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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?

186G: Children’s Book About Foxes

I read this book around 1996 and it looked kind of old then. It was a hard cover, wide book and I’m pretty sure the picture on the front was yellow/orange. Very autumn like. The story was about a family of foxes, a mother, father, a son and a daughter (they specifically used the word vixen). The little vixen fox went and found an elderly couple who lived in a house and stayed with them. They gave her a red ribbon to wear. Her leg got caught in a hunter’s trap, and her mom came and lay down with her, where I think it snowed on them and they died together. Every year after that a certain kind of flower (might have been red) would grow in the shape of their bodies laying together.

186F: children’s magic spells book

It might have been either a Scholastic or Weekly Reader children’s book, from either the late ‘60s or early ‘70s; but I might have just stumbled onto it in a random store.
I think it was a small, thin, hardcover book with a primarily medium-blue cover.
I think it had a relatively simple title, like Magic Spells and Potions, or something like that, but I can’t remember.

What I do remember clearly is my favorite spell in the book, which involved going into the forest and finding fern “seeds” with which to acquire the power of invisibility.

186E: Clue Embedded In Turquoise Jewelry

I read this book in maybe 1980-81, it was my favorite ever! It was a young adult book, the main character was a girl going to spend time at her aunt’s? after the death of her father. The aunt had either a hotel or ranch in the desert, somehow horses were involved (either belonging to the aunt, or a neighboring ranch). The girl befriended the daughter of one of the aunts employees (who wasn’t nice to her at first) and would ride horses (there may have been a ranch hand named Jasper?). There was a treasure involved as well……. Her father had given her a turquoise ring or beads (I can’t remember which), and somehow the clue to the treasure was embedded in the jewelry, maybe micro dots ? The girls returned from a ride to find that a burglary had occurred but the jewelry wasn’t taken as she had left it casually on the dresser “hidden in plain sight”. The book was a turquoise colored hardback, and I think it was in the “A-B” section of the childrens library. I have been searching for YEARS to find this, I have a great memory and I can’t believe I can’t remember this book as I read it over and over again! Help!

186D: Life of a Jewish girl in a turn-of-the-century Russian village – NOT “Letters From Rivka!”

Book was on the life of a young Jewish girl (possibly named Rifka) in either the late nineteeth or early twentieth-century Russia. She either took care of, or had a family/pet goat that she tended. I remember descriptions of the family/villagers going to the river to bathe and wash clothes; all the men would go to one area and the women to another so that they would not see each other.
Another part of the book described a non-Jewish peasant friend warning the family of an impending pogrom, and the family boarded themselves up into their house and waited it out, frightened of the noises they heard outside. This is not “Letters From Rivka.” I thought the book might be called “Rivka” but I can’t find any info! I read this in the 1970′s, and it was a softcover book.

 

186C: Trying to surprise Gramma with book

My Gramma used to read my dad a childrens book when he was young (he was born in 1951) and she can’t remember the book but knows the phrase “(from the top top top) of his head head head” – the part in () I think is what she said but not sure. I think it might have been a golden book, and not sure of the rest from there. His name when he was little was Jimmy, not sure if that’s the character or not. Good luck, it’s not much to go off of. I could probably probe for more if needed from my Gramma. (i was hoping to surprise her). Thanks!

185F: Faithful dog completes difficult task

This was a short story in a book of children’s stories, ca 1945-50?

The owner of a mastiff bets that his dog will accomplish a verbal task no matter what. He shows the dog a piece of money ( I believe it was an English crown), puts it in the dog’s mouth, tells him to take it home and sends him off. He goes home to await the dog’s arrival. A long interval goes by with no dog. Finally the dog arrives, bleeding with many dog bites, but still has the crown in his mouth.

The faithful dog has completed his task at fearful cost!

185E: Vibrant Color book

My book stumper is a children’s picture book I’m pretty sure it’s about colours. I have no title or author but I was about 5 or 6 reading it, making that 1963-64.
What I remember most are the deep rich vibrant colours. It was nothing like the washed out, pastel-riddled books I mostly had.
One page was a drawing of a bunch of grapes and they were the deepest, purplest, most mouth-watering colour imaginable.
I think I remember a cloudy storm page…all blues,blacks,grey’s. Images were large and loud. Maybe a new book in the vibrant 60′s!

There was an orangey page. A bold page of sun, I think.

I remember no people and if there was text it was very limited… maybe “a purple bunch of grapes” or just “grapes are purple”. No story.
Only about 8- 10pgs perhaps.
Hardback. paper pages.

We grew up in Canada so either an American or British book, not likely Canadian.

It was stunning. I would love to find it