Author Archives: Harriett Logan

299T: Fairies Tattoo Naughty Girl’s Face

I am looking for a children’s book that was a favorite of mine at my grandma’s house growing up. I’ve been searching for years trying to find what the name of this book was, with no luck. Despite it being fairies, and involving colours, it’s not Andrew Lang.  This is what I remember of it:

It was a hardbound book, blue or green cover, with embossed printing. So probably published prior to 1950s

The story revolved around a little girl who wasn’t very nice, so she is visited by a fairy who’s name is similar to “tintinnabulum” (I remember that very distinctly). This fairy caused a word to appear on the girl’s forehead (possibly the word KIND) that only the girl and the fairies could see; if the girl acted kindly, the word would fade with each kind act, for each unkind act it would grow darker.

The girl was then put in a hall with seven doors, one for each color of the rainbow- she needed to travel through each fairy realm, do deeds that would remove the word on her forehead, and find the door back to the hall. Each of the realms had something to do with the color of the door (Like, the light blue door’s realm was in the sky, and the dark blue was under water).

Eventually she goes through all the doors, the word is gone, and she gets to go back home.

Server Crash

Hello, Stumper friends and Nostalgia seekers!

Our server crashed about a week ago, and we’ve been having some difficulty with webforms and the WordPress blogs since. We’re working on a solution. Please be patient with us as we crash through the jungle clearing the path and reconnecting all our links. We hope to be back to normal in a couple days. In the meantime, if the comments or forms here aren’t working for you and you need to reach the Stumper Manager, please email  Thanks.

296L: Impersonated by a false bride (Solved)

There was a book I had as a child which was a collection of stories from all over the world. It was a very thick hard cover book, the illustrations were numerous and rather realistic looking and in many cases quite scary looking. My mother went to America in 1988 and she bought it for me, I was 8 so my memory is rather hazy. Possibly it had been recently published. The hard cover had illustrations from the different stories all over it and down one side was a young African man hanging upside down with his hands trapped in a shell.

This was a collection of short stories from America, Africa, Germany, India, Norway and Europe among others. The stories were divided by continent in the Contents. Many were original, some were fables and some were excerpts. Some of the stories i definitely recall the book had were Peer Gynt, Scarface (excerpt), Black Bull of Norway, East of the sun and West of the moon and Six Blind Men (India) in which 6 blind men all feel and elephant and each one describes it according to whichever part of the elephant he’s clutched thinking its the sum total of the elephant.

Then there were some which I loved but I don’t recall the titles.

May have been set in North America:

Three sisters who set off in the dead of winter to find the Sun or maybe its the North Pole or the Wind. And are told not to pause their sledge to tie up their coats until they reach the sun’s tent and then not to eat or drink until he enters. The elder two ignore the instructions and cook the meat in his tent and eat it and the second one even goes to sleep on his bed and he throws them out in the snow. The youngest obeys and wins of course.

Japan: An exquisitely beautiful and obedient daughter named Peach Blossom and her father is a warrior of mercurial temperament i think and also very idiotic and at the end he chops off her head.

Another one was about a very lovely little baby girl who’s discovered and as she grows up her skin is supposed to be so delicate it says through her skin her veins showed and through them her bones and within that her febrile artery quivering away. I still recall that line and she’s perhaps impersonated by a false bride because that one rides her horse through some posts and ties it on the first post and the actual bride ties it on the last post.

One story set in Africa in which a young man dives into the river to hunt for shells and his hands are trapped in a massive shell and he drowns I think. Another one was how the world began and it was of Native American origin because the Sun, Earth, Sky, Wind etc were all personalised in it.

If you could help me identify and locate the book I would be eternally grateful. I’ve lost track of how many children’s anthologies I’ve scrolled through hoping to find this particular one. I’m sorry my details are so vague and sketchy and i know the titles I do recollect are in many collections but here’s hoping Loganberry can help me 🙂

287C: A tree in the forest with special powers

Looking for a children’s chapter book from the 1960s or early 70’s about a tree in the forest that has special powers. I recall that the vines were alive as was the tree – but I recall only a girl in the story could communicate with the tree and either visited or lived beneath the ground by the tree? For some reason I recall descriptions about being under the ground at times. I don’t think it was a scary tree. More like a friend and protector to the girl. Would love to track it down if possible.


