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When the Library Lights Go Out Paperback – May 5, 2009

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3–Three puppets enjoy a nighttime adventure in a library after hours. Amiable and amusing full-page illustrations, done in oils on paper, capture a sense of being alone in a big space and convey the warmth of wood tables and shelves full of books, but the text provides only an impressionistic and sketchy plot. Hermit Crab is missing from the puppet box after the librarian leaves, and Rabbit, who has been steeped in fairy tales, decides that she has been taken by a giant. Lion, more stolid and practical, finds a map that seems to point to landmarks within the building, but it tears as the friends pull at it. Lion folds the pieces into a boat, a sail, a captain's hat. Endearing as these puppets are to look at, they are frustrating to read about. The story reads, even aloud, like one improvised with puppets in hand: long on action and dialogue but with too many moments that pull against the center. Some of the magical elements seem inconsistent as well: Lion and Rabbit can sail the paper boat across the floor in the moonlight (the clock), but then dine on the remains of a real baloney sandwich and toast marshmallows over a lit match (in the library!!!). Overall, an appealing concept that doesn't quite live up to its magical promise.–Kathie Meizner, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Chevy Chase, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. After the library closes for the evening, story hour puppets Rabbit and Lion search for their puppet-friend Hermit Crab. Armed with a map, a flashlight, and a picnic salvaged from the "ucky-blucky" trash can, they explore the dark library, afraid that giants may have eaten their friend. When they become lost, Lion makes a paper boat, and they sail across the library--into a rock that talks, which turns out to be Hermit Crab, on his own adventure. Then the three friends share a late-night snack "and read themselves to sleep under the stars." Softly colored illustrations show the puppets enjoying their after-hours freedom but apprehensive about what might be hiding in the library's dark corners. A charming story, with special appeal for children who are convinced their own toys come to life in their absence. Karen Hutt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781416980285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416980285
  • ASIN: 1416980288
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.2 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,104,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I work in a library so check out anything books to do with libraries as am interested to see how it is portrayed, especially to kids. The title When the Library Lights Go Out sort of gave me the impression it was going to be a behind the scenes type look at characters from books coming alive and running amok in the library similar to Toy Story or something. I even thought maybe it would be a rip off of The Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc (book which later became a Ben Stiller movie. But no this book is nothing like those books.

What this book is instead is a tale of two puppets (who we're never sure if are the library's puppets for children's storytime or someone's lost property as they start out in the lost property box where you wouldn't store library property) and their search for another puppet. Pretty boring story which also glorifies the destruction and vandalism of library items which means no school or public library is even going to be able to use this as a basic plot and expand upon it with their own story and questions on things you find in the library. The storyline is pretty weak (I mean where do puppets get a torch and food for a picnic from). Illustrations also indicate the author/illustrators haven't been to a library in as long time. Either that or their local library is severely neglected and under funded and they can't discard or update their material. The stack of books they are sitting on at the end contain books which are dog eared and the pages yellow.

Very average book, give it a miss.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Khyraen on July 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I checked this book out from the library because of the great illustrations hoping it would charm my children. The children showed no interest in the story and reading it anoyed and frustrated me.

The dialog is so poorly done that I think it insults a two-year-old child--it did mine. Even the charming Rabbit couldn't turn this book into a winner in my little daughter's rabbit-loving heart.

"I did," rabbit said. "Oh," lion replied. "Did you see that?" rabbit asked. "See what?" lion replied. This is not a quote from the book but it IS how the book reads. It sounds like a second grader (maybe a first grader) wrote the dialog.

Summary: This one isn't even worth risking a late charge on your library card because you forgot you had it at home and didn't return it on time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By another constant reader on July 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What child doesn't love the library? This charming book explores a library after lights-out with some truly memorable characters. My four-year-old loved the adventure-filled search for a friend that ends in a midnight picnic. Katherine Tillotson's illustrations are beautifully rendered and capture the floppy, goofy fun of the two pals, Lion and Rabbit. A lovely book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lisa V. Vahradian on August 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My 4 year old nephew first introduced me to this magical book when he whisked it off the shelf at our local bookstore and said that Lion and Rabbit just had to come home with us. And I'm glad they did! This is simply a charming story to curl up with over and over again. Katherine Tillotson's delightful and whimsical illustrations burst with life on every page. This book has become my nephew's favorite and I look forward to the next McDonald/Tillotson collaboration.
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Format: Paperback
The library is closed so time for the animals to get up. Rabbit is not at all sleepy whereas Lion, snoring like a pig, just wants to be left alone. Where is Hermit Crab? Rabbit runs off looking for him. On his way he finds crayons to draw a picture of himself with, half eaten sandwiches and carrot sticks and a basketball.

Lion, not appreciating all the noise tells Rabbit to be quiet. Rabbit is afraid that Hermit Crab is lost. Maybe he has been eaten by a hungry giant? Lion agrees to help find their friend so with a flashlight and picnic in hand off they go. Finding a map see a "park," "water" (mat) and a "bridge" (table). When the map rips in three places Lion gets creative and makes a boat, a sail and a captain's hat.

"Tick, tock, tick" Oh no, the giant's hearbeat! Will they ever find Hermit Crab?

This is a delightful story for young children. In fact we all enjoyed it!
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