Looking for a Childhood Book? Here's How.

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Whoops! Flat Stanley is looking for a book! His own book, first issued in 1964, with illustrations by Tomi Ungerer. He won't find a nice copy!  It's a very rare book.

Every day we receive emails from people searching for childhood books.  I'm sorry but we no longer research emailed book queries. Please read this page carefully and you may find some alternate ways of searching for your book yourself.
You can also post your query on the Comment section below. Since I personally moderate Disqus Comments daily, I will see any query you post and will answer if I am familiar with the book. However, there are several contributers to this page who are more knowledgeable about modern books than I am. We also highly recommend  www.Loganberrybooks.com.


Searching for a Book Online
Selling One or Two Books
Finding and Valuing an Older Book
Describing a book for your query
Followed by a Comments section, which you may use to post a query.

Searching for a Book Online:

Our Old Children's Books Search:
First, it's worth trying our own Advanced Search.  About 3/4 of our children's books, are on this site.  Although only about 500 have pictures, almost all contain plot descriptions and Keywords (tags). These can be searched using the Description and Keyword field or the simple search on the website.

We are specialist children's booksellers. There are better sources on the net for inquiring about most children's books, especially readers, series, modern, or mass market books. Please try the links below before contacting us:

Absolute Best: Loganberry Books
Loganberry Books home page.

Select "Nostalgia" from the menu.
Look through other people's queries and Solved Mysteries; post your own book query.
See this Loganberry page for children's storybooks or anthologies:
Loganberry Books Anthology Page,

It's in there somewhere: ABE Books Advanced Search
Abebooks Advanced Search.
For best results use only: Title, Author, Date Range, and Keywords. You will be able to limit your search further once you reach the results page. This is the best book search engine on the net, from a huge Canadian company originally started by booksellers.
Millions of books of all kinds from dealers all over the world, some not found in libraries.

Most of the English language books ever published: WorldCat
https://www.worldcat.org/advancedsearch lists entries from catalogues of libraries in English speaking countries around the world. You should limit your search at least to Format:Book, and Audience:Juvenile. You can do this on the advanced search page or once you arrive at the results, using the left hand column, as with abe. Often you can find more about the content of a title by going to an individual library holding. (Because you won't get as many duplicate titles, Worldcat works better for common titles than Abe or Amazon.) If you have access to a university reference library, you can access a more WorldCat reliable search.

Ask the experts: Steve Santi
For a Little Golden, Elf, or similar book, try the forum on:

Pictures are best:
Once you have narrowed down a possible title, try Amazon.com or Google.com Images for an image. The colour option on Google is working better and better. It's a real help. I have started using Images on bing.com also, something about the quality and the layout makes IDs easier.  Amazon and Google pictures are not accurate though, so use the "Seller Supplied Pictures"  (not the Stock pictures) on Abebooks for specific editions. (Look in the left hand column to limit your search to these.)

A few words can help:
If all you can remember is a few words, try Google.com.
Put the words in quotes.
Use only one or two, essential, easily-spelled, keywords.
Try this sample Google search:   "I think I can"  train
Remember that one?

Selling One or Two Books.

Probably the easiest place for an individual to sell books with an ISBN is on Amazon. Look up your book, click on the picture, then look in the blue box for "Have one to sell?" and click on "Sell yours here." Amazon's instructions for selling are very clear. If, and only if, Amazon has listed the book in the past, will you be able to list also.  Ebay is also very easy and inexpensive to use for a few books and it allows you more room to describe the books.

For pricing your book, it is easier and more accurate to use Abebooks Advanced Search https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchEntry to find a price. Then double check on Amazon because prices there are sometimes higher.  Amazon's Search is really not set up for out of print books.

Condition, especially the presence of a jacket if called for,  and publication data are extremely important, but just record what you see, don't try to grade or ascertain edition and printing. The more care you put into describing your books, the more likely you are to sell them. Note: We do not purchase books online, sight unseen. Please do not offer them to us. Thank you. If you have a collection or several rare books you are interested in selling to us, especially if you live in the Northwest, please look on /buying-and-pricing-childrens-books

Finding and Valuing an Older Book.

