Soon, The Spirit would be most known for the way that the title was brilliantly worked into the opening splash page. In , All-American launched a comic-book series called All Star Comics , which would feature short stories starring heroes from both All-American and National Allied.
With the third issue, however, they tried something novel. Writer Gardner Fox wrote a framing sequence that connected the disparate stories in the issue. Said framing sequence revealed that all of the various heroes in the book were actually part of a single superhero team known as the Justice Society of America. For years, the Justice Society parts of the book only worked as a framing sequence to set up the solo stories, but eventually the book began telling full-length Justice Society stories. Since All-American was technically its own company Gaines would sell his interest in the company to National Allied in and then form EC Comics , this was not only the first superhero team but also the first intercompany crossover, two ideas that have subsequently been used to death and beyond.
But they became best known for their spectacular double-page spreads, which, if they did not invent, they certainly perfected, beginning with this tale in Captain America Comics No. Two-page spreads are now not only commonplace, but de rigueur. Writer, penciler, and inker: Walt Kelly. Kelly and Pogo would enjoy even greater success in newspaper funnies pages, the rare instance of a comic- book character that became more popular in comic- strip form. William Moulton Marston, co-creator of Wonder Woman. A psychologist and contributor to the invention of the lie detector, Marston was, to put it mildly, an interesting individual.
This was the result: Wonder Woman, written by Marston under a pseudonym and drawn by veteran illustrator Harry Peter. Here we have no less than three forms of bondage on one page: wrist and ankle shackles, chained to the wall by the neck, and, most imaginatively, getting sewn up inside a punching bag. Lest you think we picked this page for pure sensationalism, rest assured that this was a pretty typical early Wonder Woman adventure. One later Marston tale had no less than 75 bondage panels in it. After Marston died of cancer in , the creators who inherited Wonder Woman would scrub out all the kink.
It all started because fashion illustrator and cartoonist June Mills broke her foot. While laid up, Mills doodled out ideas for an adventure comic strip with a heroine modeled on herself, who had a cat sidekick very much like her own pet Peri Purr. Our hero, Marla Drake, is a socialite turned nocturnal ass-kicker when she apprehends a gangster while en route to a costume party.
Writer, penciler, and inker: John Terrell.
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This was the sort of thing that was on Orrin C. Evans had been working at the Philadelphia Record since the early s, where he had made history by becoming the first African-American reporter to be on staff as a general reporter at a mainstream white-run newspaper. The outlet went out of business in , following a strike, so Evans teamed up with a few of his Record co-workers to address what he felt was missing in the comic-book world: strong, positive depictions of African-Americans. While each of the artists likely wrote their own strips, Evans oversaw the whole endeavor and made sure that all of the heroes be depicted non-stereotypically.
Sadly, when Evans went to produce a second issue, the company that sold him the paper for the first issue was no longer willing to sell to him — nor would any other paper company. He spent the rest of his life working in journalism. Today, Jack Kirby is known best as a superhero artist. It gave Kirby and his business partner Joe Simon a life raft at a moment when superheroes were languishing and everything was up for grabs — a moment when comic-book sales were soaring but books about costumed derring-do were old hat.
Romance comics, introduced by Simon and Kirby with this story in , became more than a genre — they were a sensation. Romance enabled Simon and Kirby to buy houses in the suburbs, and for a decade kept Kirby busier than all the other genres he worked in combined. The story is punchy and exhilarating. Simon and Kirby so liked the protagonist that they brought her back for a sequel in issue No.
Though endlessly mocked see the arch Pop Art paintings by Roy Lichtenstein and other spoofs , the best of the romance comics, like Young Romance No. Writer, penciler, and inker: Jack Cole. It was a best seller written by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, who argued that the admittedly lurid crime comics clogging the newsstands of America were the direct cause of a spike in juvenile crime.
The book reprinted countless panels of mayhem and extremely male-gaze-y women. It has no counterpart in any other literature of the world, for children or adults. Or Oedipus Rex? Dozens of publishers went out of business and the onerous Comics Code was established. Cole, after becoming one of the original Playboy cartoonists, committed suicide in , and he left a legacy of dynamic pencils and layouts that could delight as well as terrify. Arnold Drake is best known for co-creating the original Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel and Doom Patrol and Deadman for DC, but in he was going to college thanks to the GI Bill and picking up extra cash writing comics scripts.
Basically, he had come up with the graphic novel as we know it today. Rust masterminds Dallas- style shenanigans in fictitious Copper City, playing her myriad rivals and pawns off of each other and slapping around her goody-two-shoes stepdaughter. A sharp dresser — here he is with Lust publisher Archer St. It helped that the story was also utterly hilarious.
The subtext showed that by rejecting girls and women, the boys were cutting off an essential part of their own humanity. Crumb to Daniel Clowes and beyond. He used that gift dramatically in his war comics for EC, and humorously, with sudden, absurd gags to break up the rhythms, in his greatest gift to EC, the satirical Mad.
It reduces the genre of the war story to an elemental hand-to-hand fight between two unnamed soldiers, one American, one North Korean. The tale starts with the American musing about how remote and clinical warfare has become, but he is proven wrong when the North Korean, hungry and desperate, attacks.
