301N: Kid and (possibly imaginary) tiger have adventures, drawings break the 4th wall

I have been searching and searching for a set of books I loved as a child. I grew up in Ireland so they are probably UK based. I would rent them from the library when I was about 7 or 8 I think, so around 1992 but I suspect they were older than that.

From the little I can remember these were hardback books in primary colours (I seem to remember orange) where a kid and an animal (I am 99% sure a tiger) would have adventures. There may have been a third character also. There was a lot of text with some informal / childlike pen and ink drawings that would sometimes interact with the text.

Any help or further info would be so appreciated. I’m expecting my first child and would love to be able to share these books some day.

301L: The Sun is Put to Bed

I’m looking for a beautifully illustrated English language children’s book published in the early eighties or possibly late seventies. It was an important part of my childhood that was sadly lost in a move and I just cannot remember its name (I was 8 when it was lost). We lived in England at the time so I’m guessing it was published there.

The illustration was old-fashioned and in full-colour. I think it was art nouveau or art deco style. The theme of the book was about how the sun is put to bed and the night-time gotten ready for. This was done by illustrating most elements using textile symbols. So, curtains were drawn across a sleepy sun, a backdrop of stars was pulled down, the moon was a button that (I think) was hoisted into position, there was scaffolding erected around the moon so it could be cleaned. A cow and a spoon jumped over the moon at one point.

The book was not long, definitely more of a picture book with most illustrations in blue and white colour ways. The text was poetic and may have rhymed. It was a bedtime story for young children. The paper was thick with a matte finish.

If you could help me find this book I would be so, so, so grateful. It was a childhood gift from my much-loved godmother and I think it about it often.

299M: Like brightly colored Hummel characters

I’m looking for a children’s book that was a collection of fairy tales or stories.  My father brought it home to me around the mid 1980’s from one of his trips abroad.  The book was written in English, largish font, and beautifully illustrated.  The pictures stand out the most in my memory, reminding me of brightly colored Hummel characters.  I believe the front cover had a boy and girl on a wagon.  The stories were unique, I’ve never read them anywhere else.  The only bits I can recall is that one story was about a princess or young girl who was picking peaches and either in the same story or a completely different one there were elves or fairies picking leaves of gold and they had to wear special sunglasses to do so.  It was either leaves or apples of gold.

I hope what little information I was able to provide will help you in figuring out what book this was!

 

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.

 

298L: A treasure in a monastery garden

The book I am thinking about would have been published before 1968 I believe because i read it when I was about eight or nine in 1967.  I live in England.  I believe i borrowed it from the library or the school library.

The book was about a group of children staying in an old Abbot’s house or at least close to an old monastery.  Virtually all I can remember of the plot was the finding of an old map in a settle in the house, which led them to find treasure in the monastery garden. I seem to remember the treasure was actually from the church and it was important for some reason that it had been found.

I know it is very little to go on!

Thanks

294T: The Six

This book I read in 1984 and was a collection of six stories of a British youth gang; each story focused on a different member of the gang. One character may have been called Darkie Bates. One of the six stories took place in a disco where the gang member was ‘saved’ by the friend of a girl he had earlier been insulting with terms like “frog-eyes”, when she hit his assailant with a bottle. He ended up going out with her. The author may have been Tony someone but just as likely not. Great book for young adult fiction.

293T: Girl visits magical world, stranger with furry coat

This is a book that may be British. It may have Rebecca or Dreams in title. Or Emma or Milly. It’s a chapter book with some illustrations. A girl visits a dream world where there are friends or helpers. One is a tall man (maybe a giant) with a large furry coat. It may be yellow. There may be a room she’s in that’s like being inside a globe, with lots of locks. Also, she may have to solve a series of puzzles to go through this world.

290Y: A lady starts a diary

I read this book in London in 1992. It was a used paperback. The writer was a woman.

The heroine is a (rather dislikable) single, English woman of a certain age; she considers herself “on the shelf” and not a success in life. She has a small world.

Then she decides to reinvent herself and starts a diary. She writes her diary entry for the day at the start of the day and then forces whatever she wrote to happen. She writes that she meets a man and that day she forces a quiet dude into becoming her suitor, etc.

It was a recent novel: probably the 80s.