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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?

191H: alligator or crocodile lady who is dressed in women’s clothes

I’m looking for a children’s fiction book that my father used to read to me in the 1980′s. It’s about an alligator or crocodile lady who is dressed in women’s clothes. She has three parrots/birds and they are always telling her what to do. They say, “Cook spaghetti! Make popcorn!” At the end of the book, her house overflows with popcorn. It would mean the world to my father and I to be able to find this book and read it together again! Thank you!

191G: Scary UFOs, Nice Paintings

The book I’m after was a spooky children’s book picked up at a R.I.F. book fair in the early 80s. It was from a UK line of books and I believe was titled, simply, “UFOs.” It was perfectly square, tiny (a bit larger than a piece of toast), softcover, short (maybe 24 pages or less), and had realistic and creepy paintings of supposedly true UFO case files. Lots of art, light text. The cover was entirely midnight blue, and either had no art at all, or perhaps just a small clip of art from within, probably a “grey” alien face if anything. I had another book from the line that I believe was called “Dinosaurs,” and followed the same format, but had a vivid green cover. It was definitely an entire line of small books. Oh, and I remember the UFO book was the first place I ever heard of the Men in Black, though they seemed a lot creepier in the book than in the movie. I think the entry on their mysterious origins (it was acknowledged no one knew if they were extraterrestrial or government agents) mentioned one of them putting his fingers in a cup of coffee as if he didn’t understand it. Or something like that!

191D: traveling poet who sells his rhymes

The book is about a traveling poet who sells his rhymes. He meets a king or ruler of a town who wants everything to be the biggest and the best. So king is building a hill bigger than any hill, but the hill collapses every day. The colors on the book were very muted so I think it was pre-1980s. I think a part of the book was “the sun is a sun a star is a star i am who i am you are who you are” and something about walking on his feet and following his nose. I would be forever grateful if you could find the name of this children’s book!

191C: Dirty Little Pig ?

This book was probably published between 1942-1965. It was about a family that lived near train tracks so that the soot covered everything in the house, including the family. The doctor was sent for and I remember he looked everything over and said, “Hmmmmm” which I thought was funny as a small child. The illustration I remember was of a pig sleeping in an open dresser drawer. I seem to recall the illustrations were not in color but more like sketches. I have searched for this book for 10+ years. Nobody has ever heard of it.
Also, if this helps, my mother belonged to something called the Junior Literary Guild and many of my books as a child were JLG books. Maybe this one was as well. My older siblings thought the book was called The Dirty Family or the Dirty Little Pig or that “dirty” was a part of the title.

191A: Orphans living with elderly relative, doorknobs made of diamonds

A childrens book written before 1968 involving orphans living with elderly relative. all are poor. female child falls asleep in a turret room and is transported to a magical world where she and other children help the creatures in some kind of war. Upon return the doorknobs in the house are discovered to be real diamonds. There is a bad child that ends up in a gazing ball in the garden. I have been trying to remember the title and or author of this book for years. I loved it as a child and want very much to get a copy for my grandchildren.

190D: Girl Moves in to a Family Full of Boys

I am searching for a book I read when I was a teenager, so it would have been in the 1960’s or 1970’s. I cannot remember the name, and the details are a bit foggy. But, it was about a girl whose parents died or were gone or something like that. She was living with a family that had a number of boys. She fell in love with one of the boys, and another of the boys hated her. She was trapped in a cellar, and almost died, but did recover. The boy she was in love with died, and the boy who hated her eventually fell in love with her. I wish I could remember more! I hope you can identify this book for me!