Remarkably, this harsh fable was published during the Korean War itself; this issue would have been released in about September or October of , during a protracted and bloody stalemate in the War. Yet his thematic content also made waves: the underground comix generation, notably R. Writer and penciler: Carl Barks. McDuck was the creation of Carl Barks, an immensely imaginative cartoonist whose young adulthood spent working in various 19th-century professions — including cowboy and mule driver — left him with an appreciation for adventure and a firsthand knowledge of greed and stupidity.
After becoming an animator at Disney, Barks discovered his greatest talent was as a cartoonist, and for 24 years he chronicled the Duck family and the world of Duckburg with shrewd characterizations that played up the foibles of human nature. Scrooge evolved from a penny-pinching miser befitting his Dickensian name to a more comedic and occasionally even good-hearted uncle to that shiftless slacker, Donald. Crumb names him as a major influence. By , Harvey Kurtzman and Wally Wood had been working for EC Comics for a few years, turning out serious war epics, thought-provoking science-fiction stories, and satirical and gory horror morality plays.
Then came issue No. After a wild battle with Captain Marbles who has become a villain , the triumphant Superduperman figures he can use his newfound glory to woo Lois. It also parodies the copyright-infringement lawsuit that the publishers of Superman, National, filed and won against the publishers of Captain Marvel a few years earlier. National threatened to file a lawsuit against EC Comics for the parody, but they never went through with it.
Mad continues to this day, outlasting its many imitators and still making fun of everything. When Maxwell C. Gaines, founder of Educational Comics, died in a boating accident in , his college-student son William M. Gaines inherited the company. Max was reportedly abusive toward Bill, and in a bit of posthumous revenge, Bill took EC in a new direction with violent, irreverent titles like Tales from the Crypt, in which abusers get their comeuppance in spectacularly gory fashion.
Stephen King featured the story in his terrific survey of the horror genre, Danse Macabre , and infamous anti-comics crusader of the s Dr. Fredric Wertham gave the page you see here a no less prominent, albeit less flattering, position in his best-selling Seduction of the Innocent. Note how Severin chooses to paint the goriest scenes in only two colors, to lessen the visceral shock while simultaneously allowing for all the gruesome details fans craved.
The page, powerful but perhaps unremarkable to the modern comics reader, may be the single most analyzed page in comics history. It had a strong influence on Art Spiegelman — who wrote about it for the New Yorker — and Frank Miller, who frequently mentions it in interviews. The story involves Reissman, a former concentration-camp guard, who sees one of his victims on a New York subway and falls to his death trying to escape him. Although today these devices are established comics vocabulary, they were utterly revolutionary in their time and inspired countless artists who came after to experiment with their own storytelling.
When the comic-book industry banded together to form the Comics Code Authority in September , EC Comics publisher William Gaines believed that the new rules were effectually designed to hurt his company. So it was replaced with a reprint of a classic Weird Fantasy story. He has to turn them down because blue robots were treated worse than orange robots for no reason. As he flies away in his ship, he takes his helmet off and we see that he is black. The Comics Code would not allow the story unless the astronaut was recolored to be white.
Writer Al Feldstein was outraged and so was Gaines. They threatened a lawsuit. Eventually, the Code relented and the story was published as originally drawn. However, this was the clear sign that EC Comics could not work within the parameters set by the Code, so Gaines ceased his comic-book production, concentrating instead on his popular humor magazine, Mad , which skirted regulations because it was technically a magazine.
EC are sometimes accused of being shock merchants, but this page reminds us that they were also idealists. The Fellowship of Reconciliation was formed in England in early in a failed attempt to prevent the outbreak of World War I. The following year, they opened up their American branch of the organization and have been serving the public good ever since. In the s, they were directly involved with Martin Luther King Jr.
It was while working with Dr. He pitched the idea of producing a comic book that could serve to spread the message of the boycott. Essentially, he wanted to create a guidebook for nonviolent protesting. Hassler worked with Toby Press to produce the comic book. Legendary cartoonist Al Capp lent a few artists, including one named Sy Barry , from his studio to draw it. King gave his own feedback on the comic book as well. The success of the comic led to countless other political groups using comic books to express their message to the masses. Recently, in honor of The Montgomery Story , Representative John Lewis used comics to tell his autobiography in the award-winning and best-selling graphic memoir series, March.
In , MLJ Magazines launched a teen humor feature based on a popular series of films starring Mickey Rooney as an everyteen. When comic sales took a drop in the late s, DeCarlo began taking more freelance assignments for Archie. Around , they successfully got him to commit to them full time by letting him draw in his own style. This pinup from Betty and Veronica No. Soon, every other artist at Archie had to draw like DeCarlo.
It was almost certainly through a collaboration between Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, but both men claimed it was their sole creation that they then brought to the other. Either way, there is no doubt about why this story changed comics for good. These were superheroes who acted like actual people. They had genuine reactions to each other and their situation.
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Within a year or so, Lee and Kirby as well as others, perhaps most notably Steve Ditko were applying this formula to all their new heroes and the Marvel Age of Comics was born. One can only read her blank-faced silence as benumbed shock at the arcane exposition of superhero continuity being performed by two men in her living room.
So, in a way, Barry Allen is the first fan-turned-pro. This was the very first of many, many long-winded continuity explanations in comics history. We selected this page for its final panel, which Roy Lichtenstein appropriated for one of his most famous Pop Art paintings, Whaam! Lichtenstein made millions from these and similar paintings, but the artists who did the original comics? Not so much. The Pop Art movement occupies a strange place in comics history. On the other hand, it reinforced the almost entirely American stereotype that comics were dumb crap made by hacks for morons.
