Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen was first published in 2006, but it has a timeless classic feel to it where you swear it has been around forever.
Last week I reviewed my 2 year old son's favorite book, Snowmen All Year which also earned 5 stars, and I told you I would review my daughter's favorite book this week.
Library Lion is my 3 year old daughter's absolute favorite book right now. She loves it and has had it read to her so many times she can now "read" aka retell it to her brother. It's pretty darn cute to witness the retelling.
I have given Library Lion 5 out of 5 stars not b/c it is my daughter's favorite book but b/c it is well written, has beautiful pictures, unique storyline, and lovable characters. It is most definitely a book with classic status written all over it.
Check out these fabulous pictures. Kevin Hawkes did a fabulous job at making this story so loving, fun, and timeless.
As far as who to read this book to, I would say toddlers would love it but it is a bit wordy for most toddlers. However, if your child can sit still for longer periods of time or loves books and can read book after book then definitely they will love it. Kindergartners up to third graders will most definitely love this sweet classic story being read to them until they can read it to by themselves, which they will..
Older kids, 4th and 5th graders that is, will enjoy the story but won't want to read it over and over again unlike the younger kids. A teacher in 4th grade could use this book as a writing prompt to have the students write a fun story about other rules they have in their classroom. It could be a fun beginning of year writing activity.
Library Lion earned 5 Stars among many people on Amazon as well. Amazon had the following book review from School Library Journal:
"Miss Merriweather, head librarian and decorum-keeper, first meets Lion when he saunters past his stone counterparts and into the stacks. Scowling circulation assistant Mr. McBee seems intent on having the enormous cat ejected, but his boss declares that as long as he breaks no rules, he is welcome. The beast does misbehave though, roaring loud displeasure when storytime ends. At Miss Merriweather's reprimand, the contrite-looking lion promises to reform. In fact, he becomes something of a fixture in the building, dusting with his tail, licking envelopes, and serving as a stepstool for small patrons. Everyone appreciates him–except Mr. McBee. When Lion lets out another tremendous RAAAHHHRRR!, the man bursts into Miss Merriweather's office to snitch–and there he finds her in distress, having fallen from a stool and broken her arm. Lion, à la Lassie, has saved the day, but he is so chagrined by his own rule-breaking behavior that he doesn't return to the library. People miss him. Even Mr. McBee. A feel-good ending and a reminder that Sometimes, there is a good reason to break the rules bring the story to its most-satisfactory conclusion. Hawkes's deft acrylic-and-pencil pictures have appeal for generations of library lovers. They are rich with expression, movement, and detail. The lordly, lovable lion is a masterful mix–regal beast and furry friend–and the many human characters are drawn with animation and emotion. This winsome pairing of text and illustration is a natural for storytime and a first purchase for every collection."
This is a fun beautiful story and one you should check out right away. We ended buying the book b/c we checked it out from the library so many times.
It's a classic you'll want in your collection; trust me, I am pretty darn picky about what books we add to our collection.