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Library Lion Paperback – June 25, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2–Miss Merriweather, head librarian and decorum-keeper, first meets Lion when he saunters past his stone counterparts and into the stacks. Scowling circulation assistant Mr. McBee seems intent on having the enormous cat ejected, but his boss declares that as long as he breaks no rules, he is welcome. The beast does misbehave though, roaring loud displeasure when storytime ends. At Miss Merriweather's reprimand, the contrite-looking lion promises to reform. In fact, he becomes something of a fixture in the building, dusting with his tail, licking envelopes, and serving as a stepstool for small patrons. Everyone appreciates him–except Mr. McBee. When Lion lets out another tremendous RAAAHHHRRR!, the man bursts into Miss Merriweather's office to snitch–and there he finds her in distress, having fallen from a stool and broken her arm. Lion, à la Lassie, has saved the day, but he is so chagrined by his own rule-breaking behavior that he doesn't return to the library. People miss him. Even Mr. McBee. A feel-good ending and a reminder that Sometimes, there is a good reason to break the rules bring the story to its most-satisfactory conclusion. Hawkes's deft acrylic-and-pencil pictures have appeal for generations of library lovers. They are rich with expression, movement, and detail. The lordly, lovable lion is a masterful mix–regal beast and furry friend–and the many human characters are drawn with animation and emotion. This winsome pairing of text and illustration is a natural for storytime and a first purchase for every collection.–Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
PreS-Gr. 2. This story's appealing premise is clear in the first sentence: "One day, a lion came to the library." There's the expected uproar as the lion pads through the stacks, but librarian Miss Merriweather only asks: "Is he breaking any rules?" The lion is not, and so he is allowed to stay. He makes himself useful and enjoys story hour until Miss Merriweather falls and breaks her arm. The lion roars for help, but his noise prompts a scolding from an uptight, oblivious staff member. The story falters a bit as it explores messages about rules and exceptions in a way that feels both purposeful and a bit convoluted. The warm friendships will easily draw interest, though, as will the handsome, nostalgic pencil-and-acrylic illustrations. Children will easily see themselves in the wild lion, which yearns to explore and enjoy the library but worries about the constraining rules. A fine partner for other library tales, such as Judy Sierra's Wild about Books (2004) and Lauren Child's But Excuse Me That Is My Book (2006). Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
My grandchildren love to read about how lion saves the day and the endearing pastel illustrations make this book a treasured keeper.
Later on, Miss Merriweather was shelving books with the lion when she slipped off of her stool and fell to the ground. The lion tried to help, but couldn't figure out what was wrong. He ran to Mr.McBee's office and roared as loud as he could to get his attention. Instead of seeing what was wrong, he scolded the lion and sent him out of the library. Mr. McBee went to Miss Merriweather's office to find her laying on the floor. Miss Merriweather got her arm fixed by the doctor, but the lion, dejected by Mr. McBee's yelling, once again left the library. Miss Merriweather became sad that the lion had stopped coming again. Mr. McBee sensed Miss Merriweather's sadness and went looking for the lion. He explained to the lion that he still shouldn't roar in the library except in case of an emergency. Happily, the lion came back to the library and everyone, including Mr. McBee, was happy that he did.
My daughter received this book as a Christmas gift and she loves it. The pictures are bright and detailed, and the story is interesting. Being a librarian myself, I can only imagine what I would think if a lion walked through my door. I only hope that if one did, he would be as nice and helpful as the one in this story.
I give this book my highest recommendation. It's easy to see why it has won various children's book awards. The message that it carries is a good one, too; sometimes, it is ok to break the rules.
Well, the story moves along with some sad and poignant moments before a happy resolution. It is a gently told story of friendship, the joys of being in a library among books and friends, and of learning about rules. This is a charming tale that will appeal to readers of all ages, and the softly-tinted illustrations are a delight in themselves.