Since the launch of Fantastic Four No. Working with Ditko on Spider-Man, however, Lee advanced the idea to a gut-wrenching new level. He instead decides to use his powers to make money and become famous. In the early s, a superhero revival brought back their three major Golden Age superheroes: Captain America, the Human Torch, and Namor. The effort flopped, but that revival was on the mind of publisher Martin Goodman when he directed Stan Lee to start writing superheros again.
However, perhaps due to Captain America being so associated with the Golden Age, they held back on reviving him too. The Avengers discovered Captain America had been in suspended animation for two decades. In a stunning artistic sequence from penciler Jack Kirby and inker George Roussos, Captain America wakes up, realizes his partner Bucky is dead, sees he is surrounded by strangers, but then quickly gathers himself.
By late , Ditko had kicked Lee off co-plotting duties for the series they co-created, The Amazing Spider-Man , meaning Lee only added his distinctive dialogue flourishes after the comics pages themselves had already been completed. While Ditko seemed to lose interest in Spidey at the end of his run, his love of Doctor Strange just got stronger, climaxing in an epic serialized battle between the Master of the Mystic Arts and his two main adversaries, Baron Mordo and the Dread Dormammu.
The fight took place in a string of cliff-hanger tales for over a year, from No. On this page, a highlight of the tale, Strange makes his way to the embodiment of the cosmos, Eternity, across one of the gonzo trans-dimensional vistas Ditko was known for concocting. Superheroes perform amazing feats of strength, speed, and skill seven times before breakfast. Super-scientist Reed Richards discovers what will come to be known as the Negative Zone, an other-dimensional realm rendered in photo-collage and delirious abstraction.
Fantastic Four No. At the same time, he was pushing his art into areas where even his drawing could not go. This seminal page not only proved a watershed for Marvel continuity by introducing the oft-used Negative Zone, but also by suggesting a kinship between Kirby and fine-art collage in Surrealism and Pop Art. Further, it anticipates the mixed-media work of such later comics artists on this list, such as Jim Steranko, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Dave McKean.
The moniker was unrelated to the political party of the same name, which had yet to officially form the name had already been in use in African-American political circles, so Kirby and Lee did not coin it. They did not simply want to introduce a new black superhero; it was important to make him stand out from the crowd. The success of the Black Panther paved the way for all other black superheroes who followed, as well as for the astounding success of his feature-film adaptation. After working on his co-creation for almost four years, Steve Ditko ultimately had enough with Marvel Comics and decided to leave the company.
Romita must have passed muster, as he moved over to take over Amazing Spider-Man from the departing Ditko with issue No. You could barely tell that Ditko was gone. One of the ways that Romita put his stamp on the title early on was visible in Amazing Spider-Man No. In subsequent years, the notion of Spidey hanging up the tights has become just about as commonplace as lectures about great power and great responsibility, but Lee and Romita did it best. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Robert Crumb. His older brother made him draw their own Dell-style comics, forcing him to develop cartooning skills that served him well after high school, when he got a job as a staff artist at the American Greetings card company in Cleveland.
Nevertheless, when the opportunity arose for him to go to New York and work for Kurtzman at one of his post- Mad comedy magazines, Crumb leapt at the chance, only to arrive and find that that magazine, Help! Broke and stuck in New York, Crumb began dropping LSD, still legal then and prescribed to his then-wife by her psychiatrist. Psychedelic drugs twisted the cartoon images instilled in his brain since childhood into new and exotic forms. That was never something Marvel had to worry about, though, with Jim Steranko. However, Steranko soon took off in his own direction: He merged comic-book art with Pop Art, the psychedelic with the surreal.
As often happens, a major innovation arrived in something that was on its last legs and thus had nothing to lose. He teams up with newly woke archer Green Arrow, who introduces his fellow Justice Leaguer to an old man on a ghetto rooftop who delivers this famous speech. The emerald duo then embarked on a series of social-issue-of-the-month adventures, tackling various ills like overpopulation, drug addiction , and pollution the only way superheroes have known how since Action Comics No. Their efforts seem a little cringeworthy today, like your dad trying to be cool while wielding an extraterrestrial ring of power; indeed, the ultraestablishment New York Times featured this rooftop scene in a typically condescending survey of superhero wokeness.
The Arrow-co-starring run on Green Lantern wound up not selling very well, but was hugely influential among creators young enough to be hippies themselves and ushered in a new generation of socially aware heroics. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Meredith Kurtzman. A perfect confluence of events made the underground comix movement financially viable. It was a great time to be in the underground … if you were a man, that is.
The underground comix business model was built on group efforts. A fellow decides to put out a new comic and he asks Friends A, B, and C to work on it. The issue was that it was only guys asking other guys. Robbins and Mendes decided that their only way of breaking into underground comix was by forming their own female-only group effort. The book was a major success, selling 40, copies over three printings, proving that there was a market for female-created and female-driven underground comix. His so-called Fourth World saga , a cluster of four interwoven titles, and in particular New Gods , brought a Biblical sense of scale to the genre.
Orion, warlike, tormented, is the linchpin of New Gods ; raised in New Genesis, he will fight the evil of Apokolips.
