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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?

227N: The story of Thambi (Solved)

I’m trying to recall the title of a children’s book which told the story of Thambi in a rural village in India trying to earn enough money for something he wanted by bringing a “Merican” (American) lady local flowers to paint. She asked him to find what were orchids, but possibly not called orchids, and one of the older village men told him to look in the trees in the forrests that lined the slopes of a local mountain called “the bearded one.” He found the orchids, brought them to the lady for painting, earned his money but bought a blanket for his family rather than what he wanted. The shop keeper saw what he had done and promised that the book or whatever it was he wanted would be there when he had earned some more money.

Can anyone remember this book?

Note: It has been identified as  ‘Pinneyo Rama?’ (What then, Raman?) by Shirley L Arora, published in 1961.

227M: A forgotten anthology

I think this book is an old vintage reader from the 1950s or 60s.  It has some very good stories in it I’d like to read again.  In one story there is a flood and a grandmother and a boy or girl move up to the attic.  There is a cook stove up there and Grandmother makes cookies while the water rises.  The illustrations show her rolling out the dough for the cookies. In another story a young boy tries to teach an old Indian how to drive.  I’d love to read these stories again as I cannot remember how they ended.

Thank you!

227L: Old lady and her mysterious envelopes

Greetings!

I am looking for a children’s book from the ’40 or ’50s about an older woman who prepared for the week by putting items into envelopes that she would need for each day.  On Monday she got a paper cut; in Monday’s envelope was a handkerchief to press against the cut.  On another day, several tiger cubs showed up at her door; in that day’s envelope were the right number of pieces of shewing gum for each of the cubs, to occupy them.

 

227K: Lavishly illustrated fairies

I am looking for a childhood book my mother read to me around 1954 when we lived in Virginia.  It was about fairies and lavishly illustrated.  My favorite was the center fold illustration of fairies in the forest dancing under a moon that had a gauzy ring around it.  It was not Golder Books Treasury of Elves and Fairies by Garth Williams.  Any ideas?

Thanks.

227J: A girl and a woman live in a harem

Description: This book would have been published before 1954, probably in the 40s. (I checked it out of a public library, children’s section, several times between 1949 and 1954.)

A girl and a woman (the girl’s mother?) who live (as slaves?) in a harem know the mood of the master by the color of the horse he rides that day.

I can’t remember the title, but The White Horse comes to mind. (Not The Little White Horse.) The girl was probably European or American, and I can’t remember how she came to be living in a harem. The Arab master’s mood was demonstrated to his slaves by the color of the horse he rode on a given day.

This was not an easy book. It was longer and harder than Estes, e.g., or Streatfeild, etc. It was a novel, really, with an (obviously) advanced theme. I can’t remember anything else about it. I don’t know if the girl and her mother were rescued at the end.

227I: Told from a doll’s point of view

I am looking for a children’s book that I read when I was in grade 3 in 1955 in Toronto. C. 1953? American?  It was a small short picture book/easy reader chapters 5.5″x5.5″, black and white illustrations and hardcover.

In the attic, in a trunk there is a doll (old) who wishes that a little girl will find her and play with her. Emily? is playing one day and wanders up to the attic of her house and discovers a small trunk.  I can still feel the hope and excitement of the doll (Henrietta?).  Emily opens the trunk to reveal a beautiful doll with a complete wardrobe of clothes and a parasol.

Thank you so much for searching for this book for me.

p.s. I named my daughter Emily after the little girl in this book!

227H: Plants go crazy!

A little boy offers to help his neighbor take care of their houseplants while they’re away, and as each day passes the plants grow and grow, until they’ve filled up the house and are spilling out the windows and doors.  I would have seen it as a child in school or at the library in the early 80s, but the book may be from earlier.  I believe hardcover, with color illustrations ( I want to say ink and/or colored pencil?)  I’ve always been fascinated by plants and this book was my favorite!

227G: A book with an alternate ending

It is middle school aged, maybe 5th and 6th grade, and very much like a Beverly Cleary book, and it was in the mid to late 60’s that I read it. You flipped it upside down to read the alternate ending, which had a different cover. I loved it back then because it showed that bullies and the bullied are not so much different. The boy had a major challenge…to play in a school concert, it was either a bugle or a trumpet, and that was the end of both versions of the story.

I’ve looked all over and it seems not to be Beverly Cleary. I know I read it about the same time I was reading Beezus and Ramona.

227E: City boy and crusty mountain man thwart horse rustlers, catch and tame wild mustang

Young adult book; city boy spends the summer in the high country with aunt and uncle who are about to lose their ranch; crusty loner/family friend takes boy into the mountains for a few weeks; they catch and tame wild a mustang and thwart horse rustlers and save aunt and uncle’s ranch.