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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?

264A: Children’s fiction book about adoption

I’m trying to track down a book. It’s a children’s fiction book probably published before the 1980s about a couple who adopts children from different countries. They also have a biological son. One of the children they adopt is from Korea, and there’s a scene that describes their picking him up from the airport. The child only speaks Korean. I read this book as a child in the 80s, but I think it was published before then.

 

263H: A puppy waits for the perfect owner (Solved)

Probably considered a “first reader” though might qualify as a picture book. Read to me in the late 70’s but could be as early as late 60’s. The book is about puppies in a pet store window waiting for their owners to choose them. The cover (or an illustration inside if not the cover) is a view of the pet store storefront with two windows on either side of the door. Puppies on both sides. In the book people keep coming in and choosing dogs and they all resemble the person choosing them. A take on the dogs look like their owner concept. Tall skinny people with tall skinny dogs…etc. The beagle puppy is waiting and waiting until a boy in a baseball hat (red?) comes in for him. I think the boy had previously seen the dog and had been told he had to save his money.

The illustrations might be mainly line draws and are in yellow/brown/red tones as far as I remember. My mother belonged to a book club that automatically sent books so this may have been a book club selection. It’s so frustrating to be able to remember it so clearly but not be able to find it. Hopefully someone can help!

 

Thanks!

263G: Lonely kitten and sad duck become friends (Solved)

I read this in the mid-late 1980s, it was a paperback children’s book with soft purple cover, illustrations of cat and duck on front. I remember there were flap pages inside. The story was along the lines of a lonely duck and cat living in the same neighbourhood, I think a ball goes over the fence of one of their houses and they end up becoming friends. I think the kitten wore a hat? And the duck wore a dress? But I could be misremembering the clothing details. The cat was black/white and duck was yellow

263F: He slept on a bed of milkweed

Hi and thank you.  It is a children’s book that my mom read with me in the early 70s.  Its pages are full illustrations with a fair amount of text on each.  It is about an elf or fairy or pixie. . . my mom and I cannot recall anything else except that he goes to bed on a snowy night in a tree or nut on an amazing bed of milkweed.

Any help is appreciated.

263E: Summer vacation with a young child’s family

I can’t recall the title of the book and that’s my problem. It was a children’s novel that was about a summer vacation with a young child’s family. The details I recall is that the story centered around this young boy who was trying to make it to a baseball game in time during this vacation where free bats (or hats?) were given out at this game. He also carried around baseball cards in his back pocket. I know there are stops at hotels and things along the way. It’s from around 1987 to 1992. The cover of the book featured a hand drawn family where a boy was standing out in front of his family wearing a ball cap and tossing a baseball into the air with one hand. His family and their station wagon was featured slightly behind him in the background. If I can just get a title to this book, it would mean a lot.

263D: A girl and her teddy bear

Hello, I’m looking for a book I had as a child. It’s about a teddy bear who is owned by a little girl, and on her birthday she has a party. He can hear all the noise and excitement and gets curious. So he sneaks down the stairs and watches what’s going on through the railing. The girl is opening her presents and is so excited and happy that the teddy thinks she must not want him anymore. So he goes back upstairs and crawls under her bed to hide and be forgotten. Some time later, the little girl and her friend are playing in her room and happen to look under the bed, and they find the teddy bear, he is all dusty and ripped up. The girl is so happy, and her and her friend get the sewing kit and play hospital while they sew him up.

 

I have been searching for years and so has my mom. She has suggested that perhaps I remember two books as one, but I know that’s not the case. Please help! Thank you so much!

263C: Fairy fantasy from the 60’s or 70’s

I read the book around 1978-1983. It was a fantasy with a child who stayed with family and went into the woods and found a passage to a fantasy world of fairies which she ended up traveling to. The book had a title that was a play on Maestro or some other musical name. The cover of the book was brownish red with the face of one of the fairies. The face was very large and very round(side-wise oval) and with a very wide mouth. I was between 9-12 yo when I read it but this is what I remember.

 

263B: Acrobat turned Food Taster

A boy meets a mentor one day. They begin a journey together, leading to the emperor’s palace. On the way, they stop in a small village. The villagers feed them, but due to a rude remark the boy makes, they are placed in prison for seven days with no food, with the quote “Water you may have, though it be slightly brackish.”

Eventually, they are released and reach the palace, where the boy becomes an acrobat. In the palace, the boy meets the chef one day, who is crying that he cannot taste all the food. The boy willingly becomes the taster, though he discovers in dismay that he is gradually becoming too large to serve as an acrobat.

He and the mentor eventually aid the emperor with a problem, and it’s here my memory breaks up. Many thanks for the assistance.

263A: Old man with mustache tells grandson the story of how his hair turned white (Solved)

I would have read this book in the early to mid 90’s but I’m not sure if that’s when it was published. I remember that it was shelved with the Halloween books at my local library. An old man who has a white mustache is telling his grandson (may have been multiple grandchildren) about how his hair turned white. In his story he is pictured as a young boy but he still has the mustache, I remember thinking this was hilarious as a child. The gist of the story as far as I remember it is that when he was young he went into a haunted house or witch’s house on Halloween night and when he came out his hair had turned white. I have been wracking my brains for ages trying to remember the title of this book, I would love to read it again.