I thought National Library Week would be the perfect time to share this list of wonderful picture books about libraries with y’all. Unfortunately, we are also in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. So, libraries are closed. On National Library Week. Boohoo!
But that doesn’t mean we can’t read about them! Let’s remind our kids, and ourselves, just how magical libraries are. And we’ll be even more grateful for them when they reopen.
Also, while this post reviews many wonderful books about libraries, it’s also a little bit of a shameless plug for my new picture book, Library’s Most Wanted, which releases May 25, 2020. It’s available for preorder wherever books are sold. And hopefully, one day soon, may just be available at your local library.
Picture Books Celebrating Libraries
Library’s Most Wanted by Carolyn Leiloglou (me!) illustrated by Sara Pogue–
Libby longs to be a great librarian like her aunt Nora, and it just chaps her hide when kids vandalize books. She hangs up Wanted posters to drive the “outlaws” from her “territory.” But when she realizes that a librarian’s real job isn’t protecting books but connecting them with readers, she must find a way to lure them back. I hope this book helps kids remember that librarians aren’t out to get them and that people are more important than books.
Ronan the Librarian by Tara Luebbe and Becky Catie illustrated by Victoria Maderna–
This is another brand new book, and it is tons of fun. It has humor, wordplay, delightful illustrations, and even a toilet paper joke! Barbarians don’t read, they raid! Until Ronan discovers a book. Ronan tries everything to get his people to read with hilarious and heart-warming results.
Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree by Naoko Stoop–
Red Knit Cap Girl and her animal friends find a nook in a tree perfect for books. One by one, they all bring their books, blankets, and shelves until they have their own library for all to share. This is a sweet read for the preschool crowd.
Lost in the Library by Josh Funk illustrated by Stevie Lewis–
This is the story of Patience and Fortitude, the two lion statues outside the New York public library. When Patience is missing, Fortitude must search the library for his friend… and the stories he tells. Funk’s charming poetry makes this a delightful read. I also just found out Funk has a sequel coming out this fall, Where is Our Library?
A Big Surprise for Little Card by Charise Mericle Harper illustrated by Anna Raff–
All sorts of cards do all sorts of jobs. Little Card knows he’s meant to be a birthday card. But when he turns out to be a library card instead, he must learn to use his enthusiasm in a new way.
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen illustrated by Kevin Hawkes–
Lion loves the library, but he’s only allowed to stay if he doesn’t break the rules. But what happens when he needs to break the rules to help someone? This is a sweet story showing some things are more important than keeping the rules.
The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah OHora–
Every Saturday, Oskar and his bear Theodore go to the library with Dad. But this Saturday, there’s a monster in the library! Oskar must convince the monster why books are so great before they all get eaten!
The Library Book by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark an illustrated by Chuck Groenink–
This book contains a delightfully imaginative song about a visit to the library (music included in the end pages). The illustrations are sweet and inviting.
Bunny’s Book Club by Annie Silvestro and illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss–
Bunny develops a taste for books over the summer when the library holds story time outside. Then, all winter long, bunny sneaks into the library to get more books. Bunny eventually brings more and more friends until they are discovered by the librarian!
The New LiBEARian by Alison Donald and illustrated by Alex Willmore–
When the librarian doesn’t show up for story time, the kids find a new liBEARian to read to them. But where does this liBearian really belong? Clever and fun, this book will have your kids “roaring” with laughter.
If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, DON’T! by Elise Parsley–
Perhaps your child has never tried to bring a circus to the library, but everyone can relate to the embarrassment this protagonist feels when their plans go awry. This book is a fun way to learn what you can and can’t do at the library.
Bats at the Library by Brian Lies–
The joys of reading plus bats? What’s not to love! This delightful book is told in rhyme. My favorite part is when bats reading aloud (upside down books, of course) get pulled into the story and we see Red Riding Hood, King Arthur, Peter Rabbit and more all as bats!