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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?

296C: An English village and an American cousin

Sometime around 1956 when I was in the Millville School District 2nd or 3rd grade, maybe the 4th we had a hard-bound reading book with a dark blue cover that was page by page beautifully, color illustrated with 1930s era style artwork not unlike the covers of Jacqueline Winspear books.

The story lines, at least one, involved an English boy about 3rd or 4th grade age living in an English village and his having an American cousin, similar aged, visiting and he showing him around his village.

I do not recollect a title nor publisher, but have been searching for such a book for the last three or so decades. That book and old geography books still in use in our school, circa 1926, contributed to my Anglophilia.

296B: A secret note or message or clue

I have no idea what the title is but the book would appeal to a 8-10 year old girl. It was in my grade school library. I remember that the girl was orphaned or sent to live with a relative, possibly a grandmother or aunt. I’m leaning toward aunt. The place is mysterious and there is a mystery of sorts. The key part I remember is the young girl protagonist finds a secret note or message or clue on paper under a loose brick, I believe around the pool or on the patio, but I’m 99% sure it was around the pool. This would have been around 1978-80, although the book may have been slightly older.

295Z: Grand Old House in nondescript new neighborhood

Children’s picture book I read before 1995 (not sure when it was published though) about an old mansion. The mansion stood alone in a field until a suburban neighborhood packed with little nearly-identical houses sprang up. The mansion may or may not have been sentient. The house felt more and more out of place and eventually it/the owner decided to replace the old house with a new one just like all the others. All the neighbors couldn’t find their own houses anymore because they used to use the old mansion as a reference point. Eventually they convinced the old house/owner that its uniqueness was important to the neighborhood and somehow restored it.

295Y: Young Reader Adventure with Plane Crashes, Loch Ness, and Balloon Races

This book was read in middle school. It featured four stories with the same gang of young boys. One story was of them faking a Loch Ness Monster using radio-controlled boat in their lake. Another was their search for a crashed airplane using radio direction finding. A third was their competing in a hot-air balloon race. The fourth I do not remember. This was probably published in the 80’s or late 70’s.

295X: ‘Through the chamber door’ or something about a conch (Solved)

I am looking for a children’s chapter book that I read in the mid to late 80s about a brother and sister who become trapped in the center of a conch shell and have to solve riddles in order to open up each chamber of the conch to work their way back out to freedom. I can’t remember the author or title. The title might have included words like ‘through the chamber door’ or something about a conch, not sure.

295W: Good Morning Mr. Sun

Here is a direct passage from the book that I cannot find: “Good morning Mr. Sun. Time to rise and shine. I must get dressed. The day looks fine. Muffins for breakfast with strawberries and cream. I eat it all up and brush my teeth clean. Some of my friends come over to play. We run and climb and tumble all day. Off to the garden to rake and plant seeds. Water the ground and pull out the weeds. Time to eat dinner then off to my room. All tucked into bed. Goodnight Mr. Moon. ” The book is yellow/orange in color with a bear on the front.

295V: Trapped in a snow globe as pets

It was a paperback about two girls on a trip with their family and they stop at some mine or cave. The younger sister runs off into the gift shop and the older follows. The evil gift shop owner ends up trapping both in a giant snow globe as pets for a giant family in the cave system. They really just wanted the little sister so the elder is a freebie. They end up escaping when the older girl melts the snow globe on the fireplace or something and they run out through the tunnels.  Might have been apple paperbacks or similar.

295U: Ring-Around-A-Rosie

I am looking for a book I read in the mid-1960’s, probably young adult.  Tells the story of a girl who moves to Cape Cod? (some seashore region) to train with a famous tole (painting on tin ware, etc.) painter.  At first she just copies his designs, but he insists she should find her own muse.  One day she sees a group of kids playing ring-around-a-rosie and does a design based on that.

295T: Too Awake-Too Asleep Picture Book

I’m trying to find a children’s book, likely from the 1950s, about the size of and with illustrations similar to a Little Golden Book. It includes two complementary stories, each beginning at one of the covers. The first reads toward the middle of the book. Turned over, the book includes a second story that reads to the middle of the book. The stories are small morality tale, one of a boy or girl (I can’t remember which) who refuses to go to sleep and is allowed to discover how boring the house is when its quiet at night. The other story is of a girl (or boy?) who doesn’t want to get up in the morning and is allowed to sleep and find out what goes on while he/she sleeps through the day. In both cases, these tales are part of a strategy to get each child to wake up or to go to sleep. The illustrations are similar in style to those of Little Golden Books.