Monday, April 30, 2012

Library Lily by Gillian Shields, illustrated by Francesca Chessa (2011)

Library Lily by Gillian Shields, illustrated by Francesca Chessa. June 8, 2011. 26 pages. Eerdman's Book for Young Readers. ISBN: 9780802854018

Library Lily always has her nose in a book, to the point that she rarely has any real-life adventures of her own. Millie, on the other hand, can’t stand books. This sweet friendship story for bookworms tells how these two very different girls learned to appreciate one another’s points of view and become best friends who have real and imagined adventures together.

This book is a little bit too cheesy for me, and Millie’s transformation from reluctant to avid reader didn’t really ring true. This is the kind of book that very much preaches to the converted. Kids who are already big readers will love it, as will teachers, librarians, and bibliophile parents. The style of illustration is neat, with lots of different shapes and collages of different materials, but the pictures don’t reflect very much diversity. There are some pages depicting library users that show nothing but white faces, which is not at all what my community looks like.

The book does promote print motivation and print awareness, by including lots of signs and showing Lily reading the signs for fun. The story might work in story time, particularly in a book club or some other environment where all the kids are big readers, and it makes a nice addition to the possible books I might share during National Library Week. Still, though, I don’t know that it will convert any kids to becoming big readers, and the overly sweet tone will definitely turn off some kids, especially those who are prone to dismiss reading as boring or dorky in and of itself.

Read this book with:

Songs to accompany this book include:

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