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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?

271D: Scary children’s picture book

Greetings!

Please help me remember the name of this book.

I guess it must be kind of obscure since I can’t seem to find it on Google. It is not a novel. It had big pages with big illustrations. It’s a children’s “horror” book but horror is a bit much. It more-so just has a creepy, dark tone. It has about one or two sentences per two-page spread. Maybe more. It is also a flip-book (meaning the pages have flaps that flip outward. When you unfold the flaps, the same setting and creatures are portrayed underneath, but this time, you see them without skin I think). It takes place in the wilderness, in some sort of forest. Every two-page spread depicts a new spot, as the book gets progressively deeper into the forest (not just a forest, caves, etc., all part of a bigger, creepy wilderness setting). The narrative describes the setting, and the creatures. There are no reoccurring characters or dialogue besides the minimal narrator. There were creatures in this book that were very odd, dark, small, animal-esque. The book climaxes on the last page where we find a character at the deepest part of this world. The creature is a combination of elements of all the settings we’ve seen. I think the flap reveals a heart inside this creature.

271B: Child meets magical friend from a family of wizards/magic in secret garden

I have been looking for this young adult’s book for some time without success. I can’t remember any words of the title, it was aimed at 10-12 year olds. I read it in around 1990-1995, but it may have been published in the 1970s or 1980s. I’m pretty sure it was a British author, but it may have been American/Canadian. It was a slim paperback and I seem to remember that it came in a boxed set with a 3 or four other books, not necessarily by the same writer, but similar fantasy/magic genre. The story followed a young boy or girl who was staying with a relative somewhere, perhaps on holiday, who one day crawled under a hedge in the neighbourhood and into the garden/grounds of a wealthy and mysterious family, who turn out to be magical (possibly wizards). S/he meets and befriends the young girl who lives there who shows her various magical things but they keep their friendship secret as the other wizards/magical relatives would be angry if they found out she had come in to the garden. The family lives in a large and beautiful house and there is a magical lake in the garden which the two children sail across to an island in the center. They are later placed in danger when someone finds out the child is in the magic garden. I remember this being a wonderful story and would so love to find it! It is not Tom’s Midnight Garden or Timothy and the Witch.

270C: A bedtime favorite

A book my father used to read to me every night.  It might have been called Almost Three.  It was about a little girl and the things she could do at her age.  There was a picture in it of the daddy picking the little girl up by her feet and putting her in bed.

270B: Young Girl Living in a Cottage in the Woods

I am looking for a book that was on the Elementary School Library shelf in 1960.  A young girl lives in the woods by herself. She spends her time baking treats for all her woodland friends. I can only recall that she made honey cakes for the deer.

This book has stuck with me since my childhood. To this day, I am almost sure that it is my idea of a perfect existence.

270A: Girl joins circus, performs blindfolded trapeze act

Girl has always loved hanging upside down, manages to join circus and be trained as a trapeze artist. Her trainer (and later love-interest & husband) catches her flying with her eyes closed and after much convincing, they turn it into a blind-folded act with silver dollars against her eyes and then covered by a blindfold. One mayor of a small town does not believe they are really blindfolded and arranges an accident. One of them is sent off course and the other must hurtle himself into her at an angle that will bring her into the net rather than a deadly impact.

In looking for this book I wondered if my adolescent self could have misunderstood the gender and relationship but MZB’s the Catch Trap doesn’t seem familiar enough.

The book was near Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters in my small middle school library so I believe the author’s name likely started with either an H or a nearby letter.

 

269F: Girl Lost in Woods/Mountains with Man Chasing Her

I read this book probably in the mid 1970s, may be from the 1960s or a little earlier. I checked it out from the library in what was then the Children’s section, probably considered young adult today.  I have no idea of title or author.  The girl’s name may be Gail, not sure, about 15 or 16 years old.  She is camping? with her family: mother, father and I think one younger sibling. She becomes separated someway and I believe she may be trying to get to a Ranger’s station or something.  Some weird guy is following/stalking her. I don’t remember if he is just after her, a young girl, or if she saw something he did & is trying to stop her from getting help.  That’s about it, not a lot to go on, but I remember the book and would like to read again if I can find it!  I was probably 12 or 13 when I read it and it was very suspenseful to me at the time, different from Nancy Drew & Trixie Belden books I read.