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Superheroes ever since, on page and screen, have sought to inhabit this same outsize sense of grandeur and threat. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Justin Green. At once sacrilegious, comic, and scary, this introductory page by cartoonist Justin Green imagines the work of making his autobiographical comic, Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, as an act of penance and a form of torture.
The threat of castration — so apt for a book about sexual guilt — hovers over Green as he seeks to explain, or excuse, this story about adolescence, religious mania, and what Green has since recognized as his OCD. From there, Binky Brown depicts a full-on plunge into hyperscrupulous overcompensation and self-torment, as filtered through an unsettled visual imagination.
Based on its topic, you might think that this pioneering confessional comic would be a drag. Binky is at once shameful and shameless, appalling and thrilling, embarrassing, excruciating, and hilarious. The confessional vein of underground and alternative autobiographical comics begins here.
Crumb, have declared their debt as well. Binky, wellspring of one of the key genres in 21st-century comics, is a scabrous and irreverent masterpiece. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Trina Robbins as Trina. That said, most of the stories tended to tell stories concerning feminist issues of the day. That the first non-pornographic comic-book story about an out lesbian character was written by a heterosexual woman caused some controversy at the time, but as Robbins later noted, it inspired one critic, artist Mary Wings, to create her own comic, Come Out Comix. Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Bobby London.
Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Aline Kominsky. Kominsky quickly seized the power of first-person cartooning, and her scratchily drawn horror vacui style demonstrated the potential of comics rendered in defiance of narrow standards of illustrative slickness.
Underground comix had their share of slickness, sure, but they also helped broaden the range of acceptable styles into the comix brut. With his promotion, Lee, who had already scaled back his comic-book writing, officially dropped his last two series, the two that meant the most to him: Fantastic Four and Amazing Spider-Man. Since Lee had already been cutting back, Marvel had gone through an influx of new, mostly very young writing talent.
One of these writers, Gerry Conway, was named the successor to Lee on Amazing Spider-Man when he was just 19 years old. In the fateful issue, the Green Goblin throws Gwen off of a bridge and Spider-Man catches her with his webbing — but in the process, her neck snaps. Gwen Stacy was by far the most famous character killed off in a superhero comic at this point and fans were outraged: Stan Lee was so irritated at the fan outcry that he insist that Conway bring her back.
So Conway introduced a clone of Gwen, leading to the first of many Spider-Man clone sagas. Thus, the first issue of Howard the Duck opens with a talking duck contemplating suicide by jumping into the Cuyahoga River. Gerber was one of a new breed of comics writers who excelled at emotionally charged stories dealing with abuse, identity, and low self-esteem disguised as superhero or horror comics.
This ought to be as dull as dirt, but thanks to the comic timing of writer Harvey Pekar and subtle graphic variations of cartoonist R. Crumb, the story exerts an undeniable pull. Comics have the ability to transform tedium — humdrum repetition, subtle changes, the ticking of a clock — into fascinating, even hypnotic sequences, and there are few better examples than this page. Laying out strips in stick figures, Pekar, a self-taught, working-class literary intellectual, urged his artists toward minute observation, insisting on a standard of unexaggerated realism even as he bared his hard-knock life and curmudgeonly persona.
Though Pekar would sometimes welcome the comics stylizations of Crumb and others, in general his comics avoided the grotesque heightening of a Justin Green or Aline Kominsky-Crumb other great comics memoirists in favor of a studied naturalism. Pekar also wrote several book-length comics, but his longer tales cannot match the knack for structure and payoff that he shows in the American Splendor shorts. Daily life in Cleveland was never so vividly captured, nor Crumb ever so well partnered with a writer.
Writer, penciler, inker, and letterer: Will Eisner. He spent the following decades in commercial and advertising work, primarily for the United States military. But Eisner never gave up his dream of legitimizing comics as a serious literary form. Eisner bundled this tale, along with three others about working-class Jews in the Bronx of the s, into a single volume, A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories.
So, as these things go, the phrase finally stuck, and Eisner was heralded as the father of the form. Since the s, countless legions of superheroes have been created. But only a select few have become iconic, household names. Wolverine — a. Logan — is one of those names. The book hit legendary status when the new team — writer Chris Claremont and artists John Byrne and Terry Austin — took over the book.
And under the magical pencils and inks of Byrne and Austin, the character was a short, solid, scruffy, cigar-smoking powerhouse. Early in the story, Wolverine is taken down by members of the Hellfire Club, seemingly left for dead in a sewer. As we find out, though, Wolverine can take a beating like no one else: The last panel, with a grimy and gritty, utterly determined Wolverine swearing revenge in the rushing waters of the sewer, established the template for his future visual and narrative depictions.
The second book must be Magic Elizabeth by - oh darn, the book is upstairs right now, so I can't check the author - it is actually only one doll, but has two main girl characters - one in modern day and one in the past - the modern day girl has to stay with her aunt and while in the attic discovers a diary about a girl in the past with a doll named Elizabeth who gets lost one Christmas Eve and isn't ever found. The modern girl dresses up in the old clothes from the chest and, with the help of an old mirror, is transported back in time to the life of the other girl where she relives the entire experience of having and then losing her doll Elizabeth - the modern day girl's goal becomes finding lost Elizabeth.
