201B: Children’s book, navel oranges, sharing. (solved)

A boy receives an orange as a gift, and he generously gives away its segments to others, only to find himself with none left. Someone tells him that it was a navel orange, and there was a hidden baby orange within the skin, enough for one bite. I read this around the 70′s, a beautifully illustrated book. The author might have had a Spanish name, or perhaps Jewish? I don’t recall any Christmas themes and he shared his gift mainly with older relatives, neighbors who seem European…

199E: 3 Siblings worship magic dough/bread man (Solved)

I read this book in middle school, 1995. so book is late 80s-90s. Three siblings, 2 girls and a boy, with the boy as the middle child. the youngest sister is ill/sick/crippled in some way. home life is not awesome, and they may or may not have moved to a new house- a huge tree in the backyard, they each find different items in the “new” backyard and decide to bake all of them into bread that mom or grandma was making. i think one of the items was a wire in shape of a crown, and another thing for the heart and something in the dough mans hand. this became some kind of magical talisman that made the little sister stronger and or able to perform magic. i also distinctly remember (i may be wrong) them having an entity i thought was rowan or something with an “R” that they worshipped for giving them this magic, and it became mad for some reason, resulting in the little sister climbing the tree to give back the dough man, and her falling…

197E: Weather Witch and Orphan Girl (Solved)

I’m pretty sure this book takes place in England and is about a girl who has magical abilities. She lives in a town with magical residents. The mayor is able to control the weather. She is being pursued by dark forces and the entire town might also be compromised by this danger. She is learning magic from an older wizard. There’s a scene in an underground library. They may have the ability to time travel, but definitely the ability to transport themselves with magic. There’s a scene at an abandoned boardwalk (in Brighton I believe) and a carousel is there as well. I think it was storming at this scene. In the town, the magic is used to whitewash the fences and keep things sparkly white and beautiful. Each house has a footbridge due to a stream running through town and a garden with a whitewashed fence. The girl knows the mayor. She might be an orphan.

196I: Uncle Gives Boy Magic Gifts, Other Magical Things Happen Too (SOLVED)

I recall this being a series, but it may be a stand-alone book — in it a boy gets a magic pencil from his uncle that will only allow him to write correct answers even if he tries to write the wrong answer. He is ready for a big test, then his dog chews the pencil. In another chapter his infant brother is supposed to be in a TV commercial, but the boy reads the dictionary while watching him and the baby says big words like “grappling hook.” A childhood favorite I would love to share with my daughter!


196H: Dark, Beautiul Picture Book Series (Solved)

I’m looking for a picture book with beautiful, lifelike illustrations. Picture book, but dark and almost adult in nature. There were two in the series.
The first had a small blond girl, with braids over her head, who was the rightful queen of a kingdom ruled by a dark tyrant. At one point she confronts the tyrant by landing on his dinner table, I think. The tyrant might wear a weird mask. He’s dressed all in black. She has friends who wanted to help her get her kingdom back. They set up a system where they would light a fire on the upper level of the castle when it was safe for them all to start their attack. One man was stopped, but is so dedicated to her and the cause, that he lit himself on fire instead and jumped from the roof.

In the sequel, she has a baby (still blond braids roped over her head), and a soldier tries to lead her through the snow to safety. I think they all die, but I’m not sure it’s obvious.
Beautiful illustrations.

196B: P.S. I Hate You (?) (SOLVED)

I read a young adult fiction book when I was about 13, probably published in the 70s. I was certain it was called PS I Hate You, but can’t find anything on Google with that title. It was about a teen girl, possibly named Marley, who leaves a note on the kitchen table, closing with P.S. I hate you and runs away to her father in the city. While living there, she falls in love with her English teacher when he introduces her to the poem Nothing Gold Can Stay (the same poem used in The Outsiders). She is also insulted by another teacher, who calls her “plain, plump and pimply.”

195F: Child’s book about time and timekeeping (Solved)

We’d love to reconnnect with this children’s book we had from our local library, but despite extensive online searching, can find no trace of it, as cannot remember or even guess at the title.

Illustrated short children’s book from c. 1990, for readers perhaps 5 – 9. The young heroine (age 8-ish, possibly called Anna) is not good at timekeeping, and is often late for tea. She therefore observes that ‘time is [like] a monster, marching on’. She meets the clock-keeper of the town hall clock, asks him about the nature of time, and he kindly on one occasion puts the clock back about 5 minutes, so that she does not seem late home for tea. The story and pictures have a mainland European feel to it. Someone suggested it may have been set in Switzerland. It is almost certainly a translation into English, and the English has that sense of maintaining a foreign idiom.
If this resonates with anything you recall, we will be overjoyed!

195C: The Magic Pencil (Solved)

I’m looking for a book for my aunt. She remembers reading a story called “The Magic Pencil” to her boys (this would have been back in the 1980s and 90s), but the story is part of a larger book/anthology of stories that she can’t remember the name of. Based on the look and feel of the book, she thinks it was probably from the 1950s (though that’s just a guess). In the story, the pencil would only write if you used the magic word “please” (or something like that). Would love to find this for her for Christmas!

194G: Boy’s house overshadowed by buildings (Solved)

I’m looking for a book my fiance read when he was in primary school.
He borrowed it from the Bookrunner Bus (a library van which visited primary schools), and he thinks he was 8 or 9 at the time. This means it will be from before 2000.
It was a short, children’s paperback, but had black and white illustrations – which he believes were in a similar style to Edward Gorey.
It was about a young boy living in a house with his mother and big buildings were being constructed all around, which cast shadows over his house. In the end the boy and his mother have to move to an apartment in one of the bigger buildings. There might also have been some sort of pet bird, but he can’t fully remember! He did mention that it was a really odd, creepy book.

If this sounds familiar to anyone, please let me know! I really would love to get it him for Christmas.