picture book

Book Review: Library Lion

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Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

ages 6-8, book genre: realistic fiction with unlikely animal behavior. (The lion doesn’t talk, so not exactly fable-like book.)

This book has 40 pages with beautiful illustrations. It alternates between one full length picture and about 2-3 text paragraphs. This isn’t a fast read book, since there is more text than usual. However, it is a great book with heart that encourages reading.

I love reading and the library, so this is a perfect ‘fit’ when sharing to children that hopefully encourages them to also cherish the library. The story is about an orderly library that has a surprise when a lion enters. At first the people are hesitant, but gradually they grow to love being with the lion and often give him jobs. However, the lion makes the mistake of roaring in the library and is asked to leave. Of course, the people are sadden by this event and want their lion back. A few terms, such as card catalog, need to be explained since not all libraries contain them anymore.

Often, when I finish this book I ask children if they have their own library card. The library is a wonderful place for knowledge and further increase reading enjoyment. Many children don’t realize how easy it is to obtain a library card with parent or guardian.

opening page:

One day, a lion came to the library. He walked right past the circulation desk and up into the stacks.

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The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

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The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!  by  Jon  Scieszka

ages 6-9, book genre: fairy tale

The book is 29 pages with a large picture and normally one paragraph on each page.

I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve read this to children. Just as the title states that it’s the ‘true story’ of the 3 little pigs & the big wolf. However, this story is based on the wolf’s point of view so of course he doesn’t think he’s big and bad. I like this book, because even though I’ve read it numerous times it still makes me laugh from a new perspective. Scieszka has written other books in this similar humor, such as The Stinky Cheese Man. It has some references to eating pigs, so younger children may be surprised at first when characters are eaten. I also used this book in a classroom with writing and the students wrote a new twist to a story that’s been told before. I haven’t been in a classroom where the students didn’t enjoy this well-known story with a new perspective.

opening page:

Everybody knows the story of the Three Little Pigs. Or at least they think they do. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. The real story is…I was framed!