298G: The Perfect Dress (Solved)

I am searching for a book I read as a young elementary school student in the late 60s but the target audience was a little older, perhaps middle school girls.  I think the book would have been published somewhere between the mid 50s and early 60s. Even in 1969/1970 it felt slightly dated.

Here are some facts I remember:

1) The protagonist was a young (13-15) teen girl and the book may have been part of a series (of either books or movies-not Giget.) Or maybe not.

2) The setting was very much all-American, white picket fences.

3) Our heroine was very excited to be invited to the out of town wedding of her older male cousin.

4) Although I can’t remember the name of the protagonist or her family, the bride’s name was Joan. At one point she shows her mother a picture of a bride in a magazine and asks “Do you think Joan will wear a dress like that?” To which Mom replies non-committally “Perhaps.”

5) Much of the book is about the struggle to find an appropriate dress for our heroine to wear to the wedding.

6) The perfect dress is actually found at a thrift store or among clothes that the mother is collecting for a charity drive, a seamstress makes some adjustments, and she loves it.

7) At the pre-wedding festivities the protagonist becomes friends with a similarly aged girl who I think is the bride’s sister/cousin and who is a junior bridesmaid in the wedding.

8) Unfortunately, they forget to pack the perfect dress. Much sadness ensues.

9) The junior bridesmaid becomes sick and our heroine is called upon to fill in.

10) The bridesmaid’s dress is green velvet with a little velvet toque.

And that’s it, that’s all I’ve got.  I borrowed the book over and over from the library, but the dust cover was missing so I don’t even know what it looked like.  Even though it doesn’t sound like much, I loved it and would like to read it again.  Thanks for any help you can provide!

298C: Hurry! Hurry! (Solved)

Children’s book with a mustard-olive color cover (as I recall):

Artwork throughout shows a busy woman in a long coat hurrying everywhere.  Everywhere she goes people say “don’t be in such a hurry or something worse may happen” and it does – all kinds of unfortunate accidents due to her hurrying.  Finally one day she steps in glue and is forced to slow down…and she realizes that there is more to life than getting there.  At the end of the day she decides not to remove all the glue from her shoes, because she likes going slower.

I would SO love to find this book!

297S: Star-Shaped Key (Solved)

I am looking for a book targeted at, I think, 10-to-12-year-olds, which I suspect was published between 1965 and 1980.  I think the protagonists were a brother and sister who for some reason were spending some months (summer vacation?) in a remote location, which I believe was mountainous.  The permanent inhabitants were faced with a problem that I do not remember but which I believe involved water.  A recurring plot point was that the young boy was taught to play draughts and was challenged to improve–this name for the game may mean that, though I read the book in a U.S. library, it was a British book.  The problem was solved through the use of a key with a star-shaped end which was inserted into a rock face and turned.

As a final detail, I believe the cover of the book was mostly a picture, drawn in blue and white.

297P: Wizard/Mage/Sorcerer’s Trap (Solved)

This is a book I read hundreds of times in my childhood I can assure you it exists and yet I cannot find it.

It is a thin paperback book with watercolour highly detailed paintings. It is set in a far off land with two kingdoms across the sea from each other. One inhabited by a good king and the other by (I think his brother) an evil, very powerful, wizard.

The wizard decides he wants to take control of the kingdom of light and decides to do so by killing the king’s only son on (i think) his coronation day.

Cut to a parade in the street of the good kingdom, we meet a blind young woman who weaves baskets to make money. She hears of the coronation day and people buy her baskets more than ever. She speaks to a gentle man who gives her too much for her basket but insists she keeps the excess. Suddenly the prince goes missing and the evil wizard mocks the king by telling him he has turned the prince into a fish. The king banns all fishing and the people starve as well as cannot make money. The girl cannot sell her baskets. The wizard says he will set the prince free if someone can get a magic pearl guarded by an octopus at the bottom of the sea.

The king offers anything to whomever can bring his the pearl and by extension his son back home.

First a knight steps forward. He is put on a boat with a special orb to let him breath underwater and never returns. Then a lion tamer steps forward. He is put on a boat with a special orb to let him breath underwater and never returns. It is a long while before anyone else comes forward. But eventually a thief steps forward. He is given a boat with a special orb to let him breath underwater but also doesn’t return.

Eventually when the girl is about to starve and is on her last piece of bread a talking turtle asks for a piece. She shares it with him and finds the courage to go and search for the prince. (The turtle offers to be her eyes i think) the king doesn’t believe in her but is desperate and reluctantly lets her go. She and the turtle run into, a swordfish, a sea lion, and another sea creature before finally making it to the giant octopus.

She gets the pearl and makes it back to shore.

i forget what happens next but it is revealed that:

swordfish=knight

sealion=lion tamer

other creature= thief

octopus= sorcerer

turtle=prince

The prince decides to marry the blind girl and they all live happily ever after.

I forget what happens to the sorcerer, he either dies or vows to leave the kingdom of light alone.

Please help me find this book it’s a favorite of mine (as you can tell) and it’s driving me crazy not having it!

297J: A boy in a fully automated house (Solved)

Hello! I have been trying to find a children’s picture book from probably the 1970s or possibly 1960s. It was about a boy who lived in a house that was fully automated. (No parents are in the story, I don’t think. ) A machine would wake him up in the morning, put him in the shower, dry him off, put his clothes on, make him breakfast, sit him down to eat, and send him off to school. It was not a robot, more like he was moved through a conveyor belt of morning routine activities. They boy seemed to sleep through everything. One night, the machine goes on the fritz, and he is sent through the morning activities in the wrong order. The machine is all messed up – he gets his hair washed with breakfast, clothes put on upside-down, etc. Hope you can help!

297D: Everything is going to be okay (Solved)

I’m trying to find a book, it’s about a boy who’s parents are separated. He writes a letter pretending to be his mother, and sends it to his father. The letter is asking for forgiveness and for the father to come back to live with them. The boys attempt to get his parents back together fails. In the last part of the book, the boy is in the movie theater with the girl he likes and she asks him, “is everything ok?” And he replies, “yes, everything is going to be ok”. (This is everything I remember.) Also the name of the book might be something like “shy guy” or “guy shy” or just something with guy in it. I hardly remember anything about it.

 

Thanks!

297B: The heavens rain down every imaginable desire (Solved)

I’m looking for a children’s book about an orphan girl who sleeps in the alleys, gets chased from the Bakers shop while peering through the window hungry. There is a terrible storm one night and the heavens rain down every imaginable desire of hers. Toys, food, bed, clothing- the next day the stash of goods makes a front-line story and the little girl is adopted. The book ends with the girl running out into a thunderstorm thanking the heavens. Hoping this description rings a bell.