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If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't! (Magnolia Says DON'T!) Hardcover – May 2, 2017
"Children of Blood and Bone"
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Praise for If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't!:
"Good fun to read aloud."
"This enjoyable romp through the library with Magnolia will engage young readers and keep them looking forward to her next adventure."―School Library Journal
"Spunky little Magnolia continues to push rules to the limit and offer not-so-useful, but always entertaining, advice in her latest outing....Magnolia has to get creative when her human cannonball trick hits a snag....Though the ultimate conclusion is that circuses aren't library-appropriate, the story offers a fun way to address proper library behavior without ignoring the joy books can bring."
Praise for If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don't!:
Praise for If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!:
"[It] revels in the rampage of the id-here in the form of a formidable and toothy crocodilian. Elise Parsley's jaunty second-person narration is matched by comically expressive and detailed digital artwork that seems to shout from the page."―Wall Street Journal
"Children are likely to get a kick out of Magnolia's not-quite-contrite tone and the colorful chaos her giant pet creates."―New York Times
"This is an engaging debut picture book [that] will appeal to a wide age range. Here's hoping for more adventures with Magnolia!"―School Library Journal
About the Author
Elise Parsley wrote and illustrated the bestselling If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!, which was her debut picture book. She has also written and illustrated If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don't!; If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't!; Neck & Neck; and illustrated The Magic Word by Mac Barnett. She lives in South Dakota with her husband. She invites you to visit her online at eliseparsley.com.
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Top customer reviews
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Magnolia has previously brought an alligator to school and a piano to the beach. So is a circus in the library a good idea? Well, the poster says...."You Can Do Anything at the Library!"
I work in a public library and have a small grandson who adores being read to as well as visiting the library so this newest book was a great fit for us.
He was interested in the book right away - the cover caught his eye - and it held his interest 'til the last page.
He started to remember the 'chorus' line with repeated readings...."You can do anything at the library - except......" and shouted the lines as they came up. There's a wonderful rhythm to reading this book out loud and so many opportunities to be vocally expressive. I do wonder if another word could have been found for 'concessions' (used in the food sense) as I ended up paraphrasing. There's a countdown moment that he loved as well.
Subsequent readings had us stopping to look at the pictures more closely (Library Gramma quite enjoyed the posters!) to see details more closely. There's lots of opportunity for discussion based on the book - talking about what his library looked like and what he does at the library and what he might like to do - both 'approved' and over the top like Magnolia. I do want to say as a library employee that things have changed over the years. Things do get 'loud' at the library sometimes and we do bring in 'events'. Not a circus so far though....
Magnolia as a lead character is wonderful - she is full of life, enthusiasm and imagination. The illustrations are colourful and quirky. The facial expressions allow a little one to interpret what the characters might be thinking or feeling.
Gramma and Little Guy both enjoyed this book.
We looked forward to this new Magnolia story eagerly. It did not disappoint. The facial expressions on all the characters are very funny and so accurate to how kids react to the world. The little details reward re-reading the book with your kids as they discover what happened to that feathery headband thingy that Magnolia was wearing way back at the beginning of the book.
The story structure is well-crafted. Magnolia's growing anxiety as she tries repeatedly to impress her audience (while staying within the strictures of the library environment) build an effective story conflict for our 4-year-old and 2-year-old. Second-Born's concerned warnings to Magnolia on every read-through get louder every time, until the tension is released as he shouts, "BA-BOOM-BAAAA!" at the appropriate moment - his favorite in the book. First-Born is much more concerned with Magnolia avoiding making messes, being kind, and helping clean up. Her favorite moment is a bit unexpected. It's the moment near the beginning when the librarian warns Magnolia in a whisper to "Just don't let it get too noisy." I asked her why it was her favorite part, and she said, "He just looks like a really good librarian."
The comic relief moments are plentiful and multi-level - parents will appreciate some subtle touches too. And there are a few references to previous Magnolia books that loyal fans will appreciate. That girl loves her egg and cheese sandwiches.
The book facilitates discussions with children on multiple levels, too. Some of the topics that have just organically come out of this book (without our trying to force anything) include: following rules, being kind, making (and cleaning up) messes, being selfless (e.g. being quiet so the teenager in the library can finish his apparent dissertation research), trying to impress an audience, making decisions to get others' approval, taking things too literally (a poster that says "YOU CAN DO ANYTHING AT THE LIBRARY!" is a key tension in the plot), problem-solving, and the power of imagination.
I originally gave the book six stars, but was regretfully forced to remove one because of its irresponsible condonation of the inappropriate indoor use of crew-served field artillery by small children. Shocking!
I feel like there are always those students at school who try to take signs literally and don't take in the context or just apply common sense. This is a great book to use to address that issue or talk about what literally means. Magnolia reads a sign, ignores the unwritten clues and context, and ends up with a huge disaster on her hands much to the delight of the readers.
Thumbs up. Highly recommend.