We are happy to assist you in finding a half-remembered book from the 1930s  or before. Our email address is on the Contact Us page. We do not run a formal Book Search and we will not order books for you, but we'll try to point you in the right direction. For a more modern book read the suggestions above or post a Comment/query on this page..

We never value a book over the net, nor do other reputable booksellers. If you have an older book which seems to have value, you might want to look at our page Buying and Selling Children's Books.

Look through the suggestions below. If the process seems too complicated, we are pleased to recommend an very experienced children's specialist bookseller who does formal book searches and keeps a want list for customers.

Jeryl Metz Woitach
dba Jeryl Metz, Books
697 West End Ave, #13A
New York, NY 10025-6921
Tel. (212) 864-3055
Email: Jmwbooks@aol.com
Website: https://www.abebooks.com/jeryl-metz%2C-books-new-york-ny/6872/sf

Describing a Book.

-Basic Information:
    The latest possible year of publication, i. e. before (date).
    Your estimate as to the range of possible publication dates.
    Picture book or children's novel
    Source: Library? School? An older family book?

- Anything at all you remember about the book:
    Phrases or refrains,
    Bits of plot.
-Illustrations: the quickest way to ID, the hardest quality to describe.
    Separate plates or in text?
    Other illustrators the pictures call to mind?

Choose your search words carefully:
Unusual words really help: wallaby works better than bear as a search word.
Names which could be spelled in various ways are hard to search; Peatie Peety Petey Peetie Peaty
Words which could be hyphenated or not also take time, especially with older books which may follow different conventions: dog house, dog-house, doghouse
Avoid abbreviations, they could be spelled out or not: Dr/Doctor. Mr./Mister Co./Company  Inc./
Avoid possessives, although sometimes it doesn't matter.

See also our Links for Collectors in the Collector's Corner.


Guidelines: This forum is monitored by the owner of this site, Old Children's Books. Only a few book sleuths are whitelisted on this forum. All other pending posts are reviewed individually and approved at least daily: US Pacific Standard Time.

Please understand that direct contact information and/or commercial solicitations will be removed from your post.

* Post only bookID-related posts or links. No sales offers, please.
* Include no contact information in the body of your comment.
* Sign up for Disqus to be notified of responses.

Many, many thanks to all the wonderful readers who help to ID these books!  We also appreciate those who take the time to thank the contributors for researching their books.



50s or Before - Book about a young governess

Hi, my mom read a book when she was a kid and I'm trying to track it down for her for Christmas. She probably read it in the late 1950s, but I think it was published before then. She thought it was called "The House on the Hill," but we can't find anything like that anywhere. However, there may be a house on a hill in the story. It was about a young girl, who might be named Daphne, who becomes a governess at this house. I think it's about her adventures there. Any help or advice would be much appreciated! Thank you!!

House on the Hill

This could be an adult book that she read as an older child. I read Turn of the Screw as a child because I thought it was a short ghost story about children, and she might have, too. (it was puzzling to a ten year old!) There is also Mary Stewart's Nine Coaches Waiting. She might also have read the beginning chapters of Jane Eyre and then put it aside. As a longer shot, Daphne DuMaurier wrote a long book called Hungry Hill with a governess character in one of the generations. I'm unaware of a "young adult" book with this plot, aside from one of Enid Blyton's which doesn't really fit. Was it English? Perhaps there is a school story sequel with this plot. Let us know if you find it, and I'll keep looking.

Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for responding! Actually, I know it's not Turn of the Screw because we started reading that one together just a few months ago and she hated it! Haha. She does like Jane Eyre, but it's not that one either.

I'll look into Mary Stewart's book that you mentioned and Enid Blyton. I didn't want to ask my mom quiet yet, in hopes of finding it for her first.

It could be English, but I don't think she would know if it is. I think it's possible she got more than one book mixed up since she read it so long ago... so who knows if it's really even out there! But I really appreciate your help - thanks!

