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Tomas and the Library Lady (Dragonfly Books) Paperback – February 22, 2000
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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. There is a tearful goodbye as Tomas gives the library lady some pan dulce(sweet bread) and she gives him a book.
I'm glad that the author put a note about the story at the end of the book. The note gives a brief synopsis of Tomas Rivera's life.
The major reason I liked this book is the fact that it is encouraging children to read. Reading is the big key to education and success. Also, I think that it is encouraging adults to read to their children, which is definitely important. This book is definitely designed for four to eight year olds.
Tomas and the Library Lady should be a part of every child's life.
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! : )