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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Tomas and the Library Lady (Dragonfly Books) Paperback – February 22, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Sometimes you read a story and it almost seems too nice. This book may seem to be one of those at first, but the difference is that this story is true! Tomás and the Library Lady is the wonderfully illustrated tale of Tomás Rivera and the kind librarian who helped him learn to love books. Tomás started his life as a migrant worker and, when he died, was a university chancellor. (The UC Riverside library now bears his name.)

This tribute to Tomás and his mentor reminds us of the power of stories and those dedicated librarians who have changed the lives of so many people. (Recommended for ages 4-8; it's great for new English readers and is also available in Spanish.) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4?Tomas Rivera, who at his death in 1984 was the Chancellor of the University of California at Riverside, grew up in a migrant family. Here, Mora tells the fictionalized story of one summer in his childhood during which his love of books and reading is fostered by a librarian in Iowa, who takes him under her wing while his family works the harvest. She introduces him to stories about dinosaurs, horses, and American Indians and allows him to take books home where he shares them with his parents, grandfather, and brother. When it is time for the family to return to Texas, she gives Tomas the greatest gift of all?a book of his own to keep. Colon's earthy, sun-warmed colors, textured with swirling lines, add life to this biographical fragment and help portray Tomas's reading adventures in appealing ways. Stack this up with Sarah Stewart and David Small's The Library (Farrar, 1995) and Suzanne Williams and Steven Kellogg's Library Lil (Dial, 1997) to demonstrate the impact librarians can have on youngsters.?Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 0440 (What's this?)
  • Series: Dragonfly Books
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Books; 1st Dragonfly Books Ed edition (February 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375803491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375803499
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is the wonderful true story of Tomas Rivera who was the son of migrant workers and became the chancellor of the University of California at Riverside.
My sister and nephews were in town and they took a trip to the library with their Nana(my mom). I believe that my sister grabbed this book, because it mentioned the library lady. I liked the fact that the author dedicated this book to Tomas Rivera and "for librarians who lure us in."
I read this book to my oldest nephew while he was here. He was absolutely mesmerized by this book. The author draws you in with the tale of Tomas Rivera's life and how his life changed when he discovered the library. The illustrations in the book were beautifully drawn and colorful.
Tomas lived with his Mama, Papa, Papa Grande and his little brother, Enrique. His parents were migrant workers. They picked fruit in Texas in the winter and in Iowa in the summer. They were on their way to Iowa for the summer.
Tomas had always enjoyed listening to his Papa Grande's stories, and he knew all of them by heart. So, Papa Grande encouraged Tomas to go to the library in Iowa and tell them more stories. The next morning when he reaches the library he becomes very intimidated by the big library. Well, things change once he meets the library lady.
She is so warm and inviting to Tomas that Tomas spends the whole day at the library reading. Using her own card, the library lady checks out two books for Tomas to take home and read. While reading, Tomas gets lost in adventures with dinosaurs.
During the course of the summer, Tomas teaches the library lady some Spanish, while she encourages him to read more books.
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Format: Paperback
"It was midnight. The light of the full moon followed the tired old car. Tomas was tired too. Hot and tired. He missed his own bed, in his own house in Texas. Tomas was on his way to Iowa again with his family..." Tomas' family were migrant workers. As his parents toiled in the fields during the day picking corn in the hot Iowa sun, Tomas and his brother, Enrique, tried to stay cool under the shade of trees, listening to the old stories told by their grandfather, Papa Grande. "Tomas, you know all my stories, " he said. "There are many more in the library. You are big enough to go by youself. Then you can teach us new stories." The library was large and cool, and had more books than Tomas had ever imagined. But more importantly, the librarian was very kind and took the young boy under her wing. And with her help, opens up a whole new world for Tomas; the love of books and learning..... Based on the story of Tomas Rivera, a migrant worker who grew up to become an educator and eventually chancellor of the University of California at Riverside, Tomas And The Library Lady is a heartwarming and inspiring story. Pat Mora's sweet, simple, and quiet text is complemented by Raul Colon's gentle and evocative illustrations and together word and art detail the joys of reading, and the wonderful impact one person can have on a young life. Perfect for children 4-8, Ms Mora includes a short biography of Tomas Rivera at the end to complete the story.
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Format: Paperback
I loved the title and the brief bio of the real Tomas Rivera (back inside cover) and am always a sucker for any book that highlights the glories of libraries and reading.
BUT.
I didn't feel like the author told as rich a story as the real story indicated was there. Mr. Rivera seems like a rather extraordinary man to make it to the highest levels of university administration from the world of the migrant worker. But we don't see his "special-ness" conveyed in the story. We don't learn how he learned to read. We don't learn why he couldn't check out books on his own (although we are all happy that the wonderful librarian generously did so on her own card!). We don't learn whether his family was supportive of his reading and story-telling or not, wishing he would work more or harder to help them all survive. We don't learn why he wasn't already familiar with libraries from his "other home" in Texas, nor whether, after his eye-opening experiences in Iowa, would he have a library in Texas to go back to and seek out.
In short, I know enough about migrant worker life to know that there were many details likely left out that would have made the story have more punch and "wow" factor. Too bad! As it stands, it's fine and worth reading (although I'm not a fan of the illustrations, but that's such a personal taste thing!), just wishing for that missing magic of a great life, told in a great story.
Having said all that, hooray for librarians! : )
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Format: Hardcover
Attention teachers! Add this one to the classroom library. All students will find a true hero in this story. Many of my ESL students identified with Tomas and his struggle for literacy. This book invites the reluctant student to read
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Format: Paperback
This is a short story of a boy named Tomas, who needs more stories than his grandfather can tell, and so he goes to the library. Poor, migrant and Hispanic, he finds a friendly, caring librarian who provides him with the books he needs to nurture his spirit. The illustrations are warm and textured, lending a rich (almost biblical) quality. The experiences of Tomas, and his fertile imagination, are easily recognizable to children of all ages. The historical note on his later success in life is added incentive to keep going to the library for good books, like this one!
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