Today is the last day of the Free Library of Philadelphia Summer Reading program, and it’s been quite the whirlwind of fun! Between story times, camp visits, movies, LEGO clubs, art projects, and science programs, your children’s librarians have been very busy this summer. All year round, we love fostering a love of reading, but over the summer it’s especially important so that kids do not fall back in reading levels, a phenomenon ominously called the “summer slide.”
For today’s children’s book review, I’d like to highlight a book truly written for everyone, and celebrating what librarians do best: Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I Don’t) by Barbara Bottner. In this picture book, our main character just can’t get excited about books, despite the enthusiasm (and elaborate book-themed costumes) of her school librarian, Miss Brooks. The indefatigable bookworm throws a Book Week festival at school, but the little girl laments that the books are “too flowery,” “too furry,” “too clickety,” “too yippity.” But wait! To the rescue comes the one, the only: Shrek! by William Steig. A book with ogres and warts and snorting? Yes! Finally, a book she likes!
As a children’s librarian, I love Miss Brooks’ enthusiasm and love of books, but I especially identify with how she has to try, try, and try again to find the right book for this hard-headed, opinionated child. I think we all see kids like this in our libraries every day, and there really is nothing like helping a child find that ONE book that wins them over to the world of books, warts and all.
Reviewed by Sarah Stippich, Children's Librarian at the Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library. Click on the titles above to find out which Free Library locations have these great books!