All of these books have special meaning for me because they all relate to where I worked for many years—the library. Hopefully these selections will inspire you to take your little one to check out some books for some fun back-to-school reading.
THE BEST BOOK TO READ, by Debbie Bertram& Susan Bloom, illustrated by Michael Garland, Random House, $14.99; ages 3-7.
How does a child find the best book to read? The answer may change on every visit. As the bus arrives, the librarian is waiting to greet the children. She suggests they select several books and then look through them to help make a decision. She also suggests a few—about bugs, dragons and dogs that might be of interest to someone in the class. All the children leave happy with their choices.
OUR LIBRARY, by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Maggie Smith, Clarion Books, $16; ages 3-7.
As the animals check out their books, Miss Goose, the librarian, informs them the library is going to close because it is old and needs too many repairs. So the animals read books about how to make repairs and they fix up the library. When Miss Goose says it takes a lot of money to run a library, they hold bake sales, art sales and sell candy to raise money. After all their work, the animals learn Goat owns the land the library is on and wants the land back. The animals search for the perfect place to relocate the library. They decide it should be in a beautiful meadow which Old Beaver owns. Although it takes a while, the animals convince Old Beaver to have the library moved to his property. Miss Goose even orders some new books about beavers.
MISS SMITH READS AGAIN!, by Michael Garland, Puffin, $6.99 (paperback); ages 3-7.
In a previous book we were introduced to Miss Smith‘s Incredible Storybook. Miss Smith reminds the class that once the story begins they are not to interfere with the characters or they will change the story. Today’s selection is The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle. Zach is especially excited because he knows it is about dinosaurs. As soon as Miss Smith begins to read, the room turns into a jungle. Zack spots a T. rex and the class runs. When they return, Miss Smith is missing. The children follow her trail to find her up a tree in a Pterodactyl nest. The children climb the tree and rescue Miss Smith. I wonder what Miss Smith will select for her next story?
IT'S LIBRARY DAY, by Janet Morgan Stoeke, Dutton, $12.99; ages 3-7.
Miss Faye is glad to welcome the class to the library. After a story the children have the opportunity to select a book. A very simple story but a way to introduce a first visit and a discussion on what to expect at the library.
BATS AT THE LIBRARY, written and illustrated by Brian Lies, Houghton Mifflin, $16; ages 3-7.
Word spreads quickly that a window has been left open at the library. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does the bats enjoy the night. Some of the bats duplicate themselves at the copier while others swim in the drinking fountain. The younger bats attend storytime as the older ones sit around and discuss what good books they have to read. The illustrations portray bats as the characters from favorite books such as in Make Way for Ducklings, Winnie the Pooh and Little Red Riding Hood. As dark turns into daylight, the bats reluctantly leave for home and wish for the chance for a night at the library again soon.
LOLA AT THE LIBRARY, by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw, Charlesbridge, $15.95; ages 3-5.
Tuesday is a favorite day for Lola. It is the day she and her mother visit the library. She remembers her library card and puts the books from last week into her backpack. Lola goes to the children’s room where there is occasional singing or a storytime. Because there are so many books from which to choose, it takes her a long time to make her weekly selections. Mommy has selected some books too. The two of them always stop for a snack on the way home. Each night mommy reads a story to Lola, which is the best way to end every day.
Judy Belanger is Chicago Parent’s children’s book reviewer and a retired elementary learning resource center teacher with four grandchildren. She continues to substitute in grades K-6.