A lighthearted ode to books featuring eye-catching, funny pictures of an eccentric character.


Krazy Kathleen

A children’s librarian who keeps everything in seemingly random piles teaches local residents a lesson in this tale by Tellem (Zen the Zebra, 2015, etc.), featuring illustrations by Coules.

The story opens introducing Kathleen Konkey of the Small Town Free Library, a “chilled-out librarian” who can balance books on her head. Her library looks similar to that balanced stack: piles and piles of books on the floor, on tables, and on statues—anywhere but on the shelves. Although the narrator suggests that the library looks like a dump, it doesn’t look dingy or dirty, just chaotic, and Kathleen’s love of books shines through. When a patron asks her for a Harry Potter tome, Kathleen cites the location (by pile and number from the bottom) without even looking up from a copy of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. She encourages comfortable posture in her teenage readers, rather than worrying about the furniture. Her memory for book location extends to titles for toddlers, and a cameo of another of Tellem’s picture books, When You Gotta Go (2013), will make the author’s fans giggle. Soon, Kathleen is confronted by her assistant, whose complaints are met with calm explanations; meanwhile, Kathleen reads and rereads her favorite books. Eventually, even the Small Town mayor gets involved, and Kathleen admits that the reason she’s so poor at organizing (outside her own brain) is that she’s too busy reading. A satisfying concluding image shows the mayor joining Kathleen atop the stacks with his nose in a good book. The delightful illustrations, which are full of book covers, are the real draw here, and they capture the kooky tone perfectly. The story is clever, and the vocabulary (with words such as “indignation” and “unruffled”) will provide fun challenges for strong independent readers. However, the message that a library job is all reading and no work underappreciates the very hard work that librarians do in order to help their patrons. Most young readers will grasp the tongue-in-cheek depiction here—but some may start making plans for a future career in reading all day.

A lighthearted ode to books featuring eye-catching, funny pictures of an eccentric character.

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9853602-3-8

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Swordpen Publishers

Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2016

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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