Need more help than what the stumper magicians offer here? You might want to consider joining the newsgroup rec.arts.books.childrens. This newsgroup discusses many children's books, and its readers may be able to help solve your stumpers too. There's also a bulletin board on MSN called ExLibris, the Lost Boards (which contains the archives from when Alribis used to have a stumper page). Yesterdayland.com. has a lot of television memories, but some book ones too. And it seems that abebooks.com has joined the game too, with Book Slueth.
A48 may be (though '87
seems a bit late for 'in the 80s') Witch Stories,
compiled by Jane Launchbury ; New York: Derrydale Books,
1987. First Printing, Hard Cover. Stories include Edward
and Anna by Jane Launchbury; The Magic Island by
Elizabeth Waugh; Witch Wurzel by Elizabth Waugh; The
Witches Who Came to Stay by Philip Steele; Grumblog
by Jane Garrett and Rachel and The Magic Stone by
compiled by Helen Hoke, Witches, Witches, Witches, 1958. This anthology may be too early to be the book you are seeking. The cover shows witches around a flaming cauldron with skulls. Some of the authors are Peggy
Bacon, Rachel Field, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Elizabeth Coatsworth, and Margaret Embry.
A48 anthology witch stories: perhaps Witches Brew: Eleven Eerie Stories about Magic, Witchcraft and the Supernatural, edited by Alfred Hitchcock, published NY Random 1977. If it helps, the Launchbury anthology includes the following: Edward and Anna by Jane Launchbury; The Magic Island by Elizabeth Waugh; Witch Wurzel by Elizabth Waugh; The Witches Who Came to Stay by Philip Steele; Grumblog by Jane Garrett and Rachel and the Magic Stone by Deborah Tyler.
Manning-Sanders, Ruth, A Book of Witches, 1965. Possibly Ruth Manning-Sanders? She did many anthologies about other-worldly creatures, dragons, dwarves, wizards, mermaids, etc. Here's a list of the stories in the anthology: Contents: The Old Witch -- Rapunzel -- Lazy Hans -- The Twins and the Snarling Witch -- Esben and the Witch -- Prunella -- The Donkey Lettuce -- Hansel and Gretel -- Tatterhood -- The White Dove -- Johnny and the Witch-Maidens -- The Blackstairs Mountain.
Are you thinking of a book with illustrations? I remember a picture in a book from the early 80's with a pretty young witch holding a mirror up to deflect a spell and nasty older witch was casting. The witch had a sweet name - Minnie, Milly? I forget. I had not thought about this book unitl I read your request. The book was somewhat thin, but large (14 by 10?) and had a blue cover. when she first went to the school there was a portrait on a wall and the admin staff got all "Oh, my! She's the One!" on her guardians. Is that the book? I'll look around my parents' house for you if it is...
Various - Illustrated by Max Ranft, The Witch Book, 1976, copyright. This compliation includes the stories: Beware of the witch of the Vasty Deep, by Betty Lacey; The entrance exam, by Mary Carey; The witch named Naob, by Helen Kronberg Olsen; Minnie's long day, by Herschel Cozine; and others.
Eleanor Estes, The Witch Family. Do Amy and Clarissa sound familiar? The story goes that one of their mothers told them stories that always began ''One day, old witch'' and the girls would draw pictures that would come true. Old witch lived on a glass hill
Jacynth Hope-Simpson, A Cavalcade of Witches, 1967? I read this one in the 70s-80s. I don't remember this particular story but there were many in there and I only read a few. I can't remember any of the exact stories, unfortunately.
Concerning unsolved mystery A53, I ran
across a children's story called The Snooks Family
in a listserv to
which I subscribe. The person submitting the story says: "I can't take credit for this one-- in fact, I don't have an author for it, so if anyone knows who to credit, please shout! My photocopy says From Tales of Ebony by Harcourt Williams (Putnam, London)" I also read a version of this on the Storytelling list, so it may be one of those often re-told stories with many variations. I've taken the liberty of making some little changes of my own."
Using google's advanced search I found: Harcourt WILLIAMS (M: 1880 - 1957) Ginger And Pickles  Tales From Ebony  Harcourt Williams was an actor. He was born in 1880 and died in 1957. I found 1 film with Actor containing "Harcourt Williams:" Brighton Rock Directed by John Boulting, GB, 1947. 1 hr 26 min. Thriller/Chiller. Four fairy plays E Harcourt Williams and The reluctant dragon E Harcourt Williams. There are many films in which Harcourt Williams played minor roles . . .
