Quiet in the library? Not while Magnolia is in action!
The irrepressible youngster previously brought an alligator to school and a piano to the beach. Now she is a circus master in the library. Smilingly, she informs the librarian, a white male, that she will follow all the appropriate rules of library behavior, but twirling, tightrope walking, and pie-in-the-face throwing unsurprisingly elicit noisy responses from the racially diverse group of children in the audience. (Black-haired Magnolia herself appears to be Asian.) Alas, the cannon that is supposed to toss her is a dud, resulting in a very loud chorus of boos. How to win back the audience? Read aloud from that action-packed thriller The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Smiling faces return, but soon astonishment takes over as the cannon finally does its job—with Magnolia and the others having to realign shelves and pick up all the fallen books. So the lesson is learned: a circus in the library is “way too noisy.” Parsley’s tale is good fun to read aloud, and the second-person narrative will have listeners immediately caught up in the action. The round-faced children are quite expressive, and the custom typeface embellishes the drama by becoming a dramatic and eye-popping element of the page design.
Librarians will love sharing this story, maybe. Their listeners will love hearing it, definitely. (Picture book. 4-8)