Monday, January 22, 2007

Library Lion

Knudsen, Michelle. 2006. LIBRARY LION. Ill. By Kevin Hawkes. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 0763622621 [Suggested Grade Levels K-3]

One day a lion shows up at a library. No one knows what to do with him but, since he is not breaking any rules, he is allowed to stay. He enjoys story hour and arrives early the next day not to miss it. Miss Merriweather gives the lion various duties to perform until time for story hour. Soon the lion is a member of the library community. Problems arise for the lion, however, when he knowingly breaks a rule in order to help Miss Merriweather.

This beautiful picture book is reminiscent of days past with acrylic and pencil drawings that are old-fashioned and sweet and allow the characters to come alive. The typeface is sepia toned and the illustrations are expressive even though the colors are muted. The end papers beautifully depict the lion as he approaches the library.

Following rules – especially in the library -- is an important lesson for children to learn and what better way than to share this gentle book with young children. Not only will they see the importance of having rules, but they’ll also realize that librarians are willing to relax rules when needed. No nagging needed; just a simple, old-fashioned story.

Invite students to discuss library rules and guidelines. Compare and contrast rules with those in the story. Decide when or if rules should be broken.

Compare with the rules in Peggy Rathmann’s picture book, OFFICER BUCKLE AND GLORIA.

Other picture books by same illustrator:
Fleischman, Paul. WESLANDIA. ISBN 0763600067
Fleischman, Paul. SIDEWALK CIRCUS. ISBN 0763611077

By Cay Geisler

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