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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?

204E: whatever these kids think about is displayed on the walls and then comes to life

Another short story where there is a special room with full-screen walls, and whatever these kids think about is displayed on the walls and then comes to life. They end up spending a lot of time in the room. The parents threaten to lock the room off. The story ends with the kids resolving the conflict by tricking the parents and locking the parents in the room. Then the kids think about tigers, and the parents are eaten.

204C: Kids book jokes codes drawings funny stories riddles

I was born in 1981, and when I was a kid around maybe 4-8 years old I had a book that I took with my everywhere. It wasn’t a novel or story, but a book with maybe a hundred different chapters (each chapter maybe 1-3 pages) of games/puzzles/poems/jokes/riddles/etc. Some of the specific items I remember were codes that you had to read by holding a mirror up to the page. I remember a page with funny looking monster heads. Pages with jokes, etc.

I had a hardcover book with maybe a couple hundred pages, that was outstanding. If my memory is correct the dimensions of this version were about 8 inches tall by 6 inches wide. My version had black and white pages, I don’t recall any color other than the cover. I do seem to recall that the cover has yellow as a prominent color in the design.

This my sound crazy, but I think having that book in my developmental years helped my brain in creating a high level of intelligence. I am about to have a son and would love to be able to give him the same book.

204A: Late 1950’s: kids solve mystery of where to find what is hidden/buried in the old house/building

I don’t remember really any more than this; once again, the kids were stumped because the map they found had directed them to find what was buried (in the old house/building) in a spot related to a fireplace or chimney in the house; but they couldn’t find what was buried, until they figured out that since the map was drawn, the old house/building had either some of the fireplaces walled off OR some of the chimneys removed (or some interior walls added or removed). Only then were they able to find the right spot to “dig”, to find what was hidden/buried in the house/building.

This book/story was read to my class in the late ’50’s in 4th, or 5th grade.

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.