Pull Tab Book

I am looking for a pull tab children's book. It would have been published in the late 70's or in the 80's. I think it is about opposites. It has cartoon cat characters in it. I remember most, the page that had a cat in a window and when you pull the tab, the shade goes up that the cat is holding onto, causing him to stretch and become skinny.

Pull tab book

This book is a little late for us and I'm not familiar with it. Loganberry Books (see above) is the perfect place to search for this book, and you have some good details to search with. "Moveable book" is a more general term used with pull tab books. Sometimes they are even classed with pop-ups, although they don't really pop!
Good luck,

Looking for "Little Things..."

Looking for older book (from library) which I read to my children when they were little. Primarily picture book with text. I think "Little Things" was in title. Story about husband & wife who kept collecting "little things" until their home was piled high. They eventually simplified their life by getting rid of all the stuff except what really mattered.

Little Things by Anne Laurin, illus by Marcia Sewell

I'm not familiar with this book. The only copy with this title from the right time period on WorldCat was Little Things by Anne Laurin, illus by Marcia Sewell, and the illustrator would be right for this plot. There are about 12 on abebooks, one with a fuzzy picture, so you could see if it's the right one.

looking for a children's book

I'm looking for a children's picture book, which I can't remember the title of. The last I saw it was at the library around the late '80s, but I'm sure it was published before then.

The plot was about a woman who owned a flower shop, but she could not get the flowers to grow. She tried everything to get them to grow (singing to them, putting mittens on them in case they were too cold, etc.) before finally discovering that her cat had been eating the flowers all along. It was a hardcover book with simple, cartoon illustrations mostly in red, blue, and white I think.

Thank you for your help. I tried asking a librarian and they could not think of the title of this book.

Looking for a particular book

The story is about a old woman who lives in a tree with three bears. Shunned by the town until a big storm comes and her tree is the only safe place. I want to say it's called " Mrs. Wiggleys Treehouse but not sure. Anybody have any idea? I read it last in the 70's. would like to find it for my kids.
Kyle Ruggiero

Miss Twiggley's Tree

You are looking for "Miss Twiggley's Tree" by Dorothea Warren Fox, Parents' Magazine Press, NY 1966 Library of Concress Catalog Card Number AC66-10019

Purple House Press/Miss Twiggley's Tree

Thanks for the ID. You can buy a copy of Miss Twiggley's Tree from http://www.purplehousepress.com/
Jill Morgan founded Purple House Press to republish children's books which were highly sought after on the internet . Their list currently has about 40 books and is growing. All of these books were very popular in the 50's and 60's and had been widely distributed, many being book clubs. By the 90's they had become very difficult to find and certain online dealers ran their prices up to hundreds of dollars for books in questionable condition. Personally, I would rather purchase one of Jill's books. Her books are exact replicas, very nicely done, no corners cut, including jackets if called for and often with letters from the author. You will see people reselling these titles, but I hope you will support her work directly.
Purple House Press, PO Box 787, Cynthiana, KY 41031
call 859-235-9970 between 9 am and 5 pm est, phpress@hughes.net

Looking for childs book I had once apon a time

I only vaguely remember the details - about a boy and jungle animals, The boy was trying to get a silver ball from out of the sky, asking the jungle animals if they could reach it(it was actually the moon, I had it somewhere between 1984 - 1990 in New Zealand. I rember the pictures in side the book, but nothing of the title of the cover.

the boy who wanted to be a fish book

Does anyone know about a book I read as a girl, The Boy Who Wanted to be a Fish...I have searched but don't remember anything but the title...it was a really neat little book...please help if you can...thank you

The Boy who wanted to be a Fish

I just wanted to know if you found this book. My Mom bought it for me in the early 40's and If you know where I could find also. I don't know the author or the date it was published. Before my Mom passed away, she used to tell me that she wished she had kept it for me. Thanks for any information that you may have.

