Looking for two books for kids
April 12, 2006 12:37 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to remember the titles and authors of two possibly linked young adult novels.

The first one—of which I think the second is a sequel—is about a kid and a dog who go into a bakery. There is a kindly old lady behind the counter who turns out to be wearing a false chin. She takes off the chin and reveals herself to be an evil wizard with whom the kid had (possibly in another novel?) previously tangled. The wizard has stars on his cloak. As the old lady, he has his hair in a bun.

The book ends with something involving pie.

I think the second novel I'm looking for is by the same author, but I may be confused because both books involve fog (?).

In the second novel, a kid in a small town is... tending to chickens? Then a show comes to town—on a foggy night—and the kid sneaks into the theater and discovers that the performer is some sort of charlatan. I think there is something about a coffin or coffin nails in there.

The second novel is quite spooky, and the first is a little spooky. The first novel is probably for a slightly younger audience than the second, and had more illustrations, but it was not a picture book.

Does anyone recognize either or both of these two books?
posted by interrobang to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
I know I've read the second one you describe. The charlatan's name was part of the title. Mister Something's Amazing Something?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:53 PM on April 12, 2006

It's not Mister Mysterious, I'm pretty sure, that's about a family with a traveling magic show.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:59 PM on April 12, 2006

Is the second one Something Wicked This Way Comes by Bradbury? It was a really creepy movie as well as a book.
posted by jessamyn at 12:59 PM on April 12, 2006

Response by poster: No, that's not it. From the Amazon synopsis:

The wonder workers are heading for California, where Pa intends to retire the show so that the kids can go to school. But the frontier has tricks of its own up its sleeve, and the magicians find themselves in hairbreadth escapes and nose-to-nose encounters with villains galore--including the notorious and short-tempered Badlands Kid.

In the book I'm looking for, the person putting on the show is definitely a bad guy, and it's not about his adventures. It's about the kid uncovering something.
posted by interrobang at 12:59 PM on April 12, 2006

Response by poster: And it's not by Bradbury.
posted by interrobang at 1:00 PM on April 12, 2006

Best answer: DAMN! Pinkstainlesstail, it wasn't your book, but it was by the same author!


Now, anyone know the second one?
posted by interrobang at 1:01 PM on April 12, 2006

Response by poster: (The first one, I mean...)
posted by interrobang at 1:03 PM on April 12, 2006

Best answer: DAMN! Pinkstainlesstail, it wasn't your book, but it was by the same author!

You know, I think that's why I landed on Mister Mysterious and Company even though it doesn't match, because I've read both of these. Looks like the edition on Amazon has new illustrations from what I remember, which were extra creepy. Old cover picture here (By Erik Von Schmidt).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:17 PM on April 12, 2006

Response by poster: That's the cover I remember, too.
posted by interrobang at 1:20 PM on April 12, 2006

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