Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Quiet! There's A Canary in the Library

Quiet! There's A Canary in the Library. Don Freeman. 1969. 48 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Every Saturday morning a girl named Cary went to the library. Before selecting a book, Cary always had a chat with Mrs. Curtis the librarian.

Premise/plot: Cary, the heroine, has an active imagination. One Saturday morning, as she's reading a book about the zoo, her imagination runs wild. If she were a librarian, she "would have a special day when ONLY animals and birds would be allowed to come in and browse."  She has it all organized in her mind. Most of the book is spent in her imagination as she greets and welcomes each animal to her library.
Oh my! A giraffe! I hadn't planned on you popping in so soon. You'll find some tall tales up there on the top shelf. Do help yourself.
But there's one thing she forgot to do. Shut the door so MICE don't run in and scare the other animals--like the elephant. It won't stay quiet in her library for long!!! No, soon it becomes quite wild...

My thoughts: I like the text very much. I do. I love how behind the little girl's proper and precise behavior, there's a passionate enthusiasm for life--for books--for birds. I love how she's swept away by this story, and probably EVERY story she picks up. But as much as I do really really like the text. It's the illustrations that I adore about this one. Especially of Cary. I love her red hair. I love her pig tails. I love the illustration of her skipping out the library door with book in hand.

What is odd, is how the illustrations of Cary are not exactly consistent. On some pages she has red hair. Other pages she has blond hair. And in some spreads she has both red-and-blond hair. Likewise, in some she appears to be wearing pig tails. But in others, she's got pigtails AND a bun. I think I've puzzled out WHY the bun. In her imagination, she's an adult librarian. And these fantasy spreads, she's got both bun and pigtails. In the present day, just pig-tails. Still haven't puzzled out the hair color though!!!!

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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