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.



Fair's Fair

Thank you for writing back. I'm very familiar with the book, but I wouldn't have guessed it because what sticks in my mind is the great black dog who led them to the old gentleman's house. Everyone seems to remember books differently!  It was also published in hardback.

Teen horror book

I am really quite fuzzy on the details but I am looking for a book I read when I was about 9. It was a horror book and I am thinking the girls name was penny graves? She dies and a girl moves b them thAt looks just like her but she is evil and she gets hit by a truck after leaving a funeral or something and at the end she is reborn when this lady has a baby. The book was black and had a coffin on the front with a hand sticking out of it wearing a pink nightgown. Probably from 1997. Please help!

I don't know the name of the

I don't know the name of the book, but by the cover description it sounds very much like the Point Horror series, so might be worth searching for cover images of them to see if any ring a bell!

Bronnie Cunningham books

I recently remembered two books that I had as a child, 'The Giant's Toys' and 'the blue banana'. They are listed on Amazon but are unavailable, as they were published in 1975, by Hamlyn Robin. I would love to get copies of these, or in fact any of the 10 books from that particular series, have been looking all over the net! Thanks!

bronnie cunningham books

Look on abebooks.com for this kind of book. They currently don't have the series, just different Puffin joke books and a translated one. However, you can leave a Want and abebooks will notify you when the book is listed.

Pop up book of the 1960s

I'd like to find the name of a pop-up book, I believe published in the 1960's, about a boy who wants to make snow. The book contains few pages (<20) but the story follows the boy as he acquires items, bit by bit, (water, a fridge, a bicycle, a fan, etc.) to construct a snow making machine. I believe my parents bought the book through Scholastic.

Children's book about orphan boy, a baby and a lost dog.

All I remember is that an orphan boy (ran away from a maltreating relative), found an abandoned house that was still furnished on the inside. Found a stray dog that became his best friend. At one point, he had a splash in a water barrel outside and in it, he found a baby someone was trying to get rid off. He started to cater for his little family, stealing bread for himself and the dog and milk for the baby. He was found-out at the house and all three were separated. He was given a job in a circus that had a panther, he ran away and when he was worn out and about to give-up, he was discovered on the outside steps a nice old lady that clothed him and made him her errand boy.


Book of Wacky Poems

I remember taking this book out of the library when I was a kid, it was was a collection of bizarre poems with equally bizarre pictures. There was a poem called, "The Whimpley-Whim", with a picture of this weepy-looking catlike creature("The woeful Whimpley-Whim has never been known to woo. If you looked like him, would you?"), and another called "Arbuckle Jones"("Arbuckle Jones when flustered, eats custard with mustard. I'm disgustard."), and a few I don't remember the names of, such as one about food, with lines such as, "Pass the rutabaga, one baked potato," and so forth, one about noises, which went something like, "Lions roar, old men snore, Cronk-a-honk-honk-honk!", one about a kinkajou named Kurt who eating a grapefruit and squirts juice on a caribou, a boy with a blue spot on his nose, and two ducks with chicken pox. Any information would be much appreciated.

linked names

Hi Kathy and Everyone, Kathy has a delightful blog Keeper of the Fun A fun blog about collecting and appreciating classic toys, cartoons, video games, movies and more. and I'm happy to provide the link.

However PLEASE don't post with linked names. About 10 spams make it through my Mollom program every day. Sometimes it's hard to tell if the writer just isn't very bright or if it's spam, so I have to check the links, and I'm usually sorry.

I monitor every comment. If you maintain a relevant blog or know of a good reference (no sales please) please put it in the body of your text so I can check it out with confidence!



It is The Ombley-Gombley by

It is The Ombley-Gombley by Peter Wesley-Smith, 1970.

That's the one!

That's the one! Honestly, the author was someone I should have been familiar with, but I just couldn't think of the name. Thank you so much! :)

Snooty Bear with Two Friends

I remember reading this book as a kid, it was about this conceited bear(on the first page of the book, he's admiring himself in a mirror) who lives in a house with his two friends, a fox, and I believe a squirrel(though he may have been a mouse). While I don't remember the circumstances exactly, I think that the fox and squirrel become too irritated with the bear and leave the house, but they soon miss their home, and, in turn, the bear re-examines his behaviour. Needless to say, there's a happy reunion at the end. Any information would be much appreciated!

Book I've been looking for for a long time

okay so, i can't tell you anything that has to do with the title, publication, or anything of sort. What i can tell you is that it was a children's book that had poems and i guess some of the traditional nursery rhymes like "rain rain go away". for each poem there was an illustration and the illustrations were old fashioned. I was born in 1993 and i remember reading it before 2nd grade. i guess that is when i lost because we moved. ANYWAY, some of the poems and such were about a mermaid and the illustration was she was sitting in clam/oyster with tons of pearls , main and the moon, rain rain go away, and more. i wanna say the cover and back of the book was a light blue. Please help me find the book!! I remember it being comforting when i read it.

