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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?

174F: magical flying princess turns king & queen into Giants


My query is a bit different than the usual… I own 6 original illustrations from a children’s story but do not know the book title, author or illustrator. I am seeking information on the book title. Description – A little princess is in her bedroom and the Queen bursts in holding a clock that is set at 9:45 she wants her to go to sleep. The Princess acquires magical powers, can fly above the castle balanced on the courtiers and animals and causes the King + Queen to grow so big that they can no longer fit in the house. Now huge, they stare through the kitchen window while she enjoys herself with the chef. Girl wears purple, has a shaggy dog and a Knight and Wizard also seems to be part of the story line. Based on the illustration style and details I would date this edition to the 1967 -1971.

thank you

174D: Spooky Quest For Cookie Recipe

I’m trying to find a chapter book about a young boy and an older woman who search for a prize-winning cookie recipe.

They want to win a cookie baking competition, so the older woman searches the library in her house for her family’s best recipe. She either loses it or can’t find it. She had a pet named Peeves who might have been responsible somehow. She realizes that they can use the second-best recipe, which originally belonged to one of her female relatives, if they can find it in time. The search takes them to either a shack or an abandoned house on a hill where they find a recipe for aniseed cookies. There may have been ghosts or a graveyard involved. The old woman rushes home and bakes the cookies in time for the contest, where they win first prize.

The book was for middle readers; I think it was about the same length as an Encyclopedia Brown book. I read the book before the year 2000, and I’m fairly sure it was written after 1960.

174C: Tales of a family that lives on an unusual farm

Family buys land from a crooked farmer. He tries to trick them & sells them a pond, but the water evaporates and it’s the richest dirt ever.
Mean farmer uses shotgun to plant seeds b/c his land is so hard, family has to jump out of the way when they plant seeds b/c plants shoot up so fast.
Many odd animals live on the land: one has different length legs so that it can walk on the incline of the sides of the pond/hill. Another is a “hide behind” that you can never see, just leaves tracks. Once when a member of the family is working they get pinched/poked & turn around so fast that the “hide behind” tires to hide behind itself.
Father eats biscuits hot out of the oven – then a tornado comes & the rest of the family is blown away. The biscuits cooled in his stomach & turned to cement, so he’s weighed down & saves his family.
Every time the mean farmer tries to cheat the family, they end up coming out ahead. The stories (tall tales) are funny & geared toward younger children.
I hope you have luck finding this story – it would be wonderful to read it to my son.

174B: Teddy bear picture book in the sea

I’m looking for a picture book about a teddy bear named “Jacques” that falls out of a boat into the ocean along with some other stuffed animals (a white sheep?). He sees mermaids and an octopus squirts him with ink. He eats “fish fingers”. It’s most likely English and I had it when I was about 4 or 5 back in ’89 or there about. The book had very interesting full page illustrations.

It’s been bothering my sisters and me for decades!

Please note

Thank you all for your interest in stump the bookseller as well as your patience. I am approximately a week and a half behind in posting and it can regularly take up to two weeks for your query to be posted. Thank you all again.

Ami

173J: Little girl is a house-guest in her own family’s home.

Little girl is a house-guest in her own family’s home. Children’s chapter book. Read in the 1960′s. Plot: a little girl wants to be a house-guest in her own family’s house – to sleep in the guest room and have special cookies made for her. Her parents go along with the little girl’s request. She packs a suitcase so that she can walk up to the door and be admitted as a guest. Also, the little girl has an aunt: The aunt does fun things when she visits, such as getting the whole town to play leap-frog. Many thanks!

173H: Looking for my Grandma’s Book

I am looking for a book with children’s stories. I don’t know the title. When my grandmother was a child, around 1910, one of her teachers gave her a book and my grandmother was given the task to recite one of the stories. The story was about 2 sisters on a dock and one of the sisters failed to save her sister when she fell into the swirling waters. I didn’t see the book, but grandmother provided the above information before she died. Thirty years later I saw the story in a museum in an open book that was locked under a glass counter. There wasn’t anyone manning the counter and I wasn’t able to inquire about it to get the name of the book. The book wasn’t large, perhaps 40-50 pages thick and perhaps it had a black cover. My sister thinks the name of one of the girls was Maggie. I would love to purchase this book if anyone knows of it.