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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?

316R: Treasure hidden in the wall

I have been looking for a children’s book that is about a young boy who lives in a brick “walk-up” and who has a collection of items hidden behind a red brick in the wall of his building.  I remember one item being a stick of gum… I have been trying to find this book for awhile.  I would appreciate any help you can give.

316P: Classic children’s poetry – Little Golden Book?

I have a tattered copy of a much-loved book of poetry by Eugene Field that I think was a Little Golden Book. This was from my childhood in the 1950s. Some of the poems in the book include “Little Boy Blue,” “The Sugar Plum Tree,” “The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat,” “Good Children Street,” “Intry-Mintry,” Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” “Seein’ Things,” “The Drum,” “To a Little Brook,” and “The Boy.” I think there may be one or two other poems. The illustrations are whole-page in color with black and white pen and ink drawings between the poems. I would love to find an intact copy of this book.

316O: Man Attempts to Expose Shadow Government in England

I can’t remember if this was hardcover or paperback. The protagonist was a British government official in a fairly important post who discovers a shadow government that has plans to overthrow the legitimate British government.

When he refuses to go along with their plot, they frame him as a pedophile by putting child pornography on his computer. He escapes arrest and subsequently fakes his death. When his daughter comes to take possession/clean out his house, she finds small clues that would be meaningless to anyone else but lets her know he is alive.

CCTV is almost everywhere, and phone calls, mail/emails are screened. The protagonist enlists others to help him, and is successful in the end.

I think I read this around 2009, and gave it to someone else to read. Neither of us recall the title, but in 2011 when Rupert Murdoch was exposed as having monitored mail and cell phones in England is was eerily reminiscent of the book.

316N: 3-D Glasses Lead to Magic World

I am looking for the title of a book I read when I was a child, in about 1965 or so. It was about a girl who was at home, ill in bed, while her friends went to the 3-D movies. She couldn’t go due to her illness, but her friends brought her a pair of the 3-D glasses. When she put them on, she was transported to a magic world. It seems to me like there was lemonade rain but I’m not sure.

Does this ring a bell with you?

316M: Colouring a grey kingdom leads to misfortune

A man (possibly the king of a realm) lives in a kingdom, its quite likely grey, and he discovers various colours in his castle / dungeon. You see a brilliant patch of colour in an otherwise totally grey scene as he discovers each colour. He rushes outside and paints the entire land colours, but this makes the inhabitants sick / depressed / angry etc. based on the characteristics expected of that color. Colors include (from memory) pink, cyan and yellow.

I first had this read to me in the late 70’s and as it was from my public library so may have been published considerably earlier, perhaps 1950’s or 1960’s.

316L: Two children visit island they are warned not to. Children’s picture book 80s.

I am looking for a children’s picture book from the 80’s.

Synopsis: Two island children were told by their elders not to ever visit a certain island near them as there was danger there, so naturally, the two adventurers decided to go anyway. They were frightened off by somebody wearing a scary mask and they scampered back to their canoe and back to the safety of their own island.

Pictures: It was pretty much a picture book with vivid illustrations on every page, with a little writing in big bold print. Lots of palm trees and jungly illustrations.

316K: Bizarre Candy Shop

I’m searching for a children’s book from the 1940’s or 50’s.  I thought it was a Little Golden Book but I don’t think it is now.  It was my mother’s favorite.  It had a story about a woman taking care of children and I believe she took him into a candy store and there were stars on the ceiling.  She broke off 1 of her fingers and turned it into a piece of candy for them to suck on.  It’s very bizarre; I remember her reading it to me and she just loved it and I would like to know what this the title of it was so I can find it for her.  She used to read me “Little orphan Annie came to our house to stay…” put a candle underneath her face and do this voice.  It was wonderful and slightly creepy all at once.  She owned a bookstore when I was little so I’ve been reading since I was 3; no TV or video games allowed, but as many books as we pleased, most of them children’s books over 100 years old.  Lamb on Wheels; The Adventures of Frog and Toad; everything Mark Twain – I loved his short stories, especially the one with the devil.  I was a slightly creepy child.  I’m 48 and mom is 71.  If you need any more details I’ll try and think of anything I can.  Thank you!

316J: Japanese Young Adult Story of Unrequited Love

A young Japanese woman/girl falls in love with an older man/one who is beyond her social class. She writes all her feelings as journal entries/poems (maybe in letters to him?). Her love is unrequited but she remains strong in her sense of self as well as in her love for him. The plot reminds me very much of Snow Country, but I do not think it is the same book, since the book I am looking for was in my VERY conservative Christian elementary/high school library, in the young adult fiction section. The illustration on the cover is in a traditional Japanese style, as were the minimal illustrations throughout. The book is short (about 100 pages, give or take) and small in size. Snow drops and/or cherry blossoms were a trope throughout the book and may have been part of the title and/or cover illustration.

316I: Animal babysitter who pays doctor in greens

I am pretty sure it was a sloth or similar looking animal.  The children (also animals) wouldn’t eat the dinner (greens) but then ate a bunch of something else, so got sick and she had to call the doctor- who treated them but then needed to be paid – so she gave him the dinner they didn’t eat – and he commented on the dirty paws that had been in it- but took it.