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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?

222C: people who walked across the bottom of the ocean between the continents

Looking for a book I checked out several times from an elementary school library in the mid-80s (not sure how old the book was). It was NOT the Verne story but was about a group of people who walked across the bottom of the ocean between the continents. They had some sort of tanks that allowed them to eat and breathe underwater.

222A: girl who moved to New York City in the summer

I’ve been trying forever to remember a book that I read when I was young. I think I was 10-13. Mid-80s. There was a girl who moved to New York City in the summer. Because she had no friends yet (I think), she spent a lot of time exploring the city by herself. She rode the bus by herself and she went to the movies by herself. She was really into fashion and talked a lot about the outfits she was putting together every day. I think that there was a department store that she loved and maybe fantasized about buying something there? I think she did a lot of window shopping.

I don’t remember her interacting with any other characters, so I have no idea what the plot was. I just remember thinking that it was so cool that she was getting around the city by herself, and that she was so fashionable.

221E: 1970s children’s chapter book about wacky family

I have been trying to find this book since my first child was born 15 years ago. It was my favorite when I was about 8 or 9, I think, but I never owned it; I would just choose it over and over again from its spot on the shelf in our local library, never committing the title or author to memory.
The protagonist is a young girl who has a wacky family—perhaps they’d be described as “dysfunctional” nowadays but that was not a term at the time. The story is full of mishaps and made me laugh out loud each time I read it. There are line drawings in the book and one I can recall is of the girl (or maybe her father) heading out of the house for a beach trip loaded down with supplies. The dad is kind of grumpy, as I recall. I was reading it in the late 70s so I assume it was published earlier that decade. It was of that era and the copy I read was hardcover.
This is not a lot to go on, I realize. But perhaps someone out there will recognize my brief recollections. I hope!

221D: Scary Children’s Book from the 1980’s

I have been trying to remember this book for so many years, this is what I remember:

It had actual black and white photos, not illustrations. The character was a little girl and at the beginning, it is her birthday and she is happy and the setting is bright and cheerful and she is in her bedroom. Then as you turn the page, it is dark and creepy and she is alone in a home of some kind, so I think that she may have been dreaming. From what I remember, there are several photos of her exploring wherever she is, there is a kitchen, basement, garden grounds, etc.

The very last page is an image of blurry figures or what appear to be ghosts. I remember wondering of those were her parents.

There may have been a pet in the story as well. It wasn’t a long book, 20 pages at the most. I read it in the mid 1980’s, in about the 3rd or 4th grade.

I’m hoping you can help!

221C: Hyppo the Hippo

The book I am seeking was called Hyppo the Hippo. I’m not even sure how it was spelled. We pronounced it with a long I – Hypo?. It was a book very like the Barbar books in shape and had colored illustrations of hippos in human clothes. The baby hippo was left on a doorstep in a wicker wash basket. I imagine it was published in the 40’s

221B: Girl moves to country with parents and falls in love with boy named Eric

Hi! I’m looking for a book series written in the early 20th century (one in 1913)? It may be a children’s book series. It’s about a girl who moves to the country with her parents, where she falls in love with a boy named Eric.

Unfortunately I don’t have much more to go on, but here’s a few keywords/concepts that should appear in the series:

– The girl gets in trouble for wearing a skirt that goes above her ankles.
– Skiing with Eric.
– Wagons.
– Chickens?

Thank you so much for your help!!!

221A: “Solve this picture-mystery” collection of books

I’m not sure whether these were actually children’s/middle-readers books, but I loved them as a kid. Each two-page puzzle had a full black-and-white line-drawing illustration of a mystery on the left page, and a little exposition with leading questions on the right, to help the reader solve the mystery. The mysteries were things like “Who tampered with the paddles before the rowing competition?” and “How did the baby get downstairs in the elevator?” and “Who stole all the chickens from the coop?” I forget whether there were murders to solve too, but most of them were all-ages-friendly puzzles. Each book probably had 20 or 30 mysteries to solve, with answers in the back of the book. It was a series of largish paperback books–I’m pretty sure I had at least two or three of them–and I was reading them in the early-to-mid ’90s. Thank you!

220E: Lady Dragon Transforms into Princess

This was a children’s illistrated book about a lady dragon who was in love with a knight but all he tried to do was vanquish her. She went to the wizard who made a potion (a raspberry fizz maybe?) that turned her into a human princess. I think there was a bit about how her scales turned into a carriage but I could very well be wrong. She met her prince but it turned out he was kinda lame and boastful and not what she imagined. However, it turned out that HE was actually a dragon too who was turned into a human and he was much better as a dragon so the wizard made the potion again and they all lived happily ever after as dragons. I think the last illustration was them drinking fizzy soda together through straws out of the same glass.