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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?

284F: Children with dimpled knees and very round faces

I am looking for picture books (with words).  I read as a child and checked it out from our local library in Seymour, IN. I believe there was more than one book by the author. I think they were square shaped hard back books. The children in them were cute with dimpled knees and very round faces (not Campbell Soup kid related or Dick and Jane). I recall a girl being sort of the main character in these books about their small adventures. This would have been the early to mid 1980s when I was reading these. The pictures were very simple. I think I recall a story about a mud puddle in one of the books and the girl’s name may have been Mary but I’m not sure.

284D: Alternate outcomes become alternate worlds

In the world of this book, every time something happens, like a war, both outcomes come true. A new world is created with the alternate outcome. So there are many earths. The one that this one takes place on is not ours. In this Earth, America is called Atlantis.

The children survive the shipwreck because the boy is a witch and the sister hangs onto him. But you don’t find that out till the end. You think – because she says so – that she is the witch and she saved him.

He is left-handed, which where they came from is punished but where they have arrived at, is celebrated as it is a sign of being a witch. That’s all I remember….

I probably read it in the late seventies, possibly early 80’s. I was probably around 12 – it was a middle-year chapter book. It was really good.

I hope it sounds familiar to someone! Thanks for your help!

284C: A girl in an animal swim tube

This is a small children’s book, most likely written in the 60’s.  It was a small, orange book. It is out of print, possibly in the late 80s, since at one time I somehow was able to research it.

The story follows around a little girl, with a ponytail or pigtails who wears an animal swim tube around her.  She is found in the pictures behind others or in groups, and stands out, due to her wearing this tube.  Though I don’t remember, I’m guessing the story would have taken place in summer.

I’m sorry I remember so little about this book.  My mom and I both remember reading it countless times in the library when I was young (probably early to mid 70’s)

284B: An unsettling short story

At some point 15-25 years ago, I read a short story that I wanted to find for my son to read.  I have googled like mad but cannot find it.  Here is what I remember:

Set in a dystopian future, a couple puts on some special skin suits so they can have relations.  Then they discuss their desire to adopt a child and how they found a broker who can help them.  You learn that what children there are are wild and live outside the city. They drive out of the city into some ruined/abandoned area where the broker, an old man, is waiting at an old parking garage.  In the end, it is the wild kids who control the broker, not the other way around and they have used this ruse to lure the couple into their trap.

I so hope you can put me out of my misery.  These are the things that wake me up at night!

284A: A brother and sister fleeing from war

I’m looking for a children’s storybook whose title and author escape me.

Two children, a brother and a sister, fleeing from war, run into the woods. They travel through it and on the other side reunite with their parents. There is some suggestion that the family members have actually died and been reunited in an after-life, but I don’t believe this to have been explicitly stated. The color scheme was rather grim for a children’s book.

283H: Don’t Jump in the Puddles

I believe the book was named, ” Don’t jump in the puddles.”  I do remember some of the verbiage.  “It was a rainy, rainy day, but I wanted go out and play.  Mom said okay, but don’t jump in the puddles.  I walked through the puddles, I ran through the puddles, I even stuck my hands in the puddles, but I did not jump in the puddles.”

It was a blue paperback children’s short story.

Mid to late 90s.

283F: Faint memories of a bad day

I’m looking for the title of a children’s picture book suitable for maybe grades 1-2 from late 1970’s or early-mid1980’s.  I can’t remember barely anything except an illustration of a checkerboard floor and spilled peas, another page with a character with black hair and red shoes.  I think the theme was how to cope with a very bad day or getting along with your sibling.  I remember it as big, like 12″x 8″, maybe 15 pages.  It’s absurd to ask given so little information but i can’t stop thinking about it!

283E: Martian or Moon dweller, visits earth

I’m looking for a vaguely remembered children’s book. It’s a picture book. I can’t reconstruct the whole plot but it had the following elements:

– EITHER a martian, extra-terrestrial or man-in-the-moon visiting earth, OR a boy that wants to fly to space. The former is more likely.

– This protagonist is reminded of his planet or the moon or the sun by seeing a balloon, and maybe also other round objects throughout the book.

– There is definitely a scene, towards the end of the book, where the protagonist walks back to his space vessel in the evening sun or moon.

– I remember the book had a melancholic feel. Maybe the protagonist is homesick or something. It was NOT a spectacular book on space travel. The martian is not scary, but cute and a little sad.

– It must predate 1983, possibly a book from much earlier (60s?) that my mother purchased at a library that got rid of old books.

283D: Empaths, Plagues and Luddites

This is a book where the main character, in the start, is in the sewers, I think, and there are feral children called ‘sewer rats’ chasing him? I think, it was because he was trying to save a cat? There is a cave-in and the cat appears to be someones familiar or something because it goes and brings back help. The main character wakes up and I think I remember they were giving him a honey bath or something to combat severe dehydration. I think the people who rescued him brought him to a group that were luddites. The main character turns out to be an empath and at some point lets his shields down outside and because there is a plague in the area he is overwhelmed by the suffering around him. His romantic interest is named Mary? She is one of the luddites and helps him when he becomes overwhelmed. At some point they try to help capture and rescue the feral children, these feral children turn on anyone that reaches a certain age. The main character was traveling through the sewers in the beginning because of his empathy, it was quieter down there.