105 Ways to Give a Book

Cybils: Library Picture Books

For the next two weeks, it’s going to be a picture book reviewapolooza, as I try to cover at least a decent proportion of titles nominated for the Cybils awards. Hang on tight, and enjoy some great books for the kiddies (and you too)! By the way, either of these books would be great gifts for your school librarian. I’m just sayin’

Library MouseLibrary Mouse, by Daniel Kirk, is a cute story about a mouse who lives in the library and loves it there. He reads at night when all the people have gone home, and one day decides to write his own books. The librarians are impressed with three books they come to find in the shelves, and invite the secret author to come to a meet-the-author day. (They put a letter on the bulletin board since, of course, they don’t know who he is.) Sam doesn’t know what to do at first, but then comes up with a great idea. He sets up a box with a sign: “Meet the Author.” When the kids look inside, they see themselves in the mirror. Then they see a stack of tiny blank books. And they realize that they are the authors.
All that day, and for many more thereafter, people came to the little display to Meet the Author. Soon there was a whole shelf full of books written and illustrated by people who had never written a book before, telling stories that had never been told.
It’s a sweet book with a good message, but it hits the point a little strong for my taste. It would be great as a storytime book, and should definitely be in every library collection.

The Boy Who Was Raised By LibrariansThe Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians, by Carla Morris, shows every librarian’s dream of Making A Difference. Melvin spends a lot of time in the library because he is curious about everything. The librarians always talk to him and help him find out what he needs to know — each of the three in their own way. For instance, when his bug collection escapes:
Marge, Betty, and Leeola quickly organized an emergency rescue squad. The bugs were retrieved, identified, classified, and cataloged within twenty minutes.

“How’d you do that so fast?” asked Melvin.

“That’s how we are,” explained Leeola.

“When we see chaos...” began Betty.

“...we organize and catalog,” finished Marge. “It’s in our nature.”
They help Melvin with his play, they help him with his baseball card collection, they suggest books for the spelling bee, and science fair, and tv quiz shows. He gets a part-time job at the library when he’s in high school. He writes them when he’s in college. And later he comes back to work there, right where he started.

The book is basically a love letter to librarians — deserved, yes, but it feels a little pandering. On the other hand, who doesn’t enjoy a love letter? I know I do.

1 comment:

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