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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?

203F: 80’s Haunted House book..Scholastic or Dell/Yearling?

I’m looking for a kid’s/teen book from the early 80’s. I believe it may have been a Scholastic or Dell/Yearling book, and if I remember correctly it had a yellow cover. It was about a family that puts on a haunted house at their home, and they have the customers put their hands into a hole to feel things (grapes are peeled eyeballs, spaghetti is brains, etc.). I also think they may have hung sheets up to divide the house into walking areas. There is a similar, newer book I found called Tuck’s Haunted House, but the character in that is a pig, and this was definitely a human family. For some reason I remember the name as being like ‘The Millers Haunted House’ or ‘The Wilsons Haunted House’, something with a surname in the title, but I could be wrong. I read it around the same time that I was into Choose Your Own Adventures and Encyclopedia Brown. Thanks for the help ;)

203E: Surrealist landscapes for kids

I’m looking for a picture kids book from probably the 70’s or early to mid 80’s. It was like traveling through surrealist or magical realist landscapes. Lots of architecture, like archways and pillars/columns, and far off landscapes, lots of lavender and greys, maybe had a feeling of Magritte paintings with lots of sky in the pictures, and men in suits, and some flat water.

I think it had a landscape orientation. It might possibly be one that has those weird half pages inside of it that show the picture in a different way when you turn the page, similar to Jacko, but it was much larger than that, and I’m not sure. I mostly remember the feeling of the images — surreal and weird landscape. Rob Gonsalves art somewhat reminds me of it: http://bit.ly/1CI0Xyu
Might have even had a man in a suit or bowler hat, maybe a weird statue garden. or an angel or woman.

Not sure if this is enough to go on.  Very cool site, hope you can help me as this has bothered me for decades!

 

203D: Number poem book

Please try to locate a book my children had, perhaps sometime in the ‘50s; unfortunately, I don’t have it’s title, but it was a book that featured numbers. Each page contained a poem that emphasized a certain number: the one I remember was the number four. The poem was as follows: “Selma Snitch, the halloween witch, had four brooms, she was very rich! She had four bats, and four pointed hats, and four of the biggest and blackest cats!” Thus, each page featured a different number; the first page had a poem with the number one, the second, two, etc.

203B: Trouble boy sent to live in cabin removes old man’s appendix with a spoon and knife.

In 1983 our 8th grade English teacher at Hill Middle School in Denver Colorado read a book about a troubled youth who is sent by his father to live in a remote cabin with an old man. During his stay, the old man becomes ill and has to have his appendix removed. Because of the remote location there is no way to get to a town and/or doctor, so the man makes the boy cut out his appendix while awake lying on the cabin table. I recalled he used a spoon and knife and as an 8th grader it made quite and impression on me. Of course I have searched for this book but have not been able to locate it. Hoping you can help. Hoping you could help me identify the title of this kids novel so I can find a copy.

203A: brother and sister take a train trip

I am seeking a c. 1930’s-40’s reader, probably about 3rd or 4th grade level, in which a brother and sister take a train trip to visit another boy in the country. An illustration shows them having breakfast on the train. There are eggcups on the table, and the text refers to “freshly squeezed orange juice.” I believe that the cover may have had an illustration with orange detailing and black lettering. The book was a discard, given to me in 1953.

Thanks for any help in identifying this long-lost book.

202E: Brightly illustrated story book

I am looking for a book that may have been published in the 1960’s. I think it had a red cover. The book was illustrated with very bright colors. It had several stories, but there are three I remember most clearly.

One was a story of a little pine tree that wanted different leaves. The illustrations included gold coins being plucked off the tree, a goat eating the oak leaves, and glass prisms hanging from the tree.

Another story was of a stingy old woman who was baking at on oven. She would not give visitors any of her pies. The picture of the pie she baked was huge. She was eventually turned into a woodpecker to peck out a living. There is a picture of her as a woodpecker: her red hat became the birds head and her black dress with a white apron became the body.

The last story that I can remember is one where a little girl went through the woods with a tin pan to fetch water for her sick mother. As she walked back giving sips of water to various thirsty people, the pan became metals such as silver then gold and then a diamond and then a group of stars (the big dipper).

202D: Scholarly book on Babylonian and Assyrian myths

I had this book in the fall of 1978. Scholarly book on Babylonian and Assyrian myths. Dover-type binding (probably not Dover book, at least it’s not on their website). Perhaps 200 pages if that, not long, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2. Bright blue cover with line drawing on right-hand side, possibly a picture of Marduk? It was not the one by Donald Mackenzie or E.A. Wallis Budge, but it was that type of thing. I thought it might be Lewis Spence, but have searched for an edition with that cover and found nothing. I had just started to read it, lent it to a friend and never got it back.

 

202C: Haunted house cobbler trap doors girls

I found the book in question in the children’s fiction shelves of an army post library in the Panama Canal Zone in 1964 or 1965.
The story centered around two girls who explored an old abandoned house in their neighborhood. The house was supposedly haunted; from time to time the “tap-tap-tap” sound of a cobbler’s hammer repairing shoes could be heard.
Eventually, a boy they know decides to enter the house too, but they decide to avoid him and are able to do so by using the numerous trap doors in the house to move around undetected.

202B: Teen Love Triangle

Teen book from the late 80s to mid 90’s about two best friends. One of them falls in love with the others boyfriend. I believe the boyfriend works on planes or owns one. I remember there was a scene with two on a couch in an airport hangar. I think there were also several scenes on a porch swing. I think the ending was the friend finally realizing her boyfriend and her best friend should end up together. Any help identifying the title and author would be greatly appreciated!