306W: Animal figurines come alive, children’s book (Solved)

It was a book that my 5th grade teacher read to us in 1996-97 in Missoula, MT. There were magical rules to when the animals can come out of the china hutch. It’s really hazy, but I do remember that one of the main characters was a dog and something tragic happens to him. I feel strongly that the book had a red, white, and black cover. Something makes me think it has something to do with ‘Valentine.’ Maybe it’s a character’s name? It was probably a chapter book. I think the figurines where porcelain? It may also be set in the Victorian era, or other era I would have considered old timey as a child. The memories of this book are very visceral and strong but not detailed. It made me cry. Please help!

306O: Crushed Toys (Solved)

Hello, I remember a set of books (we had 2 but there may have more to the set) they where hard back and about 2in thick. Plain cover with no illustrations, short stories with just a title on the cover. Each story was about 10-15 pages long and had a illustration at the beginning of the story. I remember one illustration with a car that was 1950’s looking. One story was about a kid leaving his toys (toy cars maybe) in the driveway and dad came home and ran them over. I really don’t remember any other stories from the books. I think the covers where dark blue or grey. The stories where life lessons and not really fantasy, no talking birds or stuff like that, as far as I remember.

305O: A jewel from the ruins (Solved)


I read a hardback book, in the ’70s, about a girl on a coast, Ireland or Britain, who finds a piece of jewelry, a ring or broach or a necklace (in the ruins of an ancient building maybe?) She has dreams that reveal the life of the girl who had the piece a long (centuries?) time ago. The dream girl was maybe Spanish.

There were dolphins, and an island that figured very large in the story.

It didn’t seem like a new book at the time. Looking back I would guess that it was written after ww2. It had a sad tragic feel to it.

Does this ring any bells?

305L: Magician and girl fight spiritualism together (Solved)

Children or young adult historical fiction book, set during late 1800s or early 1900s. Girl is on cruise ship with silly female relative who believes in spiritualism, meets stage magician (Anton?) who smokes something distinctive (briar root? cheroot?) and teaches her how to do magic tricks. Author emphasizes logic over belief. Mystery involved? Published between 1950 and 2000, probably late 20th century.

305C: Family, priced to sell (Solved)

Dear Book Stumper, 15-20 years ago I acquired a children’s book that was old at that time (it had been in a library that was being closed). I didn’t have the book long before I somehow lost it and since then I’ve not found another copy, nor have I found anyone who has ever heard of such a story. I don’t know the title, but the story line is this:

A man decides he wants a wife so goes to a Wife Store and selects one. After a while the couple decide they want children so they go to a Children Store and select several. As the story goes on, the children are given “names” (numbers or letters), pets, and I think the family gets a home and/or land. Several other stores are involved in the story. I seem to remember that the man’s/ family’s last name was “Hunkendunk,” but am by no means sure about it.

I’ve tried local libraries, local book sellers of new and used books, online, entering what information I remember, without success.  Does this story line ring a bell with anyone out there?


303L: By the Sea, By the Sea (Solved)

I am looking for a novel which I read in the early 1960s, a gently humorous story of the eccentric inhabitants of a seaside town located along the Atlantic Ocean. The name of the town was “Plankton”. Three of the inhabitants were retired school teachers who shared a house, one of whom spent her days entering and winning contests. There were other residents, but since I was in either the 7th or 8th grade at the time, it was the school teachers who made the biggest impression on me.

A young single woman and a young man who loved insects and the study of bugs came into Plankton, eventually falling in love.

The young man was recruited to appear on a game show on television, where he dazzled the audience with his knowledge of bugs.

Of course, he won large sums of money.

The three school teachers took these two lonely people under their collective wing. Living in Plankton seemed to restore their confidence and their purpose in life.

When the two young people do fall in love and marry, they decide to live in Plankton. Their house was outfitted by the household items won by the content-winning school teachers.

I thought the title of the book was “By the Sea, By the Sea”, and the author’s name was Barkley or Berkely.

I remember that I had a paperback edition; the book may have been published in the mid to late 1950s. While I was a young teenager when I read this book, it was definitely a grown-up’s book.

I hope one of the book researchers will be able to find this charming, memorable book for me.

303G: 80s Children’s Chapter Story Anthology Big Book (Solved)

I think from the 80s, it was an anthology with chapters of different kids stories in it. I think there was a Judy Blume chapter (Fudge), a story about a boy picking between a blue or red toothbrush, a story about a kid not wanting to touch the gunk in the bottom of the sink that is left after the dishes, maybe the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle story about the kids not hearing their parents so they put powder in their ears, maybe a Wayside story chapter. I think it was a big white book (hardcover with a white jacket).