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THE LONELY BOOK by Kate Bernheimer


by Kate Bernheimer & illustrated by Chris Sheban

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-86226-7
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Subtle personification imbues the titular lonely book with longing for a child to read its story.

Initially, the book is not lonely at all. Indeed, it’s quite popular with library patrons, until it becomes tattered with use and is finally forgotten on the shelves among the other, newer titles. Then, a girl discovers the book, and even though it is missing its last page, she delights in the story and pictures about a little fairy living under a toadstool. She checks it out and enjoys reading it with her father and sharing it at school. Unfortunately, she forgets to renew it when she returns to the library and mistakenly leaves it on the floor. A parenthetical plot twist has a volunteer put the book in the library’s book sale. In a happily-ever-after ending befitting the text’s nostalgic tone, girl and book are reunited at the book sale and she takes it home. Throughout, Sheban’s soft watercolor illustrations present a warm, cozy depiction of the child’s communion with her cherished book.

A lovely story in its own right, this picture book may make readers clamor for the story within the story about the little fairy living under her toadstool.

(Picture book. 4-7)