Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Library (Children's Book)

Title: The Library

Author: Sarah Stewart; Illustrated by David Small

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

ISBN: 9780374343880

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

Seriously? You have to ask?  I saw it and I needed to read it.


The (fictional) life of Elizabeth Brown.  Elizabeth Brown isn't entirely like me, but there are similarities.  I do love reading, and have spent much time reading in many places.  I have walked and exercised while reading.  I've stayed up late reading, and while never successfully checking out books I personally owned, I did want to.  I even began the beginning stages (before quickly petering out).  And I most certainly understand having books everywhere.  I believe I've decided there are too many before I got quite to Elizabeth's stage of book hoarding, though.

Anyway, regarding the rest of the story... I loved the generosity of spirit and the sharing her love of reading that Elizabeth had.  What a big action to take.

I read some reviews, both positive and negative, that continuously bring up Elizabeth's lack of involvement in favor of books.  I didn't find this so sad as some.  Perhaps because Elizabeth does have friendships throughout the book - and not just in the end.  Because that is one of the criticisms.  Basically that she is lonely and friendless until the end when she has given all and lives with a friend - another elderly lady.  But she has friends that she loaned the books to with her made-up cards.  The illustration shows a friend smiling as she watches Elizabeth leave.  Another point mentions books becoming building blocks for "busy little guests." What?  People think she just had young children wander in and out unattended?  Or perhaps they came with someone(s).  Someone(s) that were visiting Elizabeth  ... Just something to think about.

Anyway, the rhyming makes for a nice read-aloud, and the illustrations are charming.  I enjoyed it, but I'd say from the reactions I saw, it isn't for everyone.

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