As a parent, libraries are your secret weapon. While most of us would love to have huge shelves of books at home packed with millions of books, that’s not economically or spatially possible. The library lets you test drive and explore hundreds of books to find those that your child absolutely must own. They often have wonderful and free story times or children’s performers. Librarians can help you find books for your child’s current obsession. Almost all kids love the library- that feeling of being in control (of the books they get to bring home) and the excitement of discovery and learning. Like the kids (er, animals?) in these books…
But Excuse Me That is My Book by Lauren Child
All children have their favorite book at the library that they think of as theirs. Every parent is familiar with the process of renewing a book until you can’t anymore and the result is hysteria when you have to return “their” book. So the whole family can relate to Lola, who LOVES one particular book at the library and doesn’t know what to do when it’s not there. Her brother Charlie tries to help her find a new book, but it seems like nothing can possibly be as good as Beatles, Bugs and Butterflies. Or can it?
Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk
Sam, an adventurous and appealing little mouse, lives in a small hole in wall in the children’s section of the library. He sleeps all day, but roams the library at night, reading, reading, reading—and acting out his adventures. Like many committed readers before him, Sam decides to try his hand at being an writer himself. His little self-published books become such a hit at the library that the children invite their anonymous author to come to Meet the Author Day. Sam’s brilliant solution to this dilemma is a wonderful inspiration for young writers to write their own stories and add their voices and talents to their bookshelves. The illustrations show Sam to be a delightful character, with his little mouse teeth thoughtfully sharpening pencils for the children, or his dark eyes flashing as he poses in front of the little mirror. Look for the sequel, too: Library Mouse: A Friend’s Tale, where Sam has a secret collaboration with Tom, an aspiring young author.
What Happened to Marion’s Book? by Brook Berg, illustrated by Nathan Alberg
Marion, a little girl hedgehog, wants to be a librarian when she grows up. She loves her library books, and carries them with her everywhere—even to the breakfast table, with predictably disastrous results. She frantically tries to clean the jam from the book, but isn’t successful in salvaging it. Her clean-up efforts only ruin it further. Children love this engaging picture book story with its large, full-page illustrations. Best of all, there are two more books in this series: What Marion Taught Willis and When Marion Copied.
Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raul Colon
In this true story of Tomas Rivera, readers see the impact of a librarian on a little boy’s life. Tomas grew up in a migrant family, loving to read, but not always having access to books. One summer, a librarian takes him under her wing and introduces him to stories about dinosaurs, and horses, and sparks his interests in a world of ideas. The colors in the vivid pictures are earthy, warm, and inviting. Children are often interested to learn that Tomas Rivera grew up to be a respected educator and Chancellor of the University of California at Riverside. See also the Spanish edition: Tomas y la Senora de la Biblioteca.
Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
Someone left the window open in the library! That’s all the bat friends (who many of us met in Bats at the Beach) need to discover to make it Bat Night at the library! These book-loving bats delight in the many wonders of the public library, from playing at the computer to making duplicates of themselves on the copy machine. But of course, the best part is exploring the books, with fairy tale pop-ups, information books, and a parade of characters from “the classics” that they read to each other. Readers in the know will spot images from Make Way for Ducklings, replaced with tiny bats crossing the Boston street, or a Bat-Aladdin conjuring a Bat-Genie from a magic lamp. Three little bats in the corner read a familiar ( sort of) board book together: Goodnight Sun! The detailed pictures and references to a number of books invite repeated readings, and the lilting rhyming text makes it fun for even the youngest readers.
Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail
Edward is a passionate reader who devours whatever book is in front of him, from seed catalogues to cereal boxes, to the books he discovers at his favorite place, the library. He gets so involved in his books that whatever he is reading seems to become real. When he checks out a book on lost pirate treasure, the pirate characters come to life at night in his home, demanding the book from him so they can find their buried treasure. Though he won’t give it up to them ( after all, it’s checked out on his library card!), he does agree to read the story aloud to them. Very dramatic illustrations add to the adventurous spirit of the book. Kids love pirate stories, and this one is sure to please. And here’s a list with more pirate books for your young buccaneer’s reading pleasure: Pirate Books for Little Matey’s.