The Library Book

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There is almost nothing better than reading a good library book. That’s the premise of author Gabbay Dawnay’s newest picture book, The Library Book. The book opens to a girl named Ro trying to convince a boy named Zach that library books are wonderful things. Unfortunately, Zach wants nothing to do with books and tells her he won’t

Since Zach is her friend, Ro goes through the motion of describing their best qualities. She says, “Some books are long, some books are short, you need to find your favorite sort,” but Zach insists all books are boring, and when he tries to read them, he ends up snoring.

The two friends go back and forth, with Ro singing books’ praises, and Zach remaining unconvinced. In the meantime, artist Ian Morris captures all the fun illustrations in the books Ro suggests, from pirates to princesses to flying dragons. Ro finally offers Zach a barrage of book suggestions, from stories about witches to spiders to flying through outer space. That is when Zach’s interests finally become aroused.

The Library Book is a versatile picture book. It juxtapositions the values books hold with the typical excuses young people offer about why they don’t bother to read books anymore. It emphasizes the friendship between Ro and Zach that is obviously so strong that Ro can’t rest until she makes her friend see what he’s missing out on. But it also offers the a Green-Eggs-and-Ham-ish style of rhyming and a riot of illustrations that are sure to conjure smiles from the first page to the last.

Introduce this book to young readers who are just becoming acquainted with the school library. You can also use it in upper elementary classes with reluctant readers. It might also be used in an early poetry class, or in an art class in which children are searching for artistic inspiration.

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