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CHECK IT OUT! by Patricia Hubbell


Reading, Finding, Helping

by Patricia Hubbell & illustrated by Nancy Speir

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5803-4
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

This passionate librarian may not possess any actual superpowers, though her limitless energy suggests otherwise. The unnamed professional gaily prowls her shelves to connect the right read with each of her young students. She balances a tower of books, prepares art projects and shelves materials without assistance. The fun of reading is the emphasis in this succinct selection, while research’s valuable role receives only a brief nod. There’s no conflict or nuance to be found in the upbeat story, but the positive message and its brief rhyming text remain unforced throughout. Short phrases merrily clip along, “books with pictures, books with none, / books about the moon and sun.” Smiling youngsters against cheery, solid backgrounds are all sunny smiles. Creative activities encourage classmates to participate; children march along in an exuberant parade with tomes from Harry Potter to Peter Rabbit. There’s a glimpse into the school’s physical space (the technology appears more prehistoric than cutting edge), but the focus is on the career and not the library’s location. While there's no denying the idealism beneath this book, it does shatter the unflattering stereotype haunting librarians (“Shh!”) and replaces it with one wonder of a woman. (Picture book. 2-6)