Orchard book of nursery rhymes?

Not sure, but perhaps it's the orchard book of nursery rhymes, by faith jaques? I had a similar version when I was a kid, and it sounds very much like it.

Boy who's father built him a train for his birthday - early 80s

This book was late 70s or early 80s. It was about a boy who's father would go to the shed every night and be working on a project. I remember the boy would see lights on but could never find out what his father was doing. Then, on the boys birthday his father unveiled the surprise - he has built him a train and some carriages. He would then give his friends rides.

I remeber this book fondly and would really like to find a copy for my son for when he is old enough to enjoy the story as much as I did!

1950s children's book parade quarantine

Looking for a book about a child looking forward to a town parade. The child develops some illness that requires quarantine at home. The parade route is changed so it can go down the street where the child lives, allowing him/her to view the parade.

Lifelong memory of tan giant dog bigger than sphinx

The dog is tan, not red, so not Clifford. Don't recall any human character being included in the story. Only one graphic is clearly remembered...the giant all tan dog is larger than the Sphinx. Can't remember any other of the plot line. Don't think it was a series. HELP for personal mental health reasons.

The Adventures Of Otto The Dog, by William Pene Du Bois?

Hi, I don't suppose it's OTTO IN TEXAS: The adventures of otto the dog, by William Pene Du Bois?

Invisible Green Creature that lives in a broken tree?

I'm looking for a book that was read to me when I was younger. I don't remember the title and I don't remember if it was a book on its own or a short story in a book.
Now for the details: I remember it included a child or two (or more) who went for a walk and eventually came across a completely green creature with long pointy rabbit/hare like ears and a small lion mane and a long tale (possibly a cross between a hare, lion and I'm sure something else). An important part as well, is that the creature could turn invisible and I remember in some of the illustration, all you could see was the ears and eyes (and maybe the tail). This creature lived in a broken tree probably in a forest (not sure). Anyway, I realise its probably not much to go on but it's the only book/story I can't remeber the name of.


The Magic Griffle and Other Stories

It's The Magic Griffle and Other Stories by Sheila K. McCullage, from the Tales from Puddle Lane series. The Griffle was a creature conjured up by a magician's magic dust, who befriends two kids, and they have fun together.

Thank you!

Thank you so much Kathy. I didn't think I'd ever find it. I can't thank you enough.

I'm looking for a book about

I'm looking for a book about a girl that loves to read and is wealthy family with a summer home on the coast, her father is a builder and she recommends to him that since he is building houses that look all the same he should paint them different colors, they have a big sailboat, and the theme of the book is something along the lines of listening to what the waves say or reading the waves. At the end when she is older she gets her fortune told and (if I remember correctly) she decides to become a writer.


Hattie and the Wild Waves?

This could be it, a book by Barbara Cooney about her mother's family, although her mother wanted to paint Cooney, of course was both an illustrator and a writer.  A beautiful book but since Barbara Cooney was famous by the time it was written and many copies were published, not very expensive. We have a very nice 1st in jacket for $8. Suzanne

Looking for a book

The Yankees performance against the Tigers in the 2012 ALCS reminded me of a short ghost story I read as a child in which a baseball team showed up at a game but did not swing at one pitch all game, struck out looking 27 times and it was later reported that their team bus had an accident on a bridge and fell through the barrier and fell into the waters below killing everyone on board.

I thought this story was contained in Strange But True Baseball Stories, but realized that was silly! I think it was a short compilation of children's ghost stories published in the '60's or '70's most likely.

Can you help me?

Thank you very much!


I read this book out of my

I read this book out of my school library in 1970 or 71. All I can remember is the main character, a girl wants to go see her teacher. She has to take her siblings with her and they take a train that I believe was actually a subway. The teacher is surprised to see them but they end up having a nice visit all the same. The book was a hard cover. Sorry I don't remember anything else about the story. Hope someone can help.

Reader 1950s Canada Story about a Girl Gold Coins

This story was within a Reader for approx grade 3 or 4. In the story a girl falls into a well and the leaves are turned to gold coins. The sisters follow her but they are tarred and feathered.

Halloween book

I am looking for a Halloween book fom the late 70's or 80's. I can't remember the name, but it was paperback and the cover was black and had a drawing of a house with a girl/witch sitting on the roof with candy all around her. I don't fully remember the story but I think it had something to do with a girl or a witch who stole Halloween candy but had a happy ending (of course). I know it's not much to work with, but if you can help, I would appreciate it!

