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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?

292M: Flying dog

A little flying dog delights its little girl owner. It’s a picture book but I only remember little girl sitting in a big armchair with the dog perched on the back or maybe it was flying. I think the dog looked like a  For context, I’m 54 and would have been a little girl when I had this book.

292J: Wise Old Owl

I don’t know the title or author; it was a children’s book for preschoolers that was read to me more than 80 years ago. One of the characters was a wise old owl who sat in a tree, saying, “I am thinking important thoughts I didn’t have time to think yesterday.” this line has been quoted in my family ever since to anyone who was staring into space, daydreaming.  I have long wondered what the book was.  Thanks for any help you can provide.

292I: A Royal Family ‘roman a clef

Back in the l980s or early 1990s, I read a recently-published ‘roman a clef’ about the British Royal Family.  Cannot remember the title or the author.  The main character was “Princess Louise’ (aka “Louie”) who was clearly modeled on the real-life Princess Anne.  She was widowed, lived in Kensington Palace, and had a pet parrot.  In the novel, she had been born into the Russian (Romanov) Imperial Family but had married the heir to the British throne.  Part of the plot may have involved a potential kidnapping.  I am not sure, but there may have been a sequel (or two).

292H: The Weiry Wax

I am looking for  a children’s book . . .

Title:      (not sure)     The Weiry Wax         Alternate spellings: Wiery, Weary       Wacks

Approx publication dates:   older! I read it sometime between 1945 and 1950. It could have been a 1930s publication. I’m born 1941. Been seeking this book for 60+ years, for my grandchildren, and myself. Contemporaneous with PING, the Chinese duck and the junk boatman.  I mean, I was reading these books at roughly same time. Also that Brownie book, of 1930s or ’40s.  Barbar….that era.

Description:  children’s book, roughly that picture book format/size, glossy cover, with the 30  or so pages of text and  art.

The main characters, I believe on the cover, were the Weiry Wax  (or ___ Wacks, or Weary ___), but I think the spelling was like a ‘weir’ (low dam) They were roundish, something like a mummer meets a sea urchin. Black.  A coal-black snowball, with spines.

I’m reminded of them whenever I see the soot sprites in Miyazaki’s TOTORO–the little black dust balls. These guys were bigger than that, but not more than knee or waist high on a child.

I can’t remember the other characters….was there a human? don’t know. It’s just that the Weiry Wax themselves scared me mucho, but they weren’t too evil, I think, and I came to be fond of them. Wanted one for a pet.  (They may have been dreadful: I was a weird kid, only child, active imagination.)  Pretty sure they had eyes, like the Miyazaki sprites, and not much else.  Stubby legs/feet maybe. Like a Shmoo, but definitely in the dark part of any shmoo universe. I don’t think they were there to help.  Guess they lived in a forest. They might have carried a staff or spear, ergo hands/arms.

292G: On a bluff overlooking the water

I remember reading this book in the early to mid 1970s – gothic mystery, paperback, set in a big mansion on the coast of NC. A woman is hired as a secretary, to a wealthy man, and moves to (New Bern, NC?) to work for him, in his home. She rarely sees her boss, who has some strange rules about where she can and cannot go in the house – one of which, I believe, is a central courtyard area, where she discovers a number of young women walking around at night. At some point, she finds a hidden doorway to an elevator – an entrance to a basement harem of beautiful women who are basically being held against their will, guarded by eunuchs. When she is discovered, (if I am recalling this correctly), she gets added to the harem but eventually manages to escape. Focus was leading up to the discovery of and being held in the harem. The escape was only the last 1/4 of the story if I recall correctly.

It’s been quite a while since I read this so my facts may be slightly off. It was a really good story, badly written – but I would love to find the name of it again and re-read it. No idea who the author was or the main character’s names – Seems to me the cover was a photo of the house with the ocean behind it – maybe her in a dark red dress, fleeing the house which is up on a bluff overlooking the water.  Very dark and foreboding. Any help finding this one would be appreciated. I’ve searched and searched….

292F: Boy teaches children to fly

I believe I read this book in the mid-1960s from the school library. A new boy shows up in the community and, over the course of the summer, teaches all of his classmates to fly. Spoiler alert: it turns out he is actually a bird temporarily in boy form, and when he leaves at the end of the summer (presumably to migrate), one of the girls (maybe a loner who has no family?) goes with him, as a bird. I don’t think it’s the girl from whose point of view the story is told, but that’s possible. The title that sticks in my head, but which I think is wrong, is That Summer, the Birds. THANK YOU!!!

292E: The Middle Child

Possible title The Middle Child? Shy young pioneer girl defends her lone apple tree from drought, locust and pigs, but Native Americans arrive and enjoy eating all but the last apples. She learns she is brave and generous.