Kassirer, Norma. Magic Elizabeth. Scholastic, Inc. Young Sally while staying in creepy old house with her Aunt Sarah, tries to find an old doll named Elizabeth. I'm looking for a book about a girl around 12 who is sent to live with her stern maiden aunt for a summer. I think the aunt's name is Sarah, and she's incredibly stuffy.
This girl starts rooting around in the attic and finds a diary, some clothing, a doll, etc. In the end it turns out that Aunt Sarah was Sally. Any help would surely be appreciated. S64 is Magic Elizabeth by Norma Kassirer. My copy has the title page torn out, so I don't know the year, but it's a pretty common Scholastic Book Services title. Elizabeth is the doll's name. It was recently republished. The book you're thinking of is called "Magic Elizabeth". I don't know the author, but I know it had wonderful illustrations by Beth and Joe Krush.
The story was of Sally, who went to stay at an elderly aunt's house and finds in the bedroom allotted to her a portrait of a little girl her age who looks just like her, holding a wonderful doll. Aunt Sarah tells Sally that the doll's name was Elizabeth and the girl's name was Sally also. Through the book, Sally gets to know and love old Aunt Sarah and her black cat Shadow and has dreams in which she experiences going back in time to be the other Sally.
She wants to find Elizabeth, whom Aunt Sarah says disappeared a long time ago. Finally Shadow finds the doll and Sally finds out that the other Sally was her Aunt Sarah and the doll was hers.
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A favorite book of mine and of my daughter's, who I believe has it now which is why I can't put my hands on the author's name. S64 has got to be Magic Elizabeth , by Norma Kassirer "A grumpy aunt, a black cat, a spooky old house, and a doll named Magic Elizabeth," says the front cover. The aunt is named Sarah, and the little girl is named Sally. Thanks for the answer!
I'm thinking about this book as a gift for a neighbor girl for her birthday later in the year. If I can't find it locally, I'll turn right to you. I appreciate the service you provide. Your website is a lot of fun and brings back tons of good memories! I think this one is Magic Elizabeth by Norma Kassirer.
The little girl goes to stay with her a grandmother, not an aunt, but otherwise the details seem to match. It appears on your Solved Stumpers page, and it was recently republished. A few years ago, on a fluke after I happened to find your website, I entered a request for a search on a book I had read as a 5th grader in and had loved very much.. Forgetting about the website, about 4 years went by and just this week, I happened to fall upon it again. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for that because I just came home today to find it on my computer desk, a gift from my husband.
I have never forgotten how much I had loved this book. It will always be a treasure to me. The person has read the Burnett Secret Garden and that is not it. I have a suggested book for your stumper, Mandy , by Julie Edwards , published in The description calls it an "enchanting bestseller in the tradition of The Secret Garden.
Ten-year-old Mandy lived in a lovely orphanage where the kind Matron Bridie looked after her well. The good houskeeper, Ellie, slipped her special treats from the kitchen. Mandy was happy, but nothing Mandy had was hers alone. Until that magical day when she climbed the stone wall at the bottom of the orchard, followed a little path through the forest and found the most beautiful deserted, small cottage, sitting in the sunlight, as if it were smiling at her.
I don't know if Ellie was ever referred to as Elspeth, but it's worth a look if the date is right. They find a common interest in their love for "The Secret Garden" and in recovering the garden of a deserted, bombed-out house, which becomes their own 'secret garden'. No mention of an Elspeth character.
They start on the difficult search to find another house to rent and Elizabeth the youngest , who is visited by a make-believe horse when she is alone, insists that they follow the instructions given to her by the horse.
These lead eventually to an old deserted house in a walled garden. This was once the home of the squire, but it holds so many sad memories for him that he will not live in it himself or let it to anyone else. The children find an ally in the squire's sister and they are allowed to restore the garden to its former beauty. In time they get their wish and the house is theirs.
Perhaps, it is Elizabeth and her German Garden , the first book by Marie Annette Beauchamp --known all her life as "Elizabeth" , originally published in It starts like a diary. It is freely downloadable. Hi - don't know how much this will help or how old the question is!
The book sounds like Ginnie and the Mystery Doll. There is a secondary character named Elspeth, whom Ginnie befriends while staying at her crabby elderly auntie's house. Together Ginnie and Elspeth try to discover the whereabouts of a lost doll mentioned in an old diary. Hi there - I made a mistake earlier! I had the general plot right, but the wrong book. It's even still in print. Here's a short summary: Eight-year-old Sally faces an entire summer trapped in a creepy old house with no one for company but her spooky Aunt Sarah and a black cat named Shadow.
But soon Sally uncovers a mystery about a beautiful old doll in a portrait -- and a little girl who looks just like Sally herself! In search of clues, Sally is drawn toward the attic and the old mirror that sits there. And when she looks into it, something magical happens It was kind of a scary mystery about a girl who went to visit her Aunt or her Grandma, and while she was there she found a doll in the attic in a trunk.
The doll had special powers. I don't recall the doll being evil or anything. Can you help me locate this story? A common theme Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy? Checked Solved Mysteries for details. More likely the former. I've checked several of the options, Hitty and Behind the Attic wall , but neither were the one I was thinking of. Additionally it came to me that either the girls name or the dolls name may have been Elizabeth. I also checked the solved stories for that name - but couldn't find it there either. Thank you so much for the assistance in trying to find this book.
