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Welcome to Stump the Bookseller by Loganberry Books!

Welcome to the new(ish) Stump the Bookseller blog!  If you’ve been here before you will notice things look different. We hope this has solved some of the technical difficulties we have been having!

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?

Featured post

G Mail Concerns

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well as we approach the holiday season.  It has come to my attention that G Mail often does not let our e-mails through.  For those using G Mail accounts, if you have submitted a Stumper and have not received an e-mail from us after a few days, please check your spam folder prior to contacting us.

Thanks and take care,

Julie

366N: Riding the Ponies Across the Moors

I was born 1968. Sometime around 1978 I read a story about some kids who set out on adventures on their “ponies” and they would stop and camp in the woods and eat “tinned“ food. I believe it had a very UK British feel. They would talk about riding on the “moors” and through forests.
It is possible they were trying to solve a mystery, or just narrating their experiences along the way as they traveled to an ultimate destination- like maybe a beach or shore as on a summer adventure.

I will stop here because I do not want to confuse this with another story in my head.

I think this book might have been a hard cover, about an inch thick, with black paper on the cover inside the dust jacket, and MIGHT have had gold lettering embossed “ONYX” on the cover. MIGHT CONTAIN “nebula” That description might also pertain to a different book but, that is why I am here. They seemed to make a big deal about calling the horses ponies and they all seemed very independent to be traveling without adults. Approx character age 10-15?
I read the story when I was about 10 years old, around 1978, so there’s no telling how much older the story actually is?

I’d really like to get another copy of the story of those children traveling with and riding their ponies, camping or resting while eating food from tins and parcels, and traveling across the moors and forests to get to…?

366M: Anthology with a club that dresses like monsters, a girl who gets wishes that go wrong, possibly a crocodile and more?

I remember this hardback white book from my childhood. It had a lot of stories in it. The one I remember most vividly was about a club of boys and girls who did all sorts of stuff. They host an event where they come disguised as monsters. They figure out who everyone is, except one monster who they assume must be the last club member (I think it was a girl, Katie?). So this yellow monster doesn’t look like a costume like the others. The monster ends up winning lots of events. But then at the end, the missing club member shows up late and it turns out it was a real, friendly monster the whole time. Another story in it was about a girl who received wishes for her birthday? I think from her aunt? It’s possible she made these wishes using candles? Or a magic bag. The wishes all go wrong. I think one makes these awful ugly babies or monsters? And one involves cr

366L: The Mouse’s House by the Waterhole

I’m trying to find a children’s book my mother read me over 50 years ago.

I remember vividly.

The mouse tells all the animals at the waterhole:

There’s a creature in my house yelling and screaming and throwing the furniture out of the windows.

He says this to lions, tigers, giraffes.  In the end, it turns out the creature is  an owl that the jungle animals trumpet and roar at, and it flies out of the mouse’s house in the tree.

Then, the lions realize they are hungry, and the giraffes and zebras etc. run away before the lions and tigers can get them.  The mouse returns to his house in the tree.

366K: Adventures in Nature

In the mid-1950s I had a book about two children learning about nature from their grandfather(?). Probably an elementary textbook from the 1930s (I had a second book at the same time: “Following the Frontier” by W. L. Nida, 1934, so the book in question probably came from the same school discards). The book in question had ink line drawings — I remember a drawing of a potter wasp or mud dauber wasps’ nest shaped like a vase.

366J: Kid’s Book about Sailboat Family

In the early 90s my dad used to read me a children’s book about a father teaching his daughter how to sail. The mom was against getting a boat at first, but then started tending to it like sewing curtains for it, and learned to love the boat. The family had a great adventure on the boat. 
That’s all I got! Any help would be appreciated 🙂 

366I: Book about French cafe in small town that almost went out of business

The book featured a French cafe run by a husband and wife (with help from the young narrator) in a small town in France. The cafe was of amazing quality but had few patrons. The owner spent a lot on special, colorful plates and nice little planters at the door. Finally one day a famous person (maybe a restaurant critic) serendipitously arrived when the restaurant was about to fail for lack of customers. The owners used their amazing cooking skills and tasteful presentations to provide a simple and perfect meal of a freshly caught fish and some vegetables. The critic was blown away and the restaurant was saved.

366H: Horse story with Native American main character

I had (in the 60s or 70s) a collection of horse stories. One was about a Native American young man named (I believe) Johnny, who was a handsome man who was “lame” (walked with a limp and was self conscious about it). He had a horse he named Bay-ee because the horse was sort of copper-colored like a penny. He won some sort of race with the horse. Would love to find this story again.

366G: Uncle Flees Disaster, Leaves Orphaned Children

I’m looking for the title of a dystopian middle grade or YA book I read in the late 1970s or early 1980s. An orphaned girl (tween or early teens) and her younger brother live with their aunt and uncle in an apartment building in a big city. (Maybe in the UK? I have a vague feeling that some things didn’t seem familiar to this midwestern suburban kid.) The uncle is mean and doesn’t like having them there. There’s a disaster of some sort and the uncle flees with his family, leaving the niece and nephew to fend for themselves. There’s no power or water and when they run low on food they leave the apartment. The girl fills a canteen or bottle with water from the toilet tank, saying she was grateful that at least her uncle wouldn’t let her aunt use the cleaning pucks that turn the toilet water blue. Later there’s some sort of charismatic leader and evil government. I don’t even remember if it was a particularly good book. It just occurs to me sometimes and I’d like to remember the rest of the story.

366F: Fairy is kidnapped by witch and frozen

I’m looking for a picture book that I cannot remember the name or author of. The story depicts a group of forest animals that spend time around a fairy (or heart of the forest). A depressed, skinny witch lives in the belly of a giant sharp tooth beast and has a black bird for a companion. For whatever reason she wants to have this fairy and keep her in a cage close to her heart, so she has the bird go fetch the fairy. The forest becomes dark and the animals of the forest seek out the help of another large animal to help them. This other large animal (an owl or wolf I think?) blows winter over the dark forest freezing the beast, the witch, and the fairy. Because the beast is unable to eat and the witch is unable to move the animals wander in to find them covered in frost and free the fairy to be with the forest again. I also think the beast was so big she had a house inside of it. Beyond that I forget what follows. Thank you for listening!

366E: Girl Trapped in Cistern

Sometime in the period 1984-1988, when I was a child, my summer reading subscription (Weekly Reader?) sent me a novel about a girl who lives alone with her mother in a country house. One hot summer day she escapes her chores in the cellar where there is an old-fashioned cistern (unlidded concrete cylinder built into the floor). She climbs it to lie on the rim, but then falls in and remains trapped for hours because her yelling is unheard by her mother vacuuming two floors above. That’s all I remember!