Stewart, S., & Small, D. (ill.) (1995). The library. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. ISBN: 9780374343880
Annotation: Elizabeth Brown likes to read. And read. And read. And when her books take over her house, she makes a donation to her town of all the books she owns.
Reaction: The dedication to this book reads “to the memory of the real Mary Elizabeth Brown. Librarian, reader, friend. 1920-1991,” which makes this book a little bit more special to me. As a person who grew up spending more time at the library and reading books than doing anything else, I can totally relate to Elizabeth Brown lifestyle choices.
I love the frames Small uses around the color illustrations, which make the art look like old fashioned portraits, and the black and white ink illustrations in the empty white space adds a touch of humor and whimsy. All the art is fun and light and full of color.
The poem emphasizes her love of books and the way she does everything while reading, without making it a negative that she’s not interested in sports or boys or even grocery shopping.
I would read this to young children to give them an wonderful example of a bibliophile in action, and I may use it in one of my future storytimes.
ABBY Award Honor Book
American Booksellers Association, Pick of the Lists, 1995
The New York Times, Outstanding Book of the Year and Notable Children’s Book, 1995
Media Used: None listed, but appears to be watercolors.