Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Library Lion

Knudsen, Michelle. 2006 Library Lion. Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.

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

Thus begins one of my new favorite picture books about libraries. The library employees--Mr. McBee and Miss Merriweather--don't quite now what to do with this over-sized patron. But while Mr. McBee is quick to judge a lion unfit for the library, Miss Merriweather's calmer rule-based policy prevails. The lion can stay at the library as long as he keeps the same rules as everyone else.

The lion wandered all around the library. He sniffed the card catalog. He rubbed his head against the new book collection. Then he padded over to the story corner and went to sleep. No one was sure what to do. There weren't any rules about lions in the library.

The lion didn't know quite what to expect from the library either. He seems quite pleased with what he's found there though--especially the children's story hour. In fact, he roars for more stories. The librarian warns him that only quiet lions would be welcome to come back for the next day's story hour. So this ever-meek lion calms down.

The lion soon becomes a normal part of the library. He's a loyal patron. A good patron. He's quiet. He keeps the rules. And he is always ready to help. She sent him off to dust the encyclopedias until it was time for story hour. The next day, the lion came early again. This time, Miss Merriweather asked him to lick all the envelopes for the overdue notices. Soon the lion began doing things without being asked. My favorite? He let small children stand on his back to reach books on the highest shelves.

This lion soon is dubbed "well suited" for the library. And people begin to say, "How did we ever get along without him?"

But then comes the day when the lion breaks a rule. When Miss Merriweather takes a tumble from her stepstool, it is up to the lion to go get her help. The problem? He has to roar to get Mr. McBee's attention. That mean old Mr. McBee is stubborn and a bit slow. He pronounces the lion to be a rule-breaker and rushes off to tattle on him to Miss Merriweather.

Is there room in the library for a rule-breaking lion? You'll have to read LIBRARY LION and see!


Susan,  10:46 AM  

I keep meaning to check out this book for my son! Thank you for the reminder.

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