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Bookcase Logic Puzzle

Today, I’m sharing a Bookcase logic puzzle. I typed up this puzzle over a year ago and never got around to using/sharing last year because I could never remember to bring a piece of red cardstock to school with me to print out the pieces.

bookcase logic puzzle

This bookcase based logic puzzle is from The Big, Big, Big Book of Brainteasers.

Bookcase Puzzle

You can still access quite a few of the puzzles in The Big, Big, Big Book of Brainteasers for free, though. Amazon’s Look Inside Feature lets you look at quite a few of the puzzles for free. Just keep clicking “Surprise Me!” on the left pane to see a different page of puzzles.

I printed a bookcase puzzle template on 11 x 17 cardstock.

Bookcase Puzzle

The top is printed with six clues that instruct how the nine items printed on colored paper should be placed.

Bookcase Puzzle

The clues reference three types of items: flowers, toys, and books. And, it mentions that there are red, blue, and yellow copies of each item.

Bookcase Puzzle

I created a page of pieces to represent each item, and I printed it three separate times on three different colors of paper (red, blue, and yellow).

This makes three separate sets of pieces for solving this puzzle. I would rather end up with extra pieces than waste paper.

Bookcase Puzzle

If you don’t have access to red, yellow, and blue paper, you could easily edit the bookcase puzzle file to match the colors that you do have access to. 

Bookcase Puzzle

I combined the fact that all items on the top shelf are red with the fact that the leftmost item on each shelf is a flower to determine that a red flower should be the leftmost item on the top shelf.

Then, I used the clue that the middle shelf holds two yellow items which are not books to place the yellow flower and yellow toy on the middle shelf.

Bookcase Puzzle

And, I’ll leave the rest of the bookcase puzzle to you and your students to solve!

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.

However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.

If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.


Thursday 12th of December 2019

Do you have to have one of each item on each shelf? It doesn't state that in the directions, but I can't find a solution if I don't double up on some items on the same shelf. Can you send the solution?


Sunday 8th of December 2019

What am I not seeing? I keep getting two blues next to one another. Can you please send the solution: marguerite.spriggs[at]


Thursday 29th of August 2019

I'm loving this puzzle but I'm stuck and can't seem to finish it! Every time I switch two pieces, I always end up with two blue next to each other either horizontally or vertically. Any chance you could send me the solution? taranrm[at]


Tuesday 5th of March 2019

How fun! Thank you!

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