Category Archives: Picture Book

374Z: Children’s book that existed between 1992-2002

Full color picture book. A boys parents warn him not to go into woods. He sneaks out anyway, each page is a separate part of the woods and he encounters a unique type of creature/monster per page. I think one is like a colony of tree people, but at the end of the woods and in the final pages he starts getting chased by a smog creature, for like 4 pages he’s just running as the color pages are filling up with smoke. He barely escaped the forest and gets back into house or bed and thinks to himself “never doing that again”. The big part of the book is the escaping through the forest and running home from the smoke (which looks similar to a dragon maybe) but I think they never reveal what the monster is. This book is probably 14-33 pages. The other identifier is that each stage of the forest is a unique creature. Fantasy vibes. Pretty sure the book as color as well. – I know it’s not where are the wild things, and I know it’s not the tomtins. 

374Y: The Prince’s Love Triangle

Here is my description of the book:
Borrowed from library mid 1990s, a children’s picturebook. It’s title may have the word “love” in it. 
A little prince character called something like “Prince Curlique” (but I’m not sure of the spelling) because of his crazy hair/a curl  (sticks up?) on his head. 
He’s really smart but short or ugly or some unfortunate attribute.
He might get lonely and seek a girlfriend at some point, has sort of a love triangle with two princesses who are sisters trying to decide which one to marry(?)
He’s prone to being a bit harsh and testing his potential love interests if iirc
One princess is called Mira or Myra because she is an admirable yet unattractive genius level smart girl. She is the obvious match but his heart leans in other directions. The other princess is called Dora because she is an adorable hottie, she is however cursed with being clumsy and possibly unintelligent? Or inarticulate?
The ugly little prince curlicue guy and one or other of the princesses are pictured on a swing or seat together maybe on the final page?
The illustrations are very whimsical and to my memory lush and detailed, with historic rococo style maybe.
There is one page with a drapey princess canopy bed i think? The book starts with some of the characters as babies?
It’s kind of inappropriately romantic for kids in a way like that naked squashed fairy book from the same era because it’s about characters falling in romantic love with each other and the relationship stuff.
I think Mira/Myra is in love with Curlicue but I don’t think she prevails because of not being hot like her sister. I think one or other sister is also grossed out by him and that might have had moral repercussions.
There is some witchcraft involved possibly but more like the hand of fate because I don’t remember an antagonist.
I think Dora was Dancing and stepping on people’s toes because she was so clumsy 
Curlicue had red or blond hair.
Any of these remembered details may be somewhat incorrect. 
If I had to make comparisons, the alt love story of “Jane and the Dragon” is a well known one that’s vibe has similar whimsy. I think Myra was quite a roll-up-your-sleeves and get it done person and the art was similarly soft and evocative. The writing was dreamy and aphoristic, possibly why the story has not stayed on the shelves. But also something dark and sad about the characters’ difficulties finding love. 
I know beautifully illustrated kids storybooks are on high turnover in my library now, but they did have it once, would they have a record of decades-back purchased, now cancelled, books? Also I’m not sure if the high turnover was as rapid in the mid to late 1990s as it is today, so conceivably this book was 1980s at the earliest and just hung out on the shelf not getting borrowed much. The style would not have been any earlier based on the production techniques and the fact it was a fresh edition that we borrowed (but now so unknown to the internet that it must not have had many reissues if any)
I think that’s all I can think of that’s relevant. I would have said the book had a square format, normal picture book length  and possibly a soft cover no dust jacket? I’d have said slightly gloss paper rather than matte But I could be wrong about the soft cover.No idea of the publisher. If I had to guess would have thought the author might be American rather than British but that’s not a strong conviction.

I have a feeling the name curlicue is a total red herring and it may have been “Prince Quiff” or similar. But it related to his hair and unfortunate looks. The love interests’ names I’m more confident of because of their in-narrative meanings.

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.

374O: Doll family loses grandfather in garden

This is a book from the 1990’s because I remember buying it for my son who was born in 1989.  It was about a doll family, or a tiny statue family who lived in the bathroom (?) and a child played with them when they took a bath.  At some point one of the statues/dolls gets lost– grandfather or grandmother and they think it blew into the garden when the window was open. They all decide to go look for the missing statue, and have adventures in the garden.  They find the statue and it ends with the grandma and grandpa dancing together.  Beautiful colored illustrations.d

374D: Mix-and-Match Fantasy Party (Solved!)

I had this book as a child in the 90’s. It was a mix and match book with pictures of fantasy characters, and I believe there were 3-4 flaps that you could arrange to decide on their hat, face, torso, and bottom half. It was very obvious what the correct/incorrect options were, but they lined up well enough to make it a fun mix-and-match game. Each character was humanoid, but all fantastical.
There was not much text, but the basic premise was that these were all guests who needed to look their best for a party or wedding or something. It was a hardcover book with spiral bindings inside. The cover was white and had a magician, dressed in a purple domed hat, brown/black hair, a purple masquerade mask with frills on each side, and purple jacket while holding an orb I believe. The art style was very intricate and high fantasy. There was one page with a bride and a groom, and when they were lined up properly, their bodies formed a distinct heart shape. Towards the end, there was a king and a queen.
Unsure of publishing date – I had a copy of this starting in the mid 90’s at least, so it could not have been after that point. 

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.

373W: The Magic Old Couple

Book about a Magic Old Couple. It was printed before 1974. An old magical man and wife help some children. The kids enter a gate to visit the old man and woman in their back garden. The lady pours them lemonade from a pitcher that is never empty and the ice cubes never melt. That’s all I have. It was read to us by our 1st or 3rd grade teacher in either 1971 or 1973 ish