305C: Family, priced to sell (Solved)

Dear Book Stumper, 15-20 years ago I acquired a children’s book that was old at that time (it had been in a library that was being closed). I didn’t have the book long before I somehow lost it and since then I’ve not found another copy, nor have I found anyone who has ever heard of such a story. I don’t know the title, but the story line is this:

A man decides he wants a wife so goes to a Wife Store and selects one. After a while the couple decide they want children so they go to a Children Store and select several. As the story goes on, the children are given “names” (numbers or letters), pets, and I think the family gets a home and/or land. Several other stores are involved in the story. I seem to remember that the man’s/ family’s last name was “Hunkendunk,” but am by no means sure about it.

I’ve tried local libraries, local book sellers of new and used books, online, entering what information I remember, without success.  Does this story line ring a bell with anyone out there?


303L: By the Sea, By the Sea (Solved)

I am looking for a novel which I read in the early 1960s, a gently humorous story of the eccentric inhabitants of a seaside town located along the Atlantic Ocean. The name of the town was “Plankton”. Three of the inhabitants were retired school teachers who shared a house, one of whom spent her days entering and winning contests. There were other residents, but since I was in either the 7th or 8th grade at the time, it was the school teachers who made the biggest impression on me.

A young single woman and a young man who loved insects and the study of bugs came into Plankton, eventually falling in love.

The young man was recruited to appear on a game show on television, where he dazzled the audience with his knowledge of bugs.

Of course, he won large sums of money.

The three school teachers took these two lonely people under their collective wing. Living in Plankton seemed to restore their confidence and their purpose in life.

When the two young people do fall in love and marry, they decide to live in Plankton. Their house was outfitted by the household items won by the content-winning school teachers.

I thought the title of the book was “By the Sea, By the Sea”, and the author’s name was Barkley or Berkely.

I remember that I had a paperback edition; the book may have been published in the mid to late 1950s. While I was a young teenager when I read this book, it was definitely a grown-up’s book.

I hope one of the book researchers will be able to find this charming, memorable book for me.

303G: 80s Children’s Chapter Story Anthology Big Book (Solved)

I think from the 80s, it was an anthology with chapters of different kids stories in it. I think there was a Judy Blume chapter (Fudge), a story about a boy picking between a blue or red toothbrush, a story about a kid not wanting to touch the gunk in the bottom of the sink that is left after the dishes, maybe the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle story about the kids not hearing their parents so they put powder in their ears, maybe a Wayside story chapter. I think it was a big white book (hardcover with a white jacket).

302R: Monsters in Rain (Solved)

This children’s storybook is no later than late 70’s or early to mid 80’s, it had pictures. There were some evil monsters or something that hated rain and were vulnerable to water, so some people went out to confront them during a rainstorm by putting their coats in jars to keep them dry. The people then put on their dry coats when they approached the monsters, and when the monsters asked why the people weren’t wet, the people said they were able to move between the raindrops without getting wet. The people told the the monsters how they could do the same, but when the monsters tried it the water got them.

302O: Chapter Book about Young Man and a Bicycle Race (Solved)

My memory is of a chapter book that I checked out from an elementary school library in the late 60’s. It was about a young man participating in a bicycle race, perhaps the Tour de France, or modeled after that race. It was more advanced than a simple picture book, and my recollections are that the style of writing and illustrations could have been from the 50’s to early 60’s. The grueling race was seen through this young participant’s eyes, and I recall the descriptions being quite vivid. Again, my memory is that it was an upper-elementary or perhaps middle grade reading level. It was a realistic account of a long, multi-day bicycle race but was definitely a novel. Thanks for any help you can give.

302L: In a little cottage by the sea (Solved)

Looking for a children’s picture book about an old woman who lives alone with her cat in a little cottage by the sea. One day she and the cat find a bottle on the beach and a genie appears – very threatening illustration of this. She and cat do outwit the genie and all is well. I feel that the author is well-known. For some reason, I cannot recall the title or author’s name.

301Q: Choosing a bear (Solved)

Looking for a children’s picture book, possibly published between 1970 and 1990.

The book is about a child going into a store (I think) to choose a bear. There are many to choose from which we are introduced to on the following pages, groom bear, bride bear, stinky bear, sleepy bear, etc.

In the end the child is asked “which one will you choose?” and his/her choice.

301P: A boy makes a “Dagwood” style sandwich (Solved)

1960s children’s picture book about a boy making a tall, stacked “Dagwood” style sandwich.  The text is minimal – “a little of this, a bit of that, and some bread”. There is a girl (sister?) watching him in amusement. The focus is on the entertaining parade of sandwich ingrediants. The pictures are not full color and are sketchy and “modern” in feel.  As a kid this book made me want to make sandwiches every time I read it!

300X: The fertile farm bought with three moths (Solved)

This is for my husband. He said he had a reader he loved as a kid. It was published by Scholastic. He said it is about a family who loses everything. The father, mother and at least two kids get in their car and head out. They end up buying a farm which is not fertile because they were taken advantage off. However, the farm is kind of magical and becomes fertile. The farmer who sold it to them comes back at toward the end of the book and wants it back. He says that the father of the family had said he would buy the farm with everything in his wallet and that he did not hold his end of the bargain because there were three moths in his wallet he did not give away. The farmer proceeds to plant trees which grow immediately and turn the day to night because of the shade of their canopies. The family goes hunting for moths with a flashlight and find three moths to pay the bad man with.