A53 anthology myths & legends: well, here's one with Thor, anyway - Old-time Stories, Fairy Tales and Myths Retold by Children by E. Louise Smythe, published by American Book Company, New York, 1896, first edition, illustrated in b/w and color, 136 pages. Preface reads in part 'This book originated in a series of little reading lessons prepared for the first grade pupils in the Santa Rosa (California) public schools... The spirit of the book may be illustrated by referring to the roast turkey in the story of The Little Match Girl. The story was told as dear old Hans Christian Anderson gave it to the little German children fifty years ago...' and so on. Stories include The Ugly Duckling, The Little Pine Tree, The Little Match Girl, Little Red Riding-Hood, The Apples of Idun, How Thor Got the Hammer, The Hammer Lost and Found, The Story of the Sheep, The Good Ship Argo, Jason and the Harpies, The Brass Bulls, Jason and the Dragon.
William Patten, Junior Classics: Fairy and Wonder Tales, 1918, copyright. Maybe you are looking for the Junior Classic, they are a set of 10 books, each with a different subject matter, the first one is Fairy and Wonder Tales. The other books are Folk Tales and Myths, Heroes and Heroines, Old Fashioned Tales, Stories of Courage and Heroism, Stories that Never Grow Old, and Tales of Greece and Rome. First Published in 1918, and compiled by William Patten, there are many later editions as well. Hope this helps!
and Nod is by Eugene Field. Maybe Lullaby
Land a collection of his poems selected by Kenneth
Grahame, illustrated by Charles Robinson, published by
Scribner 1894, containing Wynken, Blynken and Nod, The
shut-eye train, etc. There's also his Poems of
Childhood illustrated by Maxfield Parrish, published
Scribner 1930s in the Illustrated Classics series, which
contains Wynken, Blynken and Nod and
The sugar-plum tree. Neither Robinson or Parrish really did wispy pastels, though.
In the 50s I had a book called something like the Tall Book of Make Believe. It was tall and narrow, and full of wonderful stories and poems, one of which was definitely Wynken, Blynken and Nod. It was illustrated by Garth Williams, and had many wonderful coloured illustrations. The stories included one about Georgie, a little ghost, and there were also lots of poems including the battle between the gingham dog and the calico cat. Does this ring any bells with the inquirer?
Olive Beaupre Miller (ed.), My Bookhouse.Wynken, Blynken, and Nod appears in one of the earlier volumes of the BOOKHOUSE series. (12 vols in all, + supplements.) There are various printings, but the edition I grew up on is, indeed, bound in blue, and "wispy pastels" is a fine description of the illustrative style. It dates from the 30's or 40's. This is a WONDERFUL set. EVERYONE should have one.
Is it possible that this is the Bumper Book, edited by Watty Piper and illustrated by Eulalie?? Wynken... is the first item in the book. It is presented over four pages with very large elaborate pictures! I'd say the gorgeous illustrations would have tremendous appeal to a child and would certainly be vividly recalled long afterward. While the cover color does not match your recollections, I thought it might be worth a look! Good Luck.
Just a possibility -- A wonderful poetry book I just came upon with your poem in lovely soft colors, blue and yellow! You might want to check out FOR A CHILD Great Poems Old and New-collected by Wilma McFarland, illustrated by Ninon.Westminster, 1947.Good Luck!
Watty Piper, The Bumper Book, 1950, approximate. Someone has already suggested The Bumper Book which is my guess if it's an anthology. I am 59 and loved the book. It also contained (among others) Christopher Robin, The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat, the days of the week and months with clever pictures, etc.
Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia, 1938.I remember reading Winken Blynken and Nod from a blue textured hardback. It was a collection of children's writings that came with the Arthur Mee's encyclopedia that was sold door to door for many years both in the USA and the British Empire.
edited by Jane Werner, The Big Golden Book of Poetry, 1947, 1949. I was checking out where you may find this book and looked on this site (loganberrybooks) and discovered a list of anthologies. Well, here's the link I found with the children's poetry, including yours of "Wynken Blynken and Nod." This might be what you are looking for.
A74 astral projection:
this sounds something like Diane Duane's Young Wizards
series, though I can't place the incident, and would say it
isn't one of the first three books. The characters are Nita
Callahan, her sister Dairine, and Kit Rodriguez.
I just finished re-reading the Young Wizards series and this doesn't appear to match any incident described within them. It does sound vaguely reminiscent of the part in A Wrinkle in Time where Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Which take the children to a two-dimensional planet where they cannot breathe.
Wibberley, Leonard, Journey to Untor, NY Farrar 1970. Just guessing here - the synopsis says "Further adventures of four children who can travel to other worlds - this time to a distant planet where enemies are fought with imagination and will power."
Barthe Declements, Double Trouble, 1987. About twins who use astral projectiom.
Christopher Fahy, Nightflyers or Night flyers or Nightfliers. (1978 ish) Hi - I think it might be this book. About teenage kids in high school, bullying and central character learns to astral project. A brilliant book that stayed with me for years.