The Candy Witch

Maybe this is The Candy Witch by Steven Kroll? On the cover, she is sitting on a big pile of all the candy she stole (not a roof). But it has a happhy ending!

An old children's book featuring blockheads for characters.

At some point in the book they build a giant mechanical robot lion for protection which ends up eating them.

boy in the matchbox

My parents gave me this book for my eighth birthday. It was about a boy who was so small, he could fit into a matchbox. His parents were also very small and got blown off the Eifell Tower when he was a baby. He ended up being raised by the director of a travelling circus and sleeping in a matchbox. At some point, the director allows him to be a part of a circus act where he calls people up on stage and the little boy steals all their valuables without them knowing - he then gets revealed to the audience and becomes internationally famous. I remember there were parts where some bookmaker makes him books the size of postage stamps. He also tries to find a girl his size but is unsuccessful.I originally read this book in Russian, though I'm not sure it was by a Russian author, as my parents often gave me books by Swedish, Danish, Italian and English writers. I don't remember how it ends. I loved this book and would really appreciate any help finding it! Thanks for your help!

The Little Man- Erich Kastner

I think this is the same book that i inherited when i was a child, i believe it is "the little man" by erich kastner. the version i had had some lovely drawing illustrations, and i actually managed to find the exact version on amazon, so i'm sure you will be able to find the one that you want!- hope it helps!

I think it is Dooley And The

I think it is Dooley And The Snortsnoot by Jack Kent.

Older Picture Book

I'm looking for a collection of books that my Gran used to read to me as a kid in the early to mid 90's. They were picture books, with cardboard covers and paper pages. I remember them being very colorful. The people were drawn tall with lanky arms and rosy cheeks. They could have been published anywhere from the 70's to the early 90's. They all had the same illustrator, and I'm pretty sure the same author (although I'm not 100% sure about that). Sadly, I have no clue what either of those were. There were several books with individual stories - the books weren't connected to each other in any way as far as the actual stories were concerned. The one that sticks out in my memory the most was called something like The Wackadoos, actually I'm pretty sure that was the name of it. It was about these little creatures that caused silly mayhem wherever they went. In one part they scare some people in a dark street by popping out from around the corner. In another part they shout at the top of they're lungs. It ends with them disappearing into... somewhere. The night,I think. I only half remember it.
If any one has any ideas I would appreciate your help.

Please help finding the title and author of this book!

Hi all, I want to find out the title and author of this book if anyone can help: It is a story about an old couple who wants to sell their white house; visitors ask for the house to be painted, which they do, and they go through various colors, only to realize that white was the perfect color for their house and that they didn't want to move anymore, that it was the perfect house. Thanks for any leads.

I need help As soon as possible :'(

Im looking for the name of a book, my Nana would always read to me & my sister when we were younger, she is now in a coma & I really wish to read her the same story she would read to me.
Its a childhood book, with a smooth cover, it was blue. It was about Kittens who's toys were all different, one cat had a red firetruck, another cat had a ball of yarn, & another cat had a sock puppet & there were a couple more other cats,& there was a dog who raked the leaves I think he gave the one cat the sock puppet,. I really need to get the name of this book, I want to be able to read it to her before she is officially gone, so please please help :'( Please respond as soon as possible.

I am 90% sure this is "Baby

I am 90% sure this is "Baby Blue Cat and the Smiley Worm Doll"

Check out this link to the cover and summary, and see if it checks out:

Kittens, fire truck, sock puppet... seems right to me.

I've never read this one in particular, but I've read others in the Baby Blue Cat series and I used to love them. I really hope you get to read it for your Nana!! (if I'm right, after all).
P.S. I'm the guy from the previous post ("Children's picture book... on an island"), in case ya got any luck with that long-shot, or know someone who does :D

Children's picture book... on an island

I am remembering that the main character(s) somehow arrived at an island. For some reason, this character had reason to cross the island and all of its dark and scary regions [I remember a very dense jungle; dim lighting in many illustrations]. Despite certain barriers, he is helped by some of the local animals/creatures to reach the other side. The book is from the 90s (possibly as early as the 80s), and presented each page as a series of stages that the character would encounter: new barriers, friends and foes, clues, tasks, etc. I recall a point where he must slip past a sleeping predator (or guard) of the river -- a massive river that divided the island, and then was carried across the river by some friendly creature (or something like that). I realize that I'm grasping at straws here, but I'm going off the haziest of mental images. I don't even remember if the character was human. ANY clues would be appreciated.

Nevermind all! I've solved

Nevermind all! I've solved my own problem!

