Welcome to the new(ish) Stump the Bookseller blog! If you’ve been here before you will notice things look different. We hope this has solved some of the technical difficulties we have been having!
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?
I hope you are all doing well as we approach the holiday season. It has come to my attention that G Mail often does not let our e-mails through. For those using G Mail accounts, if you have submitted a Stumper and have not received an e-mail from us after a few days, please check your spam folder prior to contacting us.
Thanks and take care,
A book I read to my daughter in the 70s about a man (Russian?) who had a (Russian?) dancing bear. The man had 3 unique things about him: (1) he could juggle 3(?) balls, (2) he was kind, and (3) can’t remember the third.
Book is in English and short enough for a child’s attention.
I’m trying to recover an illustrated children’s book from before 2005 or so. It was hardback, with a green cover, I believe. The illustration style was quite unique and lovely, almost Celtic? Lots of green. The main crux of the book was an alchemist/witch and her apprentice who she sends into the woods to gather needed ingredients for a potion or spell. It took place primarily in the forest, and one of the ingredients I remember was a specific type of mushroom. Other tasks involved something in a marsh/swamp, and maybe something about flying creatures? But what I remember most was the alchemist/witch. She had long dark hair.
This was a pretty small paperback, sold at Scholastic book fairs in the early 90s. It was meant for late elementary school to early middle school readers. It’s fiction, and I believe it might have been in the format of a diary kept by the main character. Pretty sure the cover had a mountain lion on it.
It was about a boy from Michigan or some other Midwestern state who for some reason had to go to California for a summer (maybe he was in some trouble at school or his parents were getting divorced, don’t remember). I remember a scene with a rattlesnake, where someone ends up chopping its head off with a garden hoe.
The ending involved him getting lost in a canyon and stalked by a mountain lion. He was about to try fighting it with a rock when search and rescue showed up to help him.
– Fiction – Vintage series – 1970s or earlier – about dirt track racing written for kids. It was checked located in the children’s section of the library. Trying to find these books as a gift for a friend who remembers them very fondly, but doesn’t remember details, just that it was a series and of course, that it was about dirt track car racing.
A little girl goes to stay with her eccentric aunt who spends most of her time gardening. The aunt is constantly digging up dishes, plates, and other items from her yard, and always holds on to those items. One day the little girl is in the library of her aunt’s house and discovers a book about a little girl who was at a birthday party that was cursed by a (fairy?) so that all of the children disappeared and the cutlery was buried in the yard. To undo the curse, the story girl would have to place all of the cutlery back just as it was when the curse was placed. The story girl would also be unable to communicate what happened to anyone else until the curse was listed. Thinking that her aunt might be the girl from the story, the little girl helps her aunt to dig up the last of the cutlery/dishware. Together they place the dishes/cutlery on the table as directed by the aunt. However, nothing happens after they do this, and the book ends.
I’m looking for a YA or MG book about a teen boy who lives on a ranch (New Mexico? west Texas?), his cousin Horace comes to visit for summer which he thinks will ruin his summer but Horace turns out to be a good guy who can ride and shoot and they become good friends. There is a mountain lion or cougar that kills his dad’s prize bull Red Toro so they go out to find the cougar, Horace shoots it with a great shot. Along the way there are some villains who are trying to jump a gold claim, Horace sprains his ankle, has to be hauled out by the boy on an Indian trapezoid carry deal, they fool the bad guys into fording the river where there is quick sand and all ends well. Can’t remember title. Book had line drawings, and I think the cover was edged in burnt orange or brown.
I’m looking for a book that probably came out in the late 70s/early 80s. It was illustrated with primarily line art, orange and yellow colors. A little girl lived with her parents in an apartment (I think?) and had a rainy day. She went outside to play in the rain, came inside for a bath and soup. It is such a simple book but it always comforted me because the family stayed home and made their own fun together. Being a child of divorce, this was foreign to me. I’d dearly love to find it again.
I’m in the UK & I read this book as a child in 90’s, it was a collection of stories but not a huge collection. It was a picture book.
The main story I remember is a boy going into a slimey castle that had been taken over by a monster with tentacles. There was slime everywhere, he found the centre of the monster & it was a big eye & he stabbed it with a sword right into the eye. This killed the monster & covered the boy in slime. He crawled out of the castle & then washed himself off in a river. I think there was a friendly dragon there too.
Other stories in this were a ufo kidnapping a boy & a monkey having nightmares, construction robots shaped like dinosaurs & an artificial horse with a lever in its back. It was an odd collection of stories, not classic.
The book I’m looking for is as follows:
Children’s book – from the UK
I read it in the UK when i was a kid in the 1970s
It was illustrated but with line drawings – was for older kids, maybe 7/8 and up?
There was a story in it about a family who takes an elevator down into the ground, and they whistle to each other if they get lost.
It was a collection of stories for kids.
It might have also had poetry in it
This story has haunted me for years, no idea if it will ring a bell with someone somewhere
A male news reporter finds his pregnant wife dead. He is attacked and ends up in hospital. The police tell him the fetus is missing/stolen. He comes back home to find the fetus there. He buries it, but it crawls back out. His wife turns out to be an ancient god. There’s a cyclops. The town has a Halloween parade.