Category Archives: 1980s

374X: Ben’s Mom on a Business Trip

I am looking for a library book from my childhood. The book is from the 1970s or very early 1980s, and focuses on a little boy named Ben. In the story, Ben’s mom goes on a business trip, leaving Ben and dad at home for a few days. They get off to a rough start with dad being late to pick up Ben from school and some other minor mishaps, but things improve before mom gets home. The entire book is illustrated with black and white photographs of what could be a real family – mom, dad, and son Ben. There are no drawn illustrations, just photographs. I believe there were also one or two more “Ben” books- maybe it was a small series- but the one I remember most centers on Ben’s experience while mom is on work travel.

374K: Hell is hilarious

Fiction, American, published late 70s or early 80s, set in Boston, about an alcoholic violinist and his inept love life. Very funny book. Many hilarious descriptions of Boston’s weather, generally framing it as the output of God’s ass. Anyone know the book or author I am talking about?

374A: Groundhog Day (Solved!)

I’m looking for a kid’s book likely from the 70’s to early 80’s about a groundhog whose friends didn’t want him to see his shadow so they brought him food when he woke up to keep him in his bed. They emptied all the surrounding gardens but he was still hungry. He wanted to leave his den to get more food but they tried to keep him in. When he asked them why he couldn’t leave they told him they did not want him to see his shadow. After this he informs them that ground hog day was yesterday and he’d slept through it. I have looked for this book for years, even when I was a school librarian for a little while and haven’t been able to locate it. My mom doesn’t remember the name of it but does remember that we had it.Thank you for any help you can give for this.

373U: Vintage Picture Book, Kitten cleans room to find rain gear so he can play in the rain with his friends

Kitten wants to play in the rain with two friends, but he has to clean his room to find his rain gear, which includes, boots, hat, jacket. His friends check in on him and help him clean, they even find a sail boat that they can play with in the puddles. The book is NOT the obvious Three Kittens, Rainy-Day Kitten, etc. . . been searching for years now. I think it was published sometime between 1940s-1990s, And I want to say it had a beige/yellow/tan cover with a spot illustration.

373R: Wizard with a floating kettle

I read a book in the 1980s, or possibly even very early 1990s, but the book may have been published long before then. All I remember about it is that there is a scene where a tea kettle is hovering behind a wizard, and the wizard says something about it keeping the water “just at the boil”. I think the character who stumbles upon this wizard becomes his apprentice, or the two travel together, or something, and I believe the sorcerer/wizard/whatever he was is in a clearing in a forest. Formulaic, I know, could be describing a hundred fantasy books – except for that teapot that is consistently at the boiling point! Help?

372V: A staying-up-late book

I would’ve read this picture book in the 80s or maybe early 90s but it could have been from earlier too. It was about a little girl (not sure if she was a human girl or an animal like Frances, etc) who thinks her parents (and sister?) have a party after she goes to bed each night. She finally convinces them to let her stay up and it’s fun and I think they maybe eat toast?
It is not a Frances book, it’s not “I Hate to go to Bed”, and it’s not “Amy’s Long Night”.
Thank you!