Could this be Magic Elizabeth by Norma Kassirer? So many hidden dolls Arthur, A Candle in her Room , Very scary. The doll's name is Dido, and it tries to control the girl who finds it. Janet Lunn, Twin Spell , This one has twins, a hidden doll, a missing doll, and an angry ghost.
Jacqueline Jackson, Missing Melinda , More twins, another missing doll, found in an attic, but not scary. More of a treasure hunt mystery. Jane had a missing doll book as well. The others mentioned might be it as well Norma Kassirer, Magic Elizabeth. Magic Elizabeth, that's it!
I've found a copy and the front cover is exactly the same as I remember now. Thank you so much!! I'm buying the copy for my 11 year old niece so she can enjoy it to. Thanks again! The child is frightened at first thinking the aunt who has a black cat, is a witch. Also remember a player-type of piano. The child while playing on an old sled in the carriage house is somehow transported back to the Victorian Era. I believe it was the sled that was magical but it could have been an old diary perhaps?? Thanks so much!! Norma Kassirer , Magic Elizabeth , I'm pretty sure this is the book you are thinking about.
Sally has to go stay with her aunt who lives in old Victorian house. She finds a diary of a little girl who use to live in the house and lost her favorite doll. Sally has dreams that correspond to events in the diary. One includes a sleigh ride. Norma Kassirer , Magic Elizabeth. See solved stumpers! One of my favorites! I recognized the storyline right away.
Sally must stay with her Great Aunt Sarah while her parents and usual caregiver are away. Your details aren't bang-on but they're close enough that this must be the book--sorry it is so hard to find, I'd like a copy myself! Sal goes to stay with her Aunt Sarah and finds out about a doll, Elizabeth, that had been lost in the house years before. She keeps having dreams about going back in time, and eventually she and the aunt's cat find the doll. The "player piano" is a melodeon in the parlor. Norma Kassirer , Magic Elizabeth, Sounds like this could be the book because Sally, whose parents are out of town, goes to stay with her Great-aunt Sarah at her large and scary-looking old house which is surrounded by apartment buildings.
Sally discovers that when she looks into a wall mirror, she sees another girl from the early s, also named Sally, who lived in the house then. She also discovers her diary in the attic. Thanks, I found the book I was looking for via the Book Sleuth forum. The seller confirmed with pictures. Bsure this isn't The Sign of the Beaver? B boy in wilderness: I don't think this is it, but in The Magic Forest , by Stewart White first published s, reprinted many times young Jimmy sleepwalks from a stalled train into the forest, wearing only pajamas and slippers.
He is found at the river's edge by canoing Indians who give him native clothes to wear because his are wet through from the snow. A book that sounds exactly like this came up on the Abebooks booksearch board. Thanks -- not sure it's the same one, but it sounds like it could be! I've sent for a copy and will let you know if it's the same story. Yes, that was the book. Thanks so much. This was a book about a young girl and a friend.
They were near the ocean or a lake. There were drawings of the rocks, which were very pretty when wet. Maybe one of the friends was moving away? Baker Bond, Gladys, The magic friend-maker. Illustrated by Stina Nagel It was published in large format by Whitman in approx This is definitely the book! He goes off to study the violin in Italy and when he returns he finds the girl in the garden. That's it!! Now, the big question is does Harriet have it?
I would prefer to buy it here!! Their mother sends them from the house on the moving day complaining that she is allergic to dust and they find this shed in their new back yard with a stove in it. I believe it is missing a dial, and a strange man comes and brings them a dial with a setting on it that says something like 'magic' on it. They cook recipes which become magical when they use this setting. The only magic I remember is that one or all of the children become invisible. I can't remember what the conclusion is except that I think the man comes back and takes away the dial.
Please help me find this!! Jay Williams, The Magic Grandfather , , copyright. Sam is the boy, it's his grandfather that gets stuck in Beta, and the girl is Sam's cousin, Sarah, who finds out at the end that she got Grandpa back through the portal because she's a witch.
The boy must develop his concentration skills, and practices by imagining a brick wall, one brick at a time. The Magic Grandfather was actually by Jay Williams , but I haven't read it so I can't tell you whether this is the right book. This is definitely the book you're looking for! Eleven year old Sam Limner accidentally discovers that his seemingly unemployed, unambitious grandfather is actually a powerful enchanter. His grandfather decides to cast a spell over Sam to make him forget what he has learned, but agrees to let Sam witness one spectacular feat of magic first.
Sam has already seen his grandfather perform some small acts of magic, like mending a broken window, pulling a child's chipped tooth, and repairing a car that won't start. When Grandfather decides to summon a creature from another world, he allows Sam to hold a necessary piece of equipment.
Sam drops the equipment during the spell, and Grandfather is sucked into the other world, where he becomes trapped. Sam, with the help of his cousin Sarah, decides to rescue his grandfather.
Clive Gifford - Author
Sam studies his grandfather's magic books and discovers that he has a talent for sorcery that has been obscured because an addiction to television has ruined his powers of imagination and concentration. He strengthens his imagination by reading a passage from The Wind in the Willows and imagining Badger' kitchen. He has trouble picturing the kitchen's brick floor, and concentrates so that he can imagine it in detail, brick by brick. After many mishaps, Sam rescues his grandfather, who acknowledges his talent and promises to help him develop it.
