Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Library Lion

What would you do if a lion came to the library? That’s the premise of Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen. A lion walks into the library, walks around the stacks, and falls asleep in the story corner to the consternation of library patrons and the assistant at the circulation desk. The librarian, a stickler for the rules, allows the lion to stay as long as he doesn’t break the rules. The lion stays for and enjoys story hour, roaring because he doesn’t want it to end. The librarian reprimands him but says a nice quiet lion could come back for story hour tomorrow. The lion returns early the next day and makes himself useful dusting the encyclopedias, licking envelopes, and letting small children use him as a stepstool to the higher shelves. He continues to visit the library daily and soon library patrons look forward to seeing him, patting him on the head as he passes by and wondering aloud how they ever got along without him.

One day the librarian falls from a stepstool in her office and breaks her arm. The lion, trying to get help, does the only thing he knows to do, roaring loudly at the library assistant for help. The library assistant scolds the lion for breaking the rules and hurries to the librarian’s office to tattle on the lion, where he finds the librarian on the floor and calls the doctor. The lion, knowing he broke the rules, dejectedly leaves the library and doesn’t return. Everyone misses the lion, especially the librarian. The library assistant goes looking for the lion and tells him there is a new library rule – no roaring unless there is a very good reason. The lion returns to the library to cheers and hugs from the librarian and the children. The story ends with: “Sometimes there was a good reason to break the rules. Even in the library.”

The soft pencil and acrylic illustrations are charming (especially the last spread where the children are celebrating the lion’s return to the library) and add a timeless appeal to the story. Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen, is a gentle, feel-good, and beautifully illustrated story that will appeal to library lovers everywhere, both children and adults alike.

Guest post by Allison C.

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