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Welcome to the Stump the Bookseller blog!  Stump the Bookseller is a service offered by Loganberry Books to reconnect people to the books they love but can’t quite remember. In brief (for more detailed information see our About page), people can post their memories here, and the hivemind goes to work. After all, the collective mind of bibliophiles, readers, parents and librarians around the world is much better than just a few of us thinking. Together with these wonderful Stumper Magicians, we have a nearly 50% success rate in finding these long lost but treasured books. The more concrete the book description, the better the success rate, of course.  It is a labor of love to keep it going, and there is a modest fee.  Please see the How To page to find price information and details on how to submit your Book Stumper and payment.

Thanks to everyone involved to keep this forum going: our blogging team, the well-read Stumper Magicians, the many referrals, and of course to everyone who fondly remembers the wonder of books from their childhood and wants to share or revisit that wonder.  Isn’t it amazing, the magic of a book?

307P: She falls in love with horses

 

It’s a YA Book. I read it in the 1980’s. It’s about a dad and daughter. The dad is a house flipper (although that concept wasn’t around in the 80’s) – they live in the house while he fixes it up because money is tight. She starts working at a barn and doing chores and falls in love with horses. Other girls there have more money and nicer horses. The “prettiest” girl hurts herself in a competition and then the main character gets to ride her horse

Can you help?

307O: Children’s book about tornadoes

I’m looking for a children’s book about tornadoes.  Tornado may have been in the title.  It was likely published sometime in the 80s.

It was possibly from a book club or a book fair at an elementary school.  When I was in elementary school in Arkansas in the 80s, the teacher gave us paper catalogs about 4 pages long, I think.  We could order books from the catalogs and they were delivered to the school many weeks later.  It may have come from one of those.

It seems like the catalogs were associated with Weekly Reader or maybe a company called Owl (my bad memory may be remembering that completely wrong).

The book was paperback.  It had only had a few photos.  I think it taught kids the basics of understanding weather and weather forecasting.

 

307N: Expat parents killed in Africa

 

Published pre 2006, probably UK author.

In the prologue, a UK expat family is somewhere in Africa, and the parents are suddenly killed, I think in a helicopter crash that turns out not to be an accident.  The children sounded interesting, but they aren’t very relevant to the rest of the story.

The rest of the story focuses on a single male protagonist, in his 30s or 40s, probably the brother of the woman who was killed.  He is drawn into some international conspiracy, is at some physical peril, and solves things.

I thought it was by Sam Llewellyn but I can’t find it on his website.  It has that kind of feel – like Sam Llewellyn or Dick Francis or the Canadian Jon Evans, a likeable but lonely amateur accidentally falling into a crime network.

In the mass market paperback edition I read in Canada in the late 1990s or early 2000s, the cover might have had a silhouette of a tree on a yellowish sky, and the title might have been Under the (some variety of exotic) Tree.

307M: There may or may not have been a brother

I’m trying to help my daughter find a book (part of a series actually) that had a family, possibly from the Victorian era ( the sisters had poofy dresses) . There may or may not have been a brother. There was one scene where two of the sisters, or a sister and a friend, are talking and the conversation paraphrases 1 Corinthians 13:12 about ” through a glass darkly”. There is also a  different scene where one girl is on a balcony looking down on people. She read this book in middle school in the early 90s, but thinks the book was printed in the 70s or 80s. She read above her grade level, so it was not necessarily a middle school book. Also she remembers that where it was placed on the shelf in the library meant the authors last name was not at the beginning or end of the alphabet.

Thanks!

 

307L: A white mouse hidden in the illustrations

Looking for over sized, illustrated book of fairy tales, likely published in 60s or 70s. It was about the size of an Encyclopedia volume. Green cover with a giant on the spine. Illustrated by many artists, not a singular illustrator. 3 Little Pigs illustrations had a white mouse hidden in the illustrations. The illustrations in Jack the Giant Killer were scary and realistic. The book contained Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty, The Tinder Box, Matchstick Girl, The Brave Little Tailor, and many others. Your help is appreciated.

307K: Berries in front of the fire

I had a book as a child that was about 10-12 inches long and about the size of normal tablet paper. It was hard back and rather thin with no more than 50-75 pages but probably much less. The outside cover was a light bluish color leaning toward the teal side of the blue spectrum. It had whimsical pictures with each short story and was about animals such as a Rabbit, Hedgehog/Porcupine and possibly a raccoon. There are a few stories I remember a little of. Most of what I remember are the illustrations and I have been searching near and far for many years. I was born in 77, so it had to have been published before then, right around then and or no later than very early 80's. One story, one of the animals takes his fathers boot and makes a flower pot out of it for his mom. Another story there is a rustic fireplace and a porcupine/hedgehog and another animal are eating berries in front of the fire. Another, there is a sort of party outside and the table was made from a tree with stumps as seats. This is not any of the classics like Peter rabbit, wind in the willows etc. Its very obscure in my opinion. I cannot remember the author or title but I will know instantly if its "the" book if I could just find one of the illustrations but I have been unsuccessful for so many years. I hope very much that you are able to help me.

307J: Children’s anthology with a very big toe

Children’s anthology, the edition I had in the 80s had a red cover, stories were all illustrated and included one about a king who couldn’t find shoes to wear because his Big toe was very long, eventually found a man that made him silk stockings with the toes done in black thread and shoes that had toes that curled up at the end so his long toe would fit. Another story was about a fairy that was sad because she couldn’t go to the fairy party (maybe a midsummer’s eve party) because her clothes were tattered. Her mice friends borrowed silk from the silk worms that they wove into a dress and dyed it blue with berries, then they found cornflowers for her to wear in her hair because her eyes were blue. Another story was about a little girl who lived in Holland and whose father was a tulip farmer. They grew every color tulip. Somehow her father created a bigger tulip bulb for her that grew into a larger tulip that was rainbow colored. There may have also been a story about an emperor and a nightingale, but I didn’t read that one as much as the other stories in the book. Thank you for your help!!

307I: Boy and Agoraphobic Sister Orphaned in NYC

I am looking for a fiction book I read as a child, probably in the 1970s, about a brother and sister living in New York City (possibly Soho?).  They are left alone and their parents do not come home, so the brother learns to scrounge food on the streets.  His sister is afraid to go outside.  The boy meets a children’s book illustrator in another building, who begins using him in her drawings.  She takes him to the beach (the Rockaways?) in her convertible, and I believe she eventually adopts the boy and girl.

307H: Children’s book with moveable character on a string

Last summer, I bought my son a new children’s book which contained several characters which dangled from the book on strings – the concept was that you could move the characters in between pages so they could give “hugs” to the other characters. I bought it because it reminded me so much of a book I loved as a child. When I brought the new book home, my sister had the same reaction: “this is making me think of a book from when we were growing up!”
The best clues I can come up with:
– I was born in 1984 and my sister in 1980 (we also have a younger brother born in 1987).
– Our grandma loved to give us vintage books, so it may have been even older, though I suspect it was from the 1980s.
– There was one character on a string, sturdier than a single sheet of paper but not as thick as a board book. The string–about 6 inches long–was glued into the binding of the book. The concept was to move the character from page to page and bring him throughout the story of the book. He was probably about 2 or 3 inches tall.
– The book had interactive elements – for example, I remember vividly that you could somehow insert him on a slide, and he could “ride” down the slide as you pushed the little character along the page.
– I think the character was an animal (a bear? A weasel? Something brown?) but my memory is so faint on this that it may very well have been a human.