It was "My Father's Dragon"!!! After a bunch of deadends, I found it by typing what seemed like a fruitless Google search: [children's books map of island "cross the river"]. Then on the second entry down, I gasped -- saw the map of the Island of Tangerina and Wild island, the river, and my childhood came rushing back.

Never doubt the power of creative searching techniques people! Just keep at it... Rephrase rephrase rephrase!

(You'd think I'd have remembered there was a dragon involved :P)


People's memories of books are so amazing. Now that I reread your post, of course it's My Father's Dragon, but it didn't occur to me.
(Please don't include links unless they are directly book related... not that a music link is really bothersome, considering the spam that Mollom didn't catch, which I delete every day!)

Girl Steals A Very Realistic Doll

Don't you love hazy memories of books you remember loving? Yeah, me too.

The one I'm trying to remember the name of is one read to me as a second or third grader, I believe, so the copyright would pre-date 1985 or so. I think it was a chapter book, I don't recall any illustrations in particular, though I daresay there were some. It *think* it was about a little girl who saw a beautiful doll in a shop or at someone's house--this doll was about her size and had beautiful clothing and was very realistic. The girl wanted her so much that she stole the doll and hid her away. That's about all I remember, other than this sense that I loved the book very much.

Ring any bells?

So thrilled to have found such a great site, by the way! :o)

possible lead for: Girl Steals a Very Realistic Doll

Sounds like it could be
The Bad Times of Irma by Carol Ryrie Brink also published as Irma's Big Lie. There may be more than one cover illustration.

The Bad Times of Irma

That's it!!!!! Have half-remembered this for so many years, and now I can put a cover to it. Thank you so much! :o)

Children's reading series


I am looking for a series of early readers which was published in the Uk in the late 1960s and early 1970. The first in the series was called "My House" and from memory, the next was about a bird called Joey, the third about a cowboy. My Mum cannot remember the name of the publishers but I learnt to read from these and would love a set.

Please help.


The titles don't quite fit, but these are so likely to have been the Ladybird books Key Reading Scheme, that I'm posting the URL. This is a great resource for all Ladybird books.

Adventure stories in Kentucky

Adventure stories in Kentucky with 4 or 5 young frontiersman. Read when about 8 to 11 years old in 1940-1944. There were three to five volumes. Each volume was a single story but they all involved the same main characters who were young frontiersman fighting Indians in Kentucky.

The Young Trailers series by

The Young Trailers series by Joseph Altsheler.  I liked them then too, a lot.
&, I've read a couple of other Altshelers recently, and I still like them!

  • The Young Trailers, a story of early Kentucky (1907)
  • The Forest Runners, a story of the great war trail in early Kentucky (1908)
  • The Keepers of the Trail, a story of the great woods (1916)
  • The Eyes of the Woods, a story of the ancient wilderness (1917)
  • The Free Rangers, a story of the early days along the Mississippi (1909)


I950's blue matte hardcover book of childrens stories and..

This was a Blue matte hardback cover book from the 50's? It included some fairytales and stories and was about 2-3 inches thick. Some of the stories were Old Mother Hubbard, There was a crooked Man, The Princess and the Pea, The Boy that cried Wolf, Goldielocks and The three Bears, plus about a hundred other stories. The book did not have colored pages/illistrations and the title as I remember was not Large but a gold colored lettering. I have looked online for this book for a few years now with no luck finding it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks !

Looking for childhood story

Our grandmother read to us from a storybook (at least one inch thick, about 81/2 X 11 inches)that contained many children's stories and fairy tales such as Rumpelstiltskin, the three billy goats gruff, etc. The story we'd really like to find is the one about the rabbits that took over the den of a bobcat during the night while the bobcat was out looking for rabbits to eat. It had illustrations of Mr. Bobcat wearing trousers held up with suspenders and as time went along and he couldn't find any rabbits to eat, he got thinner and thinner. The book would have been published before 1950---likely from the late 1930's. Any ideas on either the book or the bobcat story?

Tale about animals moving into a shoe

I'm trying to remember the name of a book I read as a child. I'll try and outline everything I can remember about it, but first of all the story itself came in a big book with other short stories so I don't know if it was actually a stand-alone work or part of a collection. The story was illustrated on every page showing how it progressed.

The setting is in the cold winter time in a snowstorm and the story revolves around a few small animals (I think a rabbit?) that find shelter in a shoe or boot that somebody had lost in the woods. They move into the shoe to keep warm, but as the story progresses more and more animals of different sizes move into the shoe, eventually causing it to burst/break. I think even a bear tried to fit in there!

Any ideas appreciated!

The Mitten by Jan Brett.

The Mitten by Jan Brett.

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