279H: Houses that gossip amongst themselves at night

This is the children’s picture book I am looking for:

Circa 1940s +/- a decade

Pictures are, I think, in water color

Colors are dark and muted as it is night time

Story has to do with houses that – at night – gossip among themselves

Pictures show mouths and eyes and expressions on the fronts of the houses

Some of the houses are very proud and snooty to other houses

That’s all I remember.

276E: A Pekingese puppy and a mystery (Solved)

The book that I’m looking for was written sometime between the 1940’s and 1960’s (or so).  It was about a young woman who moved to live with her glamorous aunt in London.  Her aunt gave her a Pekingese puppy that she named “Peke Ah Boo”.  There was some kind of mystery having to do with the house next door and possibly a young man who turned out to be a spy?  It may have been a YA book – the copy that I had was hardcover in robin’s blue but there may have been a dust jacket at some point since I don’t remember any identifying marks on the cover.

Any help would be appreciated greatly, it’s driving me crazy!

259H: Bored retired train engineer

My husband (currently 62) fondly remembers a short book about a retired train engineer who was bored at home.

The engineer’s wife suggested he build a backyard railway – which he did – and the neighbourhood children flocked to it for rides and happy times.

This made the retired train engineer very happy and no longer bored.

Sorry I have nothing more to go on other than the book would have been purchased in Montreal, Quebec (in English, not in French) and it may have a

British connection as Andrew’s parents were born in England and moved to Canada in the late 1940’s.

Any assistance you can offer in helping me to locate this book would be invaluable as Andrew is an only child and both his parents have passed on.

It is a memory he speaks of often and I would dearly love to find the book for him.

258D: Brother and sister make a perilous journey

The book I’m searching for is one I read as a girl. It was an old book then. I was reading it in the early 1950’s.


All I recall of it was a story of a brother and sister who had to make a perilous journey by foot, crossing a mountain range somewhere in Europe. They had the help of a kindly woman who sewed coins for the trip into the darts of the sister’s dress. This was so no one would steal their money. After they left her they made it to safety on the other side of the mountains.


The book was a standard size hardback, with a faded cover, as I remember it. I borrowed it several times from my aunt, who treasured the book.


258B: A little girl and her boarders (Solved)

I so enjoyed reading this book in grade school (mid to late 1960’s).  It was about a young girl whose mother or grandmother had a large boardinghouse with many renters.  The story’s timeline may have been in the 1940’s or 1950’s (it could have been during WWII).  I don’t think it was based on a true story.


There was either an elderly gentleman or an elderly woman who the little girl was fond of.  Naturally, she interacted with many of the boarders.  I remember thinking that this house was quite large with many rooms and as a child, I wished my house was that big.  I believed she had a friend that she walked to school with.  Her mother may have been a WWII widow, as I don’t recall her having a father.


I don’t know what it was that drew me into this story as much as it did, if it was the story-line or the many characters or if it was the girl herself, I’m not sure.  What I do know is that fifty years have passed and even now, at age 57, I still think about this little girl and her boarders.  It must have been a wonderful tale for me to still think about it after all these years and more importantly, to ask for help – to help me solve this mystery, as it is.


Thank you in advance!

257F: A girl befriends an otter

My mom is looking for a book from her early childhood that was destroyed in a fire.  She was born in 1952 in Ohio.  So this book was probably from the 50s.  She cannot remember the name of the book.  It was probably an early/easy reader (and not a baby book or chapter book).


The story is about a young girl who befriends an otter.  That’s all I know.