Picture Books on the History of Libraries, Part 4

I hope you’ve enjoyed my reviews of picture books that look specifically at libraries through history and around the world (if you missed them: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Today I’m wrapping up with four books I didn’t manage to squeeze in earlier.

The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries by Julie Cummins, illustrated by Roxie Munro (Dutton Children’s Books, 1996)

Although some details are outdated (especially the section on the Internet!), I highly recommend this book, if you can get your hands on it. It covers all types of libraries, including the Library of Congress, Andrew Haskell Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Explorers Club Library, Folsom State Prison Library, even a tool library and a library on an aircraft carrier. The text provides lots of information and I really enjoyed the variety and detail in the illustrations. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children by Jan Pinborough, illustrated by Debby Atwell (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2013)

Annie Carroll Moore grew up in Limerick, Maine in the 1870s. She never wanted to do what other girls did; instead of getting married she became a librarian and moved to NYC. Eventually she was put in charge of planning and running the new Central Children’s Room; she organized reading clubs and invited musicians and special guests, including Dr. Seuss. The king and queen of Belgium even visited! Miss Moore influenced libraries across the U.S. and around the world. Historical notes describe other trailblazing librarians and give biographical info as well as a list of sources. The illustrations are vibrant folk art paintings. Recommended for ages 6 to 9.

Librarian on the Roof! A True Story by M.G. King, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin (Albert Whitman & Company, 2010)

Set in 2000, this is the true story of RoseAleta Laurell who camped out on the roof of the oldest library in Texas to raise money for a new children’s section. The illustrations are very bright and cartoonish and the text has a playful tone. A one-page author’s note provides the history of the library building and all that RoseAleta did for it. Recommended for ages 5 to 8.

Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library! by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter, illustrated by Steve James (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009)

Here’s another true story, this one of a librarian in Spencer, Iowa who finds an abandoned kitten in the return box. The book follows Dewey’s antics as he learns to be a real “Library Cat,” greeting people, “helping” the librarian, and cheering people up. This is fun for younger children (it made my kids laugh out loud). Recommended for ages 3 to 7. (The authors have also written Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World and Dewey’s Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions.)

That’s all for this series! As always, I’d love to hear your reading recommendations, picture books or otherwise.

[Update: I’ve linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy here.]

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