Pirates in the Library

Pirates in the Library, written by Nadia Ali and illustrated by Jake Tebbits, tells the tale of a band of pirates and their search for treasure. And where do they find that treasure? In the library, of course!

With the help of Ms. Benitez, the librarian, and the Dread Pirate Dewey’s map, Captain Jake and his crew (including their parrot) explore the library and find more treasure than they ever expected.

The librarian in me is thrilled with this book’s take on what treasure really is, but I would have liked more of an overview of the Dewey Decimal System within the text instead of it just being alluded to or included on endpapers or at the book’s conclusion.

I also felt that parts of the book were a little disjointed and hard to follow. (I read a copy of this book via NetGalley, so I’m hoping some of those issues were corrected before final publication.)

I may add this book to my school library collection, simply because it celebrates books, libraries…and pirates. I won’t, however, use it to introduce Dewey, and that is a shame.

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Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library, written by Julie Gassman and illustrated by Andy Elkerton, will be released to the masses on August 1st, and I predict that librarians who work with little ones will be eager to add this to their collections. It’s an excellent book to follow-up those beginning-of-school-year talks about book care and library behavior.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters–both human and dragon–this book shows what might happen if dragons were allowed to roam free in a library. In short, it would be a disaster! But the friendly librarian has a solution for kids who want to share books with their dragon friends. Check out some fun reads, take them home, and enjoy them together. A win-win for everyone!

While my young students may not have dragons at home (that I’m aware of), they may be able to use this book as inspiration to share their favorite stories–or other things they learn in the library–with pets, siblings, parents, and other people they encounter. Sharing a love of reading and libraries is what’s important!

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Kyle Keeley loves games of all kinds, and his favorites are the creations of the amazing Luigi Lemoncello, an eccentric genius who just happened to grow up in Kyle’s hometown.

Kyle’s town has been without a public library for years, but everyone is excited that a new library is about to open–and that excitement only grows when it’s revealed that Mr. Lemoncello himself designed the new building. Kyle is sure that the library is awesome–even though he doesn’t like to read all that much–and he is determined to be one of the first people to see just how cool it is.

An essay contest will determine which twelve seventh-graders are invited to a lock-in at the new library. Even though Kyle’s essay efforts are a bit rough, he is selected to spend the night in the greatest library the world has ever known! Filled with holograms, a Wonder Dome with changing scenes overhead, hover ladders that reach the highest shelves, state-of-the-art technology, and books galore, the library is more than any of the kids ever dreamed…and so is the contest that led them here.

When the lock-in is over, these twelve kids are presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. They may extend their stay and play the most exciting game of their lives, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library! Whoever finds the escape route from the library within the next twenty-four hours becomes Mr. Lemoncello’s spokesperson for all of his gaming products! Kyle doesn’t even need to think about whether or not he’ll stay. (Not everyone feels the same.) This is more than he ever dreamed of, and he’s in it to win it. (He’s not the only one.)

During this exciting day, Kyle teams up with some friends–old and new–and uses knowledge of books, the library, games, and Mr. Lemoncello himself to find a way out of this most unusual library. Will they be able to escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library before time runs out? Before someone else beats them to it? And what will they learn along the way?

Play the game along with Kyle and company and see if you can figure out how to Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library!

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein is a nominee for the 14-15 South Carolina Children’s Book Award.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce is a book-lover’s dream, an Academy Award-winning short film, and a nominee for the 14-15 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

If you’re trying to find the perfect gift for the book lover in your life, look no further than The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. This enchanting book shines a spotlight on the power of words, books, and stories in our lives.

When Morris Lessmore’s own story is scattered in the winds, he is led to a building full of books seeking his attention. He gives them care and shares them with others. He also finds time to work on his own story once again.

Eventually, Mr. Lessmore finishes his story, leaving it with the books he so loved, and a new reader comes along to care for all of the stories left behind.

This vibrant, captivating book is sure to find a home in any library. When combined with the short film and the interactive app, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a reading experience that is not to be missed.

The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town

The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town, written by Mary Casanova and illustrated by Ard Hoyt, was nominated for the 13-14 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

Normally, I’m not a fan of westerns. (Yes, that tends to include picture books.) I made an exception, however, for The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town. As a matter of fact, I challenge any book lover–particularly my fellow librarians–NOT to love this book. It’s wonderful on so many levels!

The whole town is scared when news spreads that the infamous outlaw Dirk Yeller is coming to town. Everyone but Sam, that is. Sam sort of understands Dirk Yeller. He knows what it’s like to search for something to ease his restlessness, so he decides to step in and show Dirk what he really needs to do to fix his twitchin’ and jumpin’ and scaring everybody with his orneriness. It seems the cure for a restless, curious mind can be found at the local library! (Who knew!)

Dirk vows to return to town soon, but this time it’s not to stir up trouble. No, sirree! He needs to check out more library books…not to mention the pretty librarian! (Check out the end papers to see how that part of the story turns out!)