Help pinning down a few childhood books/movies?
May 10, 2024 9:29 PM   Subscribe

I need help identifying a few childhood books/movies that I forgot the names to.

How I wish the human memory wasn't so fallible!

Book A: This was a children's book, and the best I can remember it is, a human boy had a dream that he flew over to an alternative universe where he was part of a bear family – live stuffed bears that were live, including parents and grandparents. The bears lived in regular houses and was even part of a bear town. I think the boy was initially scared of bears, and the dream broke his fear. I think. I remember it was pretty well-illustrated and cute. Definitely not the Berenstain Bears (although I loved them growing up; I remember noticing their unusual last name as a young kid, and became a fan).

Book B: This was a story that was part of a big blue book with a collection of tales. This story was about an ugly, crooked house in a nice neighborhood that was disliked by its owner because it was so ugly, so the owner tried to sell the house. The house then made itself even more uglier so nobody would want to buy it, and the owner realized how lucky he was to have the house.

Book C: As in #2, can you please help identify the blue books' name? I remember the spine was a dark blue, while the front and back were a bit lighter, but still blue. The books came with covers you could put on, but they were long since then lost. They came in two pairs; one had more of a focus on fairy tales, while the second was more of tales and other stories. (Such stories included the Little House; extracts from one of the Ramona books in which she was told by her teacher to sit for the present, but Ramona thought she was getting a present; and a story about a poor older couple who found a magical pot that duplicated everything in it — if that helps narrow it down.)

Book D: Another collection book, but this one had a particular story I remember; of a family which had some financial problems, and went through some rough times. One scene I particularly remember was somebody was heartbroken and described dessert after dinner as "ice cream, which lovingly cooled down and closed up the wound" or something like that (again, my memory is not perfect). The theme of this collection book wasn't really fairy tales, but more of life lessons (non-religious).

Book E: I asked this back in 2022, but figured it wouldn't hurt to ask again. Two children; a brother and sister; visit their grandparents, or Grandma, at a nice house up in the woods. The children are scared and can't sleep, presumably by hearing weird noises. They explore the house to investigate, and goes up to a messy attic that is creepy and has spiderwebs (I think), and a broken lamp (maybe?). They reunite with their grandma/grandparents and parents on the top floor, or on a balcony viewing the forest. The artwork in this book was stunning as well, and was pre-dominantly blue, and was up in the mountains, but not so far up. It was mainly mountains and was all at night, but very well done with lights at the right place, etc.

All books above are children's books.

Movie: This was an early 90s or late 80s movie about two teenager siblings who treated their parents awfully. They were a brother-sister pair. I believe the dad worked in a business and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps. The siblings were in high school. They drove their parents so batty that the parents abandoned the kids and moved out to a trailer park/RV. The siblings eventually regretted their behavior/actions and went to the trailer park to apologize to their parents. This movie is not House Arrest, which is a recommendation I've gotten in the past.

Oh, and I'm glad to say for the 2022 post, I recently found out Book #1 was Marcus and Lionel. I got to reread it in its splendid form, and it was very satisfying being "reunited" with a book I loved as a kid again as an adult.
posted by dubious_dude to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think there is a very good chance that I also had Book C when I was growing up; if so, it's The World Treasury of Children's Literature, edited by Clifton Fadiman.
posted by Jeanne at 10:09 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Book A was self-resolved by coincidence—was searching for vintage books! Turns out it is Who Wants an Old Teddy Bear? and the boy didn't want a stuffed teddy bear—he wanted a toy instead. Nothing to do with fear. The rest of the book matched my memory. Yay!

@Jeanne, you were on spot! Book B ended up being "The House in Sunflower Street" (a short story translated from Germany, apparently, and a story within Book C) and indeed, Book C was what you said it was.

Whew, two books left to go, and the movie. Gotta love, such a valuable resource!
posted by dubious_dude at 11:50 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: The movie was found! It's The Day My Parents Ran Away (1993). Yay!

Looks like I misremembered the sister—it actually was his girlfriend, it appears. But, what a relief, I finally found it!
posted by dubious_dude at 5:29 PM on May 21

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