Thursday, February 9, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Library Lion


This beautifully illustrated picture book has won numerous honors and awards including being a NY Times Bestseller and a Junior Library Guild Selection. It is a classic story that will have the same relevance fifty years from now as it does today.

Title: Library Lion
Author: Michelle Knudsen
Illustrator: Kevin Hawkes
Publisher: Candlewick, 2006
Fiction or non-Fiction: Fiction
Audience age: 4-7
Theme: Rule-breaking, Friendship
Opening page: "One day, a lion came to the library.  He walked right past the circulation desk and up into the stacks"

Synopsis: From author Michelle Knudsen's website, "Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren’t any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how."

Resources:
Download the Library Lion Story Hour Guide and Event Kitwhich includes discussion questions, a song, a craft, and other suggested stories to round out the Library Lion experience.

Why I like this book:
This book is beautifully written and illustrated. The words and art fit together perfectly. The characters have a very real feeling to them, even though the situation is far from real. The lion is lovable; Miss Merriweather is like a beloved teacher; Mr. McBee is flawed with good intentions. In addition, the message is invaluable to preschoolers who are still discerning right from wrong. It doesn't hurt that the book was published by one of my favorite publishing houses, Candlewick.

More links:
Here's a link to a great interview with Michelle Knudsen on author Cynthia Leitich Smith's web site, Cynsations. Also, find a more in-depth summary of Library Lion on kidlit author Beth Stillborn's website.

For more Picture Perfect Books please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

18 comments:

  1. This is an adorable, warming, reassuring story. Great choice,

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    1. Thanks Joanna. And thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! I should have known someone would beat me to it :) Such a wonderful choice for our list. Thanks so much for adding it. (And I put your link up since the list wasn't available when you tried - sorry about that!)

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    1. No worries about the link, Susanna. It's easily something I would have done too. Library Lion is a great book -- and not typical for a fairly recently published book, no?

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  3. Never heard of this book. Will have to check it out now.

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    1. Yes, check it out -- it is a wonderful book. Thanks for stopping by, Darshana.

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  4. Wonderful review and choice. Thanks for the interview link

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    1. Thanks Jennifer for the nice words and for stopping by. :-)

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  5. Lovely review about a very good book. I have not seen this one before! Found the interview link interesting. Good PPB choice today.

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    1. Thanks Patricia. I'm glad you stopped by!

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  6. I read this book at my child's book fair. It's really, really good, but kind of long.

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    1. You are right about it being long -- not typical for today's picture books. As a parent, I could see how I might not want to read it at bedtime, but as a writer, I'm so relieved that this type of book can get published and be successful.

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  7. Ohhhh Margaret you beat me to it. I had only bought this book last week for a future review as I fell in love with its soft illustrations by Kevin Hawkes and wonderful story by Michelle. I know I will pass this book on, but not till I have read it many times...lol. Lovely review thankyou.

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  8. This is a wonderful book! There was a time when I read this one every single day for my son, Arthur. The art is just right. A great choice for PPBF!

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  9. Lots of introductions for me today. That's why I love PPBF.

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  10. That sounds delightful! I love these Friday posts.

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  11. What a great story idea! I love how the lion is timid in the library until he has to be himself :)

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