A celebration of the expanded roles of libraries in the 21st century takes its visual cue from the best mid-20th-century picture books.
“Once there was a library that opened only at night. A little librarian worked there with her three assistant owls.” These sentences appear on opposite sides of the gutter of a double-page spread that shows a simply depicted girl in a dress, with hair in sticking-out braids and arms full of books, moving briskly across the library. Bold black outlines the little librarian and her avian assistants, all of whom are the same goldenrod color as the library walls and the outside-of-the-windows stars. The third color in the tricolor prints is a deep blue, consistently coloring the many books shelved throughout the pages. The little librarian and her assistants cheerfully accommodate musical squirrels who disrupt silent readers, a wolf who weeps over a sad part in a book (“she was crying so much her tears fell like rain”) and a tortoise whose slow reading threatens to keep the library open past its dawn closing hour. The text and artwork do not miss a beat as the closing spread shows the little librarian and her assistants reading a bedtime story. The book-and-star-themed endpapers add to the charm.
Original, imaginative and perfect for naptime or bedtime. (Picture book. 2-6)