This week, I’m showcasing one my personal favorites. It didn’t’ really have a big part in my experiences of reading to my children, although I’m pretty sure that we did read it at one point. This is one that I just happen to love for myself.
I am a librarian, and my office is filled with books. One little secret that most people don’t know: librarians rarely check the books out of their own libraries. We tend to be compulsive book buyers. It makes complete sense, really. We are book collectors ourselves so we wind up working in a place that collects books.
The Library tells the story of Elizabeth Brown, an avid reader and book collector.
Entered the world
Dropping straight down from the sky
Entered the world
Skinny, nearsighted, and shy.
She didn’t like to play with dolls,
She didn’t like to skate.
She learned to read quite early
And at an incredible rate.
If you were one of those childhood readers — the kind who always had a book, walked and read at the same time, kept flashlights in your room to read after “lights out” — then this book is for you and about you. You’ll recognize yourself in the illustrations — young Elizabeth dragging a huge trunk filled with books on a trip — adult Elizabeth having to build more shelves to hold the books — we’ve all done some of these things.
The story is beautiful and the illustrations are by one of my favorite children’s illustrators, David Small. He and Ms. Stewart have partnered on many books. I have three of their collaborations — The Library, The Friend, and The Journey — sitting in my office. All are signed and were purchased at The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas. If you’re ever in Abilene, I highly recommend a visit!
PS — Be sure to visit my friend Suzanne for even more wonderful Kid Picks each Tuesday!