291W: Girl wants tassels for her sled

This book must date back to the 1940s. I remember finding it at our summer home in NH, where there were all kinds of odd books for young people about.

It is a picture book. The illustrations are similar to pen-and-ink drawings that have been colored in, quite bright, beautiful sense of line.

The story is about a girl (and her brother) in a northern country (Scandinavia?). In the winter (Christmas?) they decorate sleds with strings of colored tassels for some procession. The girl cleans house for an old woman who makes her the tassel string. The girl gets caught in a terrible snowstorm on the way home and takes shelter in the root-hole of a much loved ancient oak tree. (The oak tree is a character in the story too.) This is where she is found.

I have never encountered this book anywhere else. It doesn’t ring a bell with anyone I have ever talked to.

Thanks for your suggestions!

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.

289M: A collection of fairy tales and legends

The book I am searching for is an anthology of stories that include fairy tales and legends such as Tales of Robin Hood which covers his death, The Waterbabies, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and Longshanks, Girth and Keen, I think even Aladdin, to name a few. It was at least 8×12 red and probably from the late 50’s or before, it had fallen apart by the 60’s. The collection was eclectic to be sure but it obsesses me. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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!

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!