.  It was an old-fashioned story at the time, probably could have been written any time from the late 1930s to the mid 60s.  There were illustrations, but a limited number, and I think they might have been listed by caption after the table of contents. I think it was the first time I had heard of a “Porte cochere”, which I had to look up. I think the binding was red, and may have had an imprint illustration of a country house on the cover — but I could be making that up!

I loved it and probably read it four or five times, but these scraps are all I can remember!  I’d dearly love to find a copy.

352Y: Fireside Tales (Solved!)

The book I am looking for is one my mum used to read as a child. It had a collection of books and poems. She had it in the 1950s but I don’t know when it was published.
She thought it was called Fireside Tales, but this could be wrong as the book cover came off. She remembers there being fairies and elves on the inside cover.
One of the stories was called “Fireside concert”.
Fireside concert is a story about a fireplace and the tools. When the fire is just about to fall asleep, one of the tools says let’s have a concert, so one by one they do a little dance or something fun before they go to sleep.
Another was “Little grey mouse”
She said there was a story about a thread-bare Little mouse. I am not sure if that is the same story or the title of another one.
There are 2 poems she remembers. I don’t know the tites but she remembers the words.
First one:

“Closed are the story books on the shelf

The teddy bear’s fast asleep
The sun has gone from a darkening sky
And stars through the window peep
So off we go to the land of Nod
Down winding lullaby lane
With the night light fairies to accompany us
Till morning comes again
And it that wonderful land of Nod
Are things that bring delight
So hurry along or we’ll be too late

Good night little ones, goodnight”

Second one is about a teapot I only have a small part:
“neat and round and brown am I, merry little fellow, patchwork cosy on my head, red green and yellow. Gather round the table now, draw the curtains tight, fireside is the place for me, on a winter’s night.”
I would be so grateful for any help finding this book as it would mean the world to mum to have a copy. We have been looking for about 40 years now!

350K: Battle of Trafalgar

Sometime in 1960-62 I took an English History course in college. We were assigned reading for extra credit. I read a book about the Battle of Trafalgar, which I remember as riveting. I specifically remember a fulsome description of life aboard the battleship, including descriptions of how food was prepared, how surgery was performed during the battle, and other daily concerns of the sailors. I do not think this was a biography of Lord Nelson, rather a blow by blow of the lead-up to the Battle and the Battle itself. Clearly it had to have been written prior to 1960. I would really like to find this book.

349G: Selfish Witch, Disguised as Regular Girl, Does Selfless Favor

Looking for a beautiful line-drawn picture book from earlier than 1975, about a witch and her daughter who live beyond the seven valleys and the seven seas. The daughter witch is selfish, and does not come home to her mother on time. Her mother sends her away until she can do a selfless favor for someone, while disguised as a regular girl. She is dropped off outside a village. Eventually, she finds a little boy who is also being punished, and helps him peel mounds and mounds of potatoes. She falls asleep doing this, and her mother comes to collect her. Ends with a line something like, "but she could never stand the sight of another potato."