Chapin and Mark’s “Library Song” is reinvigorated into an inviting picture book.
It’s Saturday morning, the rain is pouring, Dad is snoring, and what’s a kid to do? Go to the library, of course. The narrator, a black child in a dress and green rain boots, roams the stacks for a book. “Now I like books and they like me, / so when I go to the library, / I sit down in my favorite chair / and check to see who’s there.” One after another, book characters offer to go home with her: Winnie-the-Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, Madeline, the Cat in the Hat, Pinocchio, the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Babar, Curious George, even Mother Goose. The child checks out a stack of books, leaves the library with a veritable swarm of characters, and goes home to read. The digital-and-pencil illustrations are quite appealing, especially the cover illustration that depicts the child, who sports an Afro, bright, yellow frame glasses, and perky nose, holding the titular book. The only blip is the librarian, a white woman who borders on a shushing stereotype, dressed in a two-piece suit with a white blouse and sporting a blonde bob. Kids may not mind however, as the singsong-y text and the action will carry the entertaining story.
A playful tribute to libraries. (Picture book. 4-8)