[PW] Children's book stumper

Andrea Kroll AKroll at ccclib.org
Thu Jul 30 10:23:01 PDT 2015

Apologies if this patron has already contacted you for the forgotten title of this children's book.  The requestor even included a drawing and book dimensions (from memory):

"I am from Maryland and am in search of a book that I read from childhood
in the mid 1990s that I cannot seem to locate anywhere.
Please do not immediately discard this message as I would like you to read
it in full first. I have been searching for this book over
2 years now and have seem to have exhausted every book-finding resource
available online. It seems that my last option is to
have as many librarians look at my inquiry in hopes that one of them has
heard of/read the book. Even Library of Congress librarians
could not solve it.

I have sent inquiries to libraries across several states so far, and now I
continue with California for help.

I will try to give as many details as I can remember. I remember neither
title or author, but I can promise you that the general storyline/premise
is unique. I have compared the story to 1000's of others on goodreads.com,
to folklore/mythology
tales from all over the world, and none so far compares to this story.

The story begins with many gods/deities in the universe that have just
finished creating a world, and they are quarreling amongst each other
because no object or creature in the world was given a name yet. So the
deities decide to create a boy (or assign a boy, I don't remember exactly
how they pick the boy) in the newly created world the task of naming
everything for them. Thus, the boy goes on many adventures traveling to
distant places and giving names to everything.

So for example, if the boy came across an object or creature, he would ask
the gods "What is this called?" and they would respond something like
"That's up to you to decide" along those lines.

The author could have had influence or have been inspired by foreign
creation stories/myths/legends (Indian/Arabic, possibly
Greek/Persian/Chinese?). It is also possible that the book could have been
translated into English from another language.

The copy I had was a hardback may have had a dustjacket, color was
offwhite with decent spine thickness ((roughly 5/5.5 x 8" dimensions,
about .5" thick). It was published before 1998, and could be from any
decade before the 90s. The cover was colorful, featuring an illustrated
image of the boy looking down on a cloud, with short black hair, wearing
(his eyes are looking downward) with a celestial background I've drawn an
image from memory of the cover. It may
not be 100% but I know for sure the boy had black hair and was featured on
the cover.
The gods may have been elemental gods (god of wind, thunder, etc), so you
will notice lightning,
wind, and little details to represent the elements. Backdrop is celestial,
featuring the moon, stars, etc.


Please circulate this inquiry to several colleagues.
Thank you once again for your help!
Michael Maman

name:           Michael M

emailaddress:   professional_47 at mailforce.net "

Thank you very much!

A n d r e a  K r o l l
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