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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?

232D: A much loved collection of poems

I’m looking for an old book of children’s poems. It was rather thick. My mom would read it to me when I was around seven years old back in the late fifties.

It was hard covered and if memory serves had a light colored cover. I don’t remember any illustration on the cover. Looking back, the book design reminds me of a series of Grimm’s Fairy Tales books we had in the house they had plain beige covers on them.

Anyway, I checked your list of books on your site and while one book of poems comes close in content, the cover is not the same and it is missing at least one of the poems, Jabberwocky.

Here are the poems I remember that it contained: Winken and Blinken and Nod (sketch showed 3 boys in a balloon, pic was on the right side of the page), The Owl and the Pussycat (one sketch showed the piggy with the ring in his nose in the wood – pic on the left side of the page), The Duel (The Gingham Cat and the Calico Dog – the stuffed animals were depicted and the clock), Wadsworth’s’ The Girl with the Curl (when she was bad she was horrid – this short poem was at the bottom of a page on the right), The Walrus and the Carpenter (depicted the little oysters following them with little legs to carry them. Also a pig with wings), e.e. cummings, a poem that started,” I’ve never seen a purple cow” and ended with. ” I’d rather see than be one” (which I’d thought was by e.e. cummings but it’s not), I think it had an e.e. cummings poem or two, and Jabberwocky.

I’m trying to remember other poems in the book. If I do, I’ll send you more identifying information. I loved this book. I loved reading it over and over. I’ve loved to read and read voraciously. My mom had a great sense of humor and always loved the Walrus and Carpenter especially when the little oysters turned blue (starting to realize they were to be eaten).

I wanted this for so long and tried searching the internet several times. I’m usually pretty good at finding information and have found several books of which all I could remember was the story, but I cannot find this way. Searching recently, I came upon your site! I hope you can figure it out and I don’t stump you!

Keeping my fingers crossed….

232C: Anthology of folklore and fairy tales

Multiple fairy tale/folklore children’s book 1960s. Stories include, Billy Goat Bluff, a wolf that got attacked by geese and had all red welts all over him, the Sun and the Wind story, a man trying to dig the moon reflection out of the water, a little boy (prince maybe) who kept pulling off his hat but another one would show up on his head. More stories in this one book but I can’t recall details.

231F: Young girl jealous of friend

This book is from the 1960’s or 1970’s. I remember it from the mid 1970’s. Written for preK-2nd grade. Was even read on Captain Kangaroo. It was illustrated in black and white drawings. The main character had a long ponytail. She was jealous of her best friend. Her best friend had short hair. The 2 girls went to school together, I would guess preschool or kindergarten. The main character’s mother babysat the best friend also. The main character always tried to do what her friend does but it never works out and she makes mistakes. The best friend seems to do everything “perfect.” One page I remember has the girls painting at easels. The best friend has a pretty picture and the main character has a sloppy mess. Can’t remember title or author. Have searched for this book for over 10 years.

231E: Growing Girl with Floral Clothing

Hi,

I am so excited by the possibility of finding this book remembered so fondly from my childhood!
What I remember is a children’s book (maybe ages 3-7) about a little girl, maybe born as a baby, who grew and grew grew, so fast or so big, that no clothing would do. So (her mother?) dressed her in clothing made of vines and flowers which then grew with her as she grew. Covering her as she got taller and bigger, growing as she grew.

I remember the book being very colorfully illustrated. Flowers, vines, perhaps she had long hair. I think the illustrations may have filled the pages – not been small.

I THINK the book was horizontal, rectangular in shape.

I was a young child in the mid-late 70s.

231C: Black and white sketches and no narrative

No idea about the title. I first found this book in the early 2000’s, but it is probably older–90’s or 80’s or even earlier? There’s no narrative, contains (mostly?) black and white sketches of many silly and imaginative designs for ordinary items and new inventions. Just one example of many: a contraption that completely encloses a desk to allow a nap in the office. I also remember a page full of funny-looking footwear; a memorably risque one was modeled after the nude female figure. Sadly, these are all the sketches that I can clearly remember.

231B: A young woman decides to be a book illustrator

I’m trying to locate a short story I read years ago. The protagonist is a young woman who decides she will set herself up as a book illustrator. She advertises her services and her first client pays her a call. The author describes the scene he wants as the cover to his book, full of contradictory requirements: show the moon behind the young lovers and the rising sun in their faces, the reflection of the young lady in the eyes of her beaux, and the glorious sweep of the landscape behind them, etc., etc.. The young woman is so hopelessly overwhelmed by the client’s demands that she retires from the business, having never painted a single cover.

My memory is that it was Edwardian or Victorian short story, and written in a typically late-19th/early-20th century light, satirical tone. It was in a collection of short stories, but possibly may have originally appeared in a British periodical like “Punch” or “The Idler”.

Can anyone identify the story?