If the author's name sounds familiar, it's because he is also a co-author of the Danny Dunn science fiction seriesand he plugs the first book in The Magic Grandfather! The Magic Grinder, Part of the Disney's Wonderful World of Reading series. Thank you so much for this site! I sent you this stumper and that's absolutely the book I was looking for. If you can, please post my thanks to the person who solved it. I've been looking for that piece of my childhood for years and I'm delighted to finally have the name! Mysterious and Company by Sid Fleischman , only in that book the children were his own, so there would be nothing about picking up or leaving them.
Mysterious and Company -- I checked it out. The details I listed are all very accurate -- I remember the plot clearly, but unfortunately I just blanked on the title. I hope someone is able to figure this one out, as I would love to get my hands on a copy of this great book!!
Thanks for all your help. Good news! I went back to my "childhood" library this weekend and they still have the book - it's called The Magic Hat of Mortimer Wintergreen. Now I just need to locate a copy of it that I can keep I tried bribing the librarian but to no avail! This is really a long shot, but could this be Magic in the Alley by Mary Calhoun? The main character is a girl, with a friend who's a boy, and she reanimates a stuffed crow with magic, which can then talk. At the end of the book she must decide whether to use her last magic to turn the crow into a real non-magic crow, who will lose the ability to talk.
As I said, really a longshot. I looked this up and found only one expensive ex-library copy, but here's the info: Calhoun, Mary: Magic in the Alley. New York: Atheneum, Oh My! It could be-- as I said all I remember are very vague things. I just remember being really affected by the choice that had to be made I will now go out looking for this book.
Was Mary Calhoun the author of the Katie John books?? P is, I think, another Ruth Chew book. Plot summary: "Jenny and her friend Mike discover a magic tree and an old man who feeds the birds in the park. They discover that the tree moves around and that they can go underground and become birds with the help of the magic beech tree. The setting is in winter. Thanks for any help! The book I am looking for was probably a scholastic book from the 70's.
I think it was about a girl who moves to the city into an apartment and befriends a boy. Together they discover a tree in the park that is sometimes there and sometimes not when it is not there, a man who feeds the animals and keeps them safe in the pockets of his coat is there - he of course turns into the tree. They learn how to turn into birds or squirrels - I can't remember which and then back into humans by eating nuts I think from that tree.
Any help remembering the title and author is much appreciated! Ruth Chew, Magic in the Park. I posted this question last week but think I soon found the answer on your website. I am pretty sure the book is Magic in the Park by Ruth Chew. Magic in the Park by Ruth Chew? What's amazing about her is how she makes writing books for that age level look so easy. She's written about two dozen fantasy books and one non-fantasy book. See Solved Mysteries for her name.
A Boy and Girl meet an old man who feeds the birds in winter, who turns green in the spring, then disappears, but a big tree appears. Kids fall into the tree and turn into birds -- maybe crows. Adventurous tales. Ruth Chew, Magic in the Park , , approximate. Definitely this one! She visits Prospect Park and meets an old man who feeds the birds, a raven named Napoleon, and a boy named Michael Stewart. Jen and Michael explore a magic island in the lake that turns into an underground tunnel, and a magic tree that temporarily turns them into pigeons.
In the spring, Jen gets a bike for her birthday, but a mean boy named Steve tries to steal it. Mike helps her get it back, but almost gets stuck as a pigeon! Sounds like Magic in the Park. I am sure that the book you are looking for is Magic in the Park by Ruth Chew.
I am the original requester. I recognized it immediately. I also recognized the plot of the story from some of your stumper solver comments. I am so happy. It's really been bugging me trying to find this book. I really want my children to read it, cuz I loved it so much. I see they reprinted it in the 80's, so it must have been pretty popular. Mady Lee Chastain, Magic Island, Every detail matches. It's an interesting cultural artifact, and a book that couldn't be written today. My copy is a withdrawn library copy with the usual defects, but no story pages missing.
I've been looking for this book too. For some reason, I think it's by the author of the Best Friends , books, Mary Bard , if that's any help. I found it! It was Dodie putting on her cloak. It includes you, too. Angel Thorne, a sickly ten year old, is sent to stay with her grandfather's boyhood friend. He decides to send her to Barbados to recuperate, along with his granddaughter Lissa, and her two friends, Emmy and Dodie.
This is the third book Madye Lee Chastain wrote about these girls. I don't think Dodie ever got her own book! It was about three children- all girls, I think- who were taken on a trip to a tropical island. I think two of them belonged to the same family. The third was named Dodie, and she thought she wasn't invited.
She cried, "I hope you all have a very nice time," and then some adult in the romm said, "Why, Dodie! Dodie, DEAR! Of course you are invited too. Madye Lee Chastain , Magic Island. This is the same book as T, which has been solved. I too thought it was a Little Golden Book. There was another series of books in the 's that was similar to Little Golden Books called Jolly Books.
I too had a 20 year search for this book after giving our copy to a doctors office when I was a child. My first bit of luck was finding the cover in an antique shop near home , the shop owner thought it was cute and that someone might want to frame it. It was a bargain at 5 cents. It gave us a starting point. I called my sister in VA for the storyline since after locating it from a book dealer, I gave it to her for Christmas in In this place the toadstools seem to grow or are they getting smaller? Tommy tells him the only magic words he knows are "by hickory and by dickory" which happen to be some of "the magic words of the elves" and Gruffy takes them off to the Queen Fairy to decide what should be done with them.