Anthony Mendes

Abebooks has several copies

Abebooks has several copies of this Wonder book. Please follow the suggestion at the beginning of this page. Other people seem to have liked this book. You can see that it was extremely expensive several years ago but is leveling off as more of them surface..

childrens book series

The books I'm looking for would have been published before 1960, I think. They were a set, and they had a dark red leather cover which was raised in the form of a picture on the front of each book. They had the old stories,i.e. Three Little Bears, Hennypenny, Billy Goat Gruff, Three Little Pigs, and many more.

Red Book Sets.

The Book House (look at the house of books on the front page) was published in a red version, but black, green, blue, and multicoloured are much more common. You are probably looking for The Children's Hour, edited by Eva Tappan, published by Houghton Mifflin. Look on abebooks. You may find a photo on Ebay.
ALSO Journeys Through Bookland was a red series
ALSO Book Trails To Enchanted Lands from the 50's was red..

Searching for years upon years for a long lost children's book

I remember parts of a story book my mama had probably 40 years ago... in the story there was "mama mama and papa papa" and they had gone away and the children made popcorn that filled the house. There was also something about a belt buckle...

In the same book, animals trade bodies or heads. The giraffe ends up with an owl body and gets tangled in the telephone wires when he tries to fly...

Yet another story that I remember in the same book is a story about a silly family. Mama was going to the cellar and saw an ax and began to think about how it could fall and kill someone and she sat and cried... one by one other family members joined her....

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to purchase this book if anyone can point me in the right direction. I have searched for years and have no idea what the name is. Thank you so much for any help you can give.

Long Lost Children's Book

I have good news and bad news. I, too, have been trying to find information about the same book. The good news is that I finally found the title, author, illustrator, and publisher. The bad news is that I cannot seem to lay hands on a copy anywhere.

The name of the book is "The Golden Book of Nursery Tales," by Elsa Jane Werner. It was published in 1948 by Simon and Schuster. Illustrations are by Tibor Gergely. 127 pp. There are a number of later versions compiled by different authors and illustrated by other artists, but it definitely is not the same thing.

mama mama and papa papa book search!!!

Thank you SO much for your reply to my quest! I am absolutely thrilled to learn anything about this book. I would purchase it in any condition, and appreciate any leads you may have.



Chickpaw Look at my message on the first page. We have the book.

Chickpaw, search your name on the first page of these emails and you will find my message about this book. We have it. Just email me and remind me where it is. shprice@oldchildrensbooks.com. I don't have it listed. I can't remember what I paid for it, but I'll look it up. It wasn't much.

Mama mama and papa papa

First, did you look through Loganberry's anthology page which I recommended above? I have a couple of ideas. It sounds like Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories (there were three original books) but we don't have a copy in stock so I can't check. The exception is the last story about the woman and the ax, which is an old folk tale variant, but he may have used it. Also on the Loganberry page look at the Tall Book of MakeBelieve. You would remember the tall shape.
This is a long shot, but today I ran across a book called Tales of Laughter Every Child Should know, part of a series of excerpts from Parent's Magazine, published in 1939 and edited by Kate Douglas Wiggin and her daughter. It is currently on Ebay so you could look at the picture and see if that's right.


I'm looking for a book called "Tilly". I checked this book out at our local library over and over when I was about 11 or 12 (1977-78). It is about a young girl named Tilly but her real name was Matilda. She was kind of the ugly duckling between her and her older sister. Her family didn't have much, lived on a farm and I remember something about some kind of animal she was allowed to try to save that was in a box behind the woodstove or something. Looking for the book now for my own daughter to read, to no avail. Lots of books with the same title but not the one I need! Any help is appreciated! It also seems like the book (hardcover) was yellow, but I'm not sure.

Tilly puzzle

Well, I can tell you what it's not! Not Don Freeman's Tilly Witch, not Dick Bruna's Tilly and Tessa. Benjamin and Tilly is about a parrot. Catherine Cookson writes the right sort of book for this but her Tilly was published in 1980. There's a Dutch Tilly series written in the 1950's by Lis Werner, but I can't see that it's been translated. You might look the books up and see if anything rings a bell.