277B: Little Girl Wakes Up on the Wrong Side of the bed

I am searching for a children’s picture book that I had read to me as a child. I can’t recall the name of the book and after much Googling, I am still no closer to finding any results. I am 30 years old, from Australia. I have checked all databases recommend by Loganberry Books.

The storyline went as follows – A little girl woke up on ‘the wrong side of the bed’. She went about her day to day tasks only to find that everything went wrong and she felt generally irritable. Toward the end of the book she goes back to bed and literally gets out of the other side of the bed and is in a better mood. I distinctly remember that the main character was a little girl, there was a scene where she was in brushing her teeth and I think she may have worn striped PJs. This book was an older book, my best guess is 1960s based on the illustrations.

Anyway, I can tell you that the book is definitely NOT ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ and from memory the book illustrations were blue and orange (illustrations were sort of done using a painted effect for lack of better description) only which tells me the book was most likely released published anywhere from the 1950s – early 1980s. It was not a Golden Book. I have searched on world cat and other such sites and it is NONE of the books that come up in the results. PLEASE HELP! None of the books ‘The Wrong Side of the Bed’ that I have found have been the right book. Please help me!


275D: Bodysuits change colour

This was a children’s novel about a advanced human society living separate to an abandoned post-disaster world.

The inhabitants now live in a peaceful and educated way, having somehow atoned for the previous mistakes. Everyone wears a bodysuit that changes colour dependant on the mood of the wearer. One scene describes a young girl’s family living room where the children ‘paint’ an image on a kind of computer screen that is displayed as an artwork.

In another, the children visit the old city, a chaotic abandoned world. My memories are sketchy but I think they find something there and the protagonist – I think it was the young girl – must walk through a super modern hall, a busy public area, with her bodysuit flashing colours wildly. The bodysuits glowed gently when the wearers were calm, and most were calm, so it was obvious to all when one was upset or aggressive.

Really quite incredibly prophetic as it must have been written before 1985. I borrowed it from a library in Australia in the early 1980’s.


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?

263E: Summer vacation with a young child’s family

I can’t recall the title of the book and that’s my problem. It was a children’s novel that was about a summer vacation with a young child’s family. The details I recall is that the story centered around this young boy who was trying to make it to a baseball game in time during this vacation where free bats (or hats?) were given out at this game. He also carried around baseball cards in his back pocket. I know there are stops at hotels and things along the way. It’s from around 1987 to 1992. The cover of the book featured a hand drawn family where a boy was standing out in front of his family wearing a ball cap and tossing a baseball into the air with one hand. His family and their station wagon was featured slightly behind him in the background. If I can just get a title to this book, it would mean a lot.

Stump the Bookseller makes The New York Times!

Sarah Manguso with her new copy of Toodle and Noodle

Sarah Manguso with her new copy of Toodle and Noodle

Huzzah!  Stump the Bookseller made The New York Times!  We’ve gotten a mention once before, but not in the Sunday Book Review!

Thanks to Sarah Manguso and her wonderful trip down memory lane, which took a little jaunt past Stump the Bookseller, and became a recollection in the Author’s Note section of the NYTSarah has several published books of her own, including the recently published Ongoingness: The End of a Diary.  But a vague childhood memory nagged at her, and was not solved by a simple Google search.

And that is how she came to this blog.  Her original query is posted as 169G, and was quickly solved. Sarah wasn’t sure how to get her hands on a book published in 1919, or if the joy of the quest wasn’t more powerful than the reunion might be.  But, hey, we happen to have the book just sitting on our shelves.  So we’re going to send it to her.  Thanks for the publicity, Sarah!


New Stump the Bookseller format! (BETA testing)

Thank you for your patience.  We’ve been thinking long and hard how to make Stump the Bookseller a better and easier site to use.  We finally decided not to entirely reinvent the wheel, but to use WordPress, the familiar blog software, to help us create a more user-friendly, searchable, and spam-free site.  We’ve got lots of queries in the backlog to get posted, and we’ll post those for free while we’re still working out the kinks.  We welcome your comments and feedback!  Thanks for being such wonderful book-loving sleuths and helping reconnect people to their cherished book memories!