They go to the biggest tree in the forest and a door opens for them to enter. Once inside they meet the queen and it is decided that the children will have to stay till after the Queen's party. The children get to see the fairy party dresses and Tommy gets to sail in an Oak leaf boat.
Whoever was asking about this book had a pretty good recollection to remember the boat part. For me it was the fairy party, the toadstools and the Big rock with the keyhole. The other had a child, boy I think, finding a mysterious key which opens a door in an old stone wall - I think a horse and a crow or raven also appear in there somewhere. Anybody out there ever read anything that sounds like these beginnings? I can't remember anything more than that, and would like to know how the stories finished! Regarding the second part of this request: There are two main boy characters in this story, and a girl- she finds a key to a locked garden, and helps her cousin to discover the real world, after being bed-ridden all his life.
They make friends with Dickon- a boy from the moors or dales, who has a pony and a crow or some other bird. I think I missed the second part of this one previously. Also check out The Magic Key on the Solved Mysteries page, that's one that eluded me for a long time since it sounded much like The Secret Garden , but clearly wasn't. This was an illustrated story of a brother and sister who found a gold key in the woods.
It opened a tiny door at the base of a large tree, and that led them into fairyland. My memory tells me the illustrations of fairies were wonderful. It's on Solved Mysteries. Workman Publishing, Used copy, VG but lacking locket. New copy. Maybe this one - "The author here writes, as he did in a number of books, of isolated children with extraordinary mental powers. Just imagine what happens when one of them finds out he can really take them there. Oh yeah, this is it - the first chapter is called The Dandelions.
Alexander Key, The Magic Meadow. They can't move their bodies much but they play the "traveling game" every night and imagine themselves away from Ward Nine. One night Brick is able to go to their magic meadow and no one believes him when he returns until Nurse Jackson sees a dandelion under his neck. He is able to transport all of the others to the meadow in the nick of time since their hospital has been condemned and the kids are going to be split up. Very memorable story. Thank you, thank you. Too bad The Magic Meadow is out of print and hard to find. However, I did find a website to re-read the book online.
What a gem. Once there they notice that they develope psychic powers and I think their handicap challenges resolve The stronger maybe older children help the other ones to "come over". There are a few back and forth visits until finally they decide to stay. The natives of this new place sing to bring up the sun and everyone communicates telepathically. Key, Alexander, The Magic Meadow. Several severely handicapped children in an institution manage to escape by using the power of their minds.
They travel to another place earth in the future - the one with the most ability has to make several trips back and forth to bring them all there and he almost doesn't make it. Their nurse caregiver comes with them and they all start on a wonderful new life. The people already there do sing to the sun and are welcoming and kind. My sister just lent me this book and the details match the poster's memories. There is more information on the solved mystery pages.
Alexander Key, The Magic Meadow , This is definitely the book. See the Solved Mysteries M page for more information. A magician gives Millicent a doll instead of a rabbit, and she and her father try to find the magician again. Viking Press, written and illustrated by Turkle. Outwitted by a magician who gives her a doll instead of a promised white rabbit, Millicent and her father travel to Paris and London in pursuit of the trickster.
Was looking at it just before the answer to the "Pot called Peep" stumper was posted. Looking in the store just now, I couldn't find it, meaning it was probably sold, although things around there do have a funny way of disappearing and reappearing. Anyhow, it was called something like The Imp in the Pot and was about an imp that took the form of one of those large black three-legged cooking pots. It was one of those small cheap hardcover easy readers which appeared in profusion in the '60s.
The pot kept jumping around and the imp popping up shouting, "Hucka pucka! Junior Bookshelf review again: Patricia Coombs " The Magic Pot " published by World's Work, , 32 pages "The demon who turns into a black iron pot with a 'Hucka-pucka' and robs the rich to feed the appreciative poor, hucka-puckaing off with the rich man in a fine mystery ending Thank you so much for finding these, your site is priceless!!
Maurice Dolbier, The Magic Shop , This was also anthologized in "Best in Children's Books," Vol. Arnold Lobel Parents' Magazine Press,'65? I have often wondered the same myself. Grandfather Owl wears spectacles and answers questions and solves arguments for all the other animals in the woods. Little Toot aspires to be as knowledgable and attributes this knowledge to Grandfather's Spectacles.
One day he gets to try them, but alas, they tell him nothing. Grandfather Owl explains "Spectacles are for seeing and not for knowing. Knowing comes with growing and growing. Moore, Lilian. Illustrated by Arnold Lobel. Parents' Magazine Press, Cover slightly soiled and binding worn, otherwise G. There was a boy in his bed, who either couldn't sleep and was told a story about this night train, or dreamed of this train speeding through the countryside at night. Most of the illustrations were dark and pen-and-ink-like, and I specifically remember a page where the train was out of control and the boy or conductor or both were pulling back hard on the throttle to stop it.
I believe the cover was dark, like night. It was a relatively thin hardback. I would love to find this book for my sister, who is now a reading teacher. We read it in the mid- to lates, but I think it was used even then. Just a suggestion. David M. McPhail, The Train , Could this be it? Ages Lilian Moore, The Magic Spectacles , One Good Dragon Deserves Another.
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