This sounds like a major publisher's book, so it should be listed in WorldCat, but Worldcat has no other Tillys between 1901 and 1979. ( I only ran a WorldCat search for Tilly but you could try Tillie.) Sadly, it is also possible that Tilly is not actually in the title. What a puzzler! Try Loganberry (above). They are usually pretty good with books of this vintage.

Help finding a book

A childrens story. I would guess 1950s. I think it is about a little boy named Marvin. It is full of funny short stories. He asked a farmer about a cow "which horn did she blow" an old man asks the boy "how did you come to fall in the water" the little boy replied "I did not come to fall in, I came to fish" If you could tell me the title or point me in the right direction, i would be super excited! Thanks a bunch.

Book from 1950's about Marvin

I'm afraid I'm unfamiliar with your book. It seems that " I did not come to fall in, I came to fish" is an old saying as is "which horn did she blow" (at least 1907) You can google them both. Please look at the suggestions above. Loganberry Books is a much better forum than this one for a book from the 50's, as many more people will see your query. You remember a lot of detail so you shouldn't have much trouble finding the book. Good luck.

a series of biographies from maybe the late 1940s

In an adult book I'm writing, I would love to be able to describe a series of biographies I devoured as a kid. I found them in my library around 1953, and I doubt that they were new then. So let's guess junior-high level books published around 1945-50.

As I recall them: No dust jacket. Each front cover decorated with a band or ribbon of horizontal lines, and a monogram in a circle or oval in the center of the band. I remember the monogram as an "M." A friend who remembers the series recalls it as a "W." Of course we might both be wrong. Maybe it varied from book to book: (J for Jefferson, etc.) If an M, Macmillan would be a good guess as publisher. I can't recall if all the bio. subjects were Americans or not.

Can you help at all? Or steer me to someone else who can? I'm a fairly good researcher, but can't seem to find much on older bio. series of any sort for kids. I gather your own offerings run mainly to fiction, since even a search on "Roosevelt" turned up nothing, and only a couple for "Lincoln."

Thank you,
Mark Coburn
Durango, Colorado

Children's biographies

Perhaps you are remembering the Landmark Series, books written by recognized adult authors, some biographies and some nonfiction, usually history, topics. They did come with a dustjacket, but the boards themselves usually had a kind of starburst design. My son says he remembers some with stripes but my husband does not. We used to stock these; there are almost 200 of them. Some have been reprinted, whether dumbed down or not, I couldn't say. Go to abebooks and enter Landmark Series in the Title field and Random in the publisher field. This will give you about 400 books, undoubtedly not all but enough to see if this series is the right one..

There was also a Signature Books series, published by Grosset & Dunlap with endpapers with little scenes from the lives, but no stripes.

There was also a series by Kingston publishers, which had no numbers or name, and didn't really catch on. (brand names and numbers help!)

There was also a very common series for younger children which does not fit your jacket description and which has been republished as Young Patriots or something. Many were written by Augusta Stevenson, but not all. . Bobbs Merrill, (1961) Childhood of Famous Americans Series (Silhouette biographies)

There was also a Discovery Series, well done actually, but almost an early reader, so not the right one.

Those are the major children's biographical series from that era, unless you are remembering an educational publisher's series, which is also possible. I wouldn't know about those.

I know there are Landmark collectors, Silhouette collectors and probably Signature collectors as well, but I can't find their websites with a quick search. They are out there though

The Wizard of Oz

I have this book, it is a pop up book of the Wizard of Oz , down on the bottom of the front cover it has the name LYMAN FRANK BAUM and on the back it was illustrated by arlene freitas , it looks like it was a hallmark product...I could be wrong but by the color and the drawings, it may be from the 50's...I just would like a little more information if any.. thank you

Please look at the

Please look at the information above about IDing books. Since you have the book right in front of you, go to abebooks and enter the information in the advanced search. We don't carry OZ books, just because there are so many of them, so I can't tell you more than that. There will be reference sites online. Just looking quickly I found http://thewizardofoz.info/ which is part of a webring, so you can find more.

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