Author Archives: Julie Beckers

363C: Mystery by Italian Psychologist

The book I’m trying to find was a mystery written by an Italian Psychologist. I believe he wrote three books, all mysteries with different modes of transportation as the setting (an airplane, a train, and a ship.) The book I’m looking for was the mystery on an airplane. The murder occurred during the flight and the killer was exposed during the end of the flight. The author being a psychologist introduced some of his psychological theories into the story and I believe that this was the purpose of the three books – to explain his theories.

The book was probably written prior to the 1960’s but after the 1920’s. The title was short. I’m not sure if all the books were translated into the English language.

I enjoyed the story and wish I wouldn’t have sold my copy (it was a nice English first edition.) If you need more details, I’ll try to recall what I can. Thank You and good luck.

362Q: Old Fairytale Collection

I am looking for a fairytale collection that I remember from my youth. My mom bought them for us in the 1950s and my stepmother has thrown them out. Sorry, I do not have the title. Here is what I remember: There was a set of three books. The cover was hard-bound and cream-colored. Each book had a small colored panel on the spine. One green, one red and one brown. I recall that they contained “The Princess and the Pea”, “Rapunzel” and “Rutabaga Tale” I would love to buy these treasured tomes if anyone has them.

362O: Child Finds Way Home by North Star

I’m trying to think of a book I used to read probably around the year 2000.

The kid (can’t remember if it’s a boy or girl) lives on a farm with their dad, their mother has died. Every Christmas Eve they give the barn animals Christmas treats. At some point the kid gets lost in the woods with their dog. They follow the North Star to head back home and are found by the dad and their neighbor.

339O: Children’s Book of Short Stories Published in the 1960s or early 1970s

Hello. When I was around 5 or 6 years old (1972 to 1973) I loved a book of short stories. I think it contained around a dozen or so stories.

One of the stories was about a lost cat (or kitten). The cat is lonely, cold, and hungry. The cat wandered around and found a pond with a fish in it. The cat tries to grab the fish, but is pulled into the water. (I think there may have been a fishing pole, and the cat got tangled in it.) When the owner of the house heard the ruckus outside, he went out to retrieve the fish and cat. The cat then lives happily thereafter with the owner, and the owner cooks the fish for the cat.

Another story was about some people who went for a short boat ride on a lake in a rowboat. To make sure everyone person was accounted for, the organizer of the voyage had everyone wear a similar hat. Her plan was to count the number of hats before the journey, and then afterwards. If the number matched, then everyone was accounted for. I recall the voyage had some problems. I think the boat started to sink because someone forgot to install the drain plug. But it wasn’t dangerous because the lake was very shallow. At any rate, at the end of the voyage the organizer was worried & upset because the number of hats she counted afterwards was one less than the onset of the voyage. But someone pointed out that she forgot to count the hat on her head, and everyone laughed.

Thank you

339N: Who is the author? Begins with Stephen…not King or Crane (Solved!)

I am recalling an early short story writer, from the 1930s and 1940s, he wasn’t known as a science fiction author but wrote a piece of science fiction about a take over of the world by machines. They weren’t AI or anything that sophisticated. No microprocessors. The takeover included automobiles and even irons and vacuum cleaners. The machines just revolted. I think that the story was told by a person in an enclosed room waiting to die, telling his tale. The writer’s first name was Stephen. My parents had a copy of “The Complete Works of Stephen….” or “The Collected Works of Stephen….” but I can’t remember his last name. Does anyone who it might be? I believe he also wrote some poetry included in the set.  I think there were two volumes.

339M: OLD book with uncolored illustrations where a girl saves 3 other girls from a dragons belly

I’m guessing it was from the 70s or 80s, maybe earlier. softcover, fairly thin, and beautiful uncolored illustrations inside. From memory, it was about a girl who lived out of an old single carriage (starts with an illustration of her standing next to it) and traveled, with short stories of her adventures.

The one I remember best is her going to three towns, singing in one and being told singing is banned because a dragon took the towns best singer, dancing in another town and being told the same, and (I believe) telling a story in the third town? Later on, she finds the dragons cave where he has the three stolen girls in his stomach, and from the best of my memory, the three girls in his stomach tell him a story and sing him to sleep, then dance in his stomach until they’re spit up, and the main character saves them? I perfectly remember there’s an illustration at this part with all 4 girls escaping on a horse together, and I used to stare at that page for so long.

Later on in the book, all I can seem to remember is another point where she’s in a forest and meets some kind of shapeshifter / kelpie or similar creature… but that’s all I’ve got. I believe the girl is on the cover, and I seem to remember the cover art being very neutral/earth toned. I re-found this book on amazon years ago, but now I can’t find it again and cannot for the life of me remember the title or author. It was my absolute favorite book and i’d love to be able to find it again.


339L: Three Days Turns Into 30 Years

I’m having trouble locating a children’s book. Here’s everything I remember:
Picture Book
I first read it in the late 90s so definitely published before 2000
A girl ends up in heaven/utopia for 3 days and when she returns to her mom 30 years have actually passed. Her mom has aged significantly.
She might have been fleeing from a war.
That is all I remember and I am completely stumped. Hoping you can help since google was unable to.

339K: Mr. Tell-Us-A-Story-Man

There was a play–I suppose it was a children’s play and I don’t remember the name of it or the author–but the central character was named Mr. Tell-Us-A-Story-Man. I played that character in at least two different productions of the play–at school and at Sunday School when I was in the 3rd and 4th grades–so when I was 9 and 10 years old. I wish I could find that play–google-searching has been no help. I can see the text of the play in its published form, printed on cheap already yellowing paper.

339J: Children’s fantasy from 60s/70s with invisible magician/wizard/enchanter (Solved!)

I borrowed this book from the library, probably during the 1970s, but it may have been published earlier. My vague memories include: two children, probably a boy and a girl, had magical adventures. There was a friendly witch or female magician and a good but scary male magician who was always invisible. This may have been by choice, and there was a backstory of a romantic relationship with the witch. One of the children was transported by the invisible magician and found it rather frightening but eventually trusted the magician. This was not the main plot!

The book was almost certainly British and would have been a chapter book (not a term used at that time).

Thank you!

339I: Children’s book about a Southern girl who wants to be a doctor

I was eight or nine, and this was in the early 1960s. The book opens with a wedding; the girls’ sister is marrying a Mr. Quackenbush. It’s a big Scottish American family in the South. Later her brother is bitten by a copperhead snake, and the servants’ children—I am ashamed to say they called them pickanninies-and one goes blind. It’s the first time I read the verse “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.”