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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?

274F: Wordless series of holiday books featuring rabbits

The books I have in mind are a series of wordless picture books that were probably published in the 80s or early 90s. While they weren’t graphic novels or comic books per say, the images were arranged in panels on each page and you’d “read” it by following the story from left to right, top to bottom. The stories centered on a family of rabbits (or I’m pretty sure they were rabbits, they might have been mice) and there were books for each holiday—the ones I remember most vividly was the Halloween book and the Valentine’s Day book. The rabbits were anthropomorphic and were shown putting on coats for fall, trick or treating in a neighborhood, and so on.

I can still picture the books in our elementary school library and so the author’s name must have come closer to the end of the alphabet, since I remember them being nearer to the end of the shelves—possibly in the R, S, T section?

274E: A horse goes exploring

I’m looking for a children’s paperback picture book (ages 4-6 ish) about a horse that escapes his/her stables to explore for the day – particularly in fields of strawberry patches. It was accompanied by a cassette tape, and the woman reading on the tape had a British accent, similar to Haley Mills or Julie Andrews (though she definitely had an expressive quality more similar to Haley Mills). I read it/listened to it as a child in the 80’s, but the illustrations seemed reminiscent of the 60s or 70s – similar in both colors and style to this image: www.pinterest.com/pin/550987335638025397/ Or similar to the lines of the hair in these pictures: www.pinterest.com/pin/550987335638025364/ Or similar to the clouds and sun in these pictures: www.behance.net/gallery/Bella-Butterfly-Childrens-Book-Illustrations/3105177

Unfortunately I don’t have a clue as to the title of the book or the author. The above is the most I can remember. Thank you!

274D: Girl with Possible Shepherd (Solved)

Here’s what I can tell you about the book: It was published in or before 1988; which was when I read it in paperback. It was intended for young adults or children. The story is about a girl who either moves in with a farmer/shepherd and his family or she goes to live with them for an extended period of time (possibly a summer). I think it may be her cousin and his family. While  there she gets into a great deal of mischief. She climbs into the rafters inside the house and is afraid to get down. She tastes fresh milk for the first time while it’s still warm. She learns to ride a horse and won’t get off when they tell her she should and then she’s so sore that she can neither sit nor stand comfortably. There is some sort of celebration she’s to attend – she goes into her room to see lots of colorful skirts laid out for her. She wonders which one she should wear and is told to wear all of the skirts.

 

I genuinely appreciate any help you can give me. My mother and I read this book together and laughed until we cried over parts of this story. I’d love to find it again. 

274C: Children’s Book About Pelicans (Solved)

I am looking for a hardback book I read to my daughter in the early 90s.  It was about a family who visited a place and the child (boy, I believe) watched for a pelican.  I am fuzzy on the plot, but the most distinctive feature of the book is that every other page was a half sheet vertically, so that the illustration and text would change when turning the half page.  I would love to find this volume and purchase for my grandson.  Any help is greatly appreciated.

274B: Non-fiction series with striped spines

I’m trying to hunt down a series of nonfiction young reader picture books from the 80s. My family had 12-15 of them when I was growing up, and I recall them all having the same pattern on their spines – muted stripes of yellow, green, red, and blue. I’m under the impression that each book in the series had a different author/illustrator. Unfortunately I can’t remember any specific names or titles, but there are certain books from the series that I’ve tried to pinpoint:

Book 1: An instructional book on how to make costumes for various magical creatures and characters. There are instructions on how to make fairy and pirate costumes, among others I can’t recall. Vignette illustrations of fairy cakes and mushrooms are placed throughout. In the last spread, all of the magical characters have a feast.

Book 2: Title something along the lines of “On the Go” or “On the Move”? A more cartoonishly illustrated book on the progression of vehicle technology. Double page spread of horses and wagons mired in mud, illustrating life before the invention of roads. Some very 80s illustrations of sports cars. An image of a very nervous man in a tiny sedan being sandwiched between two Mac trucks.

Book 3: An instructional book on caring for pets, including detailed illustrations on how to build aquaria for turtles.

That’s pretty much it! I hope something rings a bell for someone. Good luck, everyone!

274A: Female character called “Thingy” (Solved)

This is a fantasy book from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s.  The story centers around a young girl who is raised as a servant by a witch.  The setting is the swampy area near a river.  Because the witch has told the girl she is ugly, when the girl comes in contact with other people (which is rarely), the girl wears a mask to hide her ugly face.  The witch calls the girl “Thingy.” In the story, the girl accompanies a stranger in a boat on the river.  She is escaping (?) the witch or acting as a guide(?) for the man.  During the journey, the girl learns her true identity and the truth about her appearance.

273D: Ethereal Little Mermaid Illustrations

I’m looking for a Hans Christian Andersen collection of fairy tales from the early 90s. I read it when around 1994-6 but it could have been published a little earlier. I remember it for its Little Mermaid illustrations. They were so beautiful and seemed to glow. Lots of pale mermaids with long blonder hair. Like angels. The pages I remember most are the pictures where the Little Mermaid’s sisters are hoisting each other up out of the sea to hand her a dagger to kill the prince. The last page is the Little Mermaid floating to the sky as an angel after she kills herself to save the prince. It was hardcover and I believe it also had The Princess and the Pea and The Tin Solider stories in it, but I think different illustrators worked on them.

 

Hope this was enough to be helpful. I tried to look up books published in that time frame with Hans Christian Andersen author credits, but couldn’t find a comprehensive list.

273C: Four Corners Young Adult Mystery

It’s a young adult mystery set in Four Corners area (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona).  A family moves to the Four Corner Area and the teen aged kids get involved with a museum.  The mystery involves oil and artifacts from the area.  The name of the book include the words “Black Gold,” but I’m not sure.  I read the paperback in the later 50s or early 60s.