Library Love!

Cleveland Park LibraryStaff PicksWoodridge Library

Library Love!

Picture books that share our love of libraries

September is Library Card Sign Up Month -- so if you don't have a library card, this list should inspire you to sign up for one here! It was a struggle to pick just a few picture books about the magical place that is a library! Most of these books play on the imagination factor that allows children (and adults) to dream and play in a new world through reading and books! We know that reading is awesome, and hopefully some of these reads will help you to find your way to the library! These books are also special to me because they show some of the amazing people that work for libraries- the librarians and staff who are working hard to create magical places for all ages of patrons! Librarians rock! 

Dinosaur vs the Library by Bob Shea
I love reading these dinosaur books at story time because you get to “Roar!” This book is great because a roaring dinosaur is competing with lots of animals and winning by making them all roar. Once it gets to the library, it has to keep it’s roar much quieter, and then has so much fun at the library, it forgets to roar at all. This book perfectly encapsulates having a loud toddler around you, and I think the kids can really relate to trying to keep quiet even when they want to excitedly ROAR! Plus, hearing little ones making roar sounds is adorable.
The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara
I had always wanted to spend the night at the library and be surrounded by all of the wonderful books with no interruptions. This library is not the silent oasis I was looking for, rather, it’s a library for all the creatures that come out at night. When you think about it bats and owls and mice need somewhere to go for all their stories at night, and these creatures are lucky to have a little librarian open the doors to them at night. She shares stories with them until the night fades to day, and then they all have to be out. It makes me wonder if there isn’t a midnight library happening at DCPL that we aren’t aware of!
Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile by Gloria Houston and Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
While this book may not be a big hit for a story time, it’s such a sweet story that best exemplifies the service of being a librarian. Even though Miss Dorothy had big dreams to work in a “real” brick library, when she grows up and gets to work, she finds that the community needs a traveling library. It’s based on the real life of Dorothy Thomas, and it really shows that life is a journey and you may have a plan, but then opportunity can create so much more. It’s really inspiring to see all the different types of people she was able to help, and it always brings a tear to my eye to read it.
In a similar vein, I would recommend, “Miss Rumphius” by Barbara Cooney. This is another heartwarming tale that really demonstrates the heart of a librarian. Miss Rumphius or the Lupine Lady as she is also known has said since she was a little girl “When I grow up, I too will go to faraway lands, and when I grow old, I too will live beside the sea.” And, her grandfather replies that she must also, “…do something to make the world more beautiful.” She traveled the world, and worked as a librarian, and started a seed library of her favorite flower, lupines, spreading them around to make the world more beautiful. I think of her as a classic librarian because she longs to experience and learn from the differences of life and in people, while also giving back and contributing goodness to the world. In fact, at libraries all over the country, seed libraries have become popular for growing beautiful plants all over.
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn
I love these Lola books. I have gifted these books to the children in my family so many times that I may have accidently sent them to the same child! However, they are fun reads and this one is perfect for so many reasons- the illustrations are warm and inviting and the story focuses on a wonderful routine between a mother and daughter. Children can relate to Lola's experiences of going to the library, and it's fun to share this with your little ones on their first trips to the library. 
Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don’t)! By Barbara Bottner
If any character from a book best encapsulated me, I think it would be Miss Brooks. She is a passionate educator who wants her students to connect to books in a way that makes it fun and engaging for them. She dresses in lots of costumes and is very silly, and trouble for one little one who doesn’t like books, and doesn’t want to find something to dress up as. Miss Brooks is exactly the librarian I hope to be. I love that she doesn't give up on the children, and lets them find their own ways to enjoy the library as she does.
The Library by Sarah Stewart
This is such a classic library story. As I reread it, I have to stop and take a picture to send it to my friend. I have had many of the same experiences as Elizabeth Brown, as I have struggled to read and walk at the same time. My head is always lost in a book, and it distracts me from lots of activities and chores that I need to get done. Hopefully, I will not get to the same problem as Elizabeth, and have so many books that I won't have room for one more book. But, if that is ever the case for me, I will do the same thing that she does, and open up my own library for everyone! 
Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson
Otto is a bear who lives in a book, and if that wasn’t magical enough, when no one is looking- he comes to life and hops out of his book. He loves to explore the world around him, and is happy living in his house. One day his family moves, and it’s up to Otto to go out into the busy world and find his place in it. As luck should have it, he finds a library! Inside the library, lots of characters come to life and he can share his world with lots of people! He has found his place to be, the library! This story is really cute and imaginative for children. It also illustrates my belief that books are happiest in the hands of people who treasure them. No book wants to stay unread on the shelf!
Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk
While I have always loved this book, I feel like I enjoy it more from working in a library with library pets: two gerbils, Moby and Otto. Like many of our patrons, I often imagine a whole life that they may have after we lock up for the night. Sam, the mouse, writes his own book and leaves it on the shelf to be enjoyed by all! And when the children find it, they love it, and he writes more! They invite him to a "Meet the Author" event at the library, and then they get a chance to discover their own stories! I will keep my eye out for a secret, small book written by Moby and Otto! 
Walter’s Magic Wand by Eric Houghton
At first this librarian seems stereotypically uptight and unfriendly to Walter, the main character of this book. However, as he explores the library using his magic wand to tap on various books, and opening up whole worlds right in the library, he sees the librarian hang on and pitch in with the magic. He narrowly escapes tigers, pirates, and a surging ocean, and even though the librarian jumps in with warnings to not scratch the books, she like all awesome librarian out there, is nonplussed by the changing world around her! She joins in on the adventure! And, when he is ready to leave- with his various books, and feels silly for believing in the magic, she hands his wand back to him and plays along.

 Wild About Books by Judy Sierra
I used to drive a bookmobile, and as a result, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for bookmobiles in books! This one is just plain funny! A bookmobile drives up to the zoo, and the animals start to read all the books! There is so much interest that the build a special branch at the library! The illustrations are fun and colorful and really spark the imagination about what types of books animals would like to read. The text is whimsical and rhyming, inviting the reader in to the fun times!

A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker
Bear and Mouse are best friends, and when Mouse wants to go to the library, Bear comes along- even though he doesn't need any more books-- he has seven at home. At the library, Mouse goes to look for the perfect book for Bear, but Bear doesn't like his choices. All he wants is a book about pickles. As he waits for his book, bored and angry, he starts to get louder and louder at the library, prompting the nearby story time listeners to shush him. He hadn't noticed that story time was happening. He starts listening to the librarian's story about a bear, and forgets that he hates the library. This book is nice because it plays with the idea of being quiet in the library, and being a good friend! If Bear was in my library, I would recommend this book about pickles: Lauren McGill’s Pickle Museum by Jerdine Nolen.