The Library
The Library
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Annotation: Elizabeth likes to read so much, she starts her own public library.
Catalog Number: #4829074
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Square Fish
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2010
Illustrator: Small, David,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-312-38454-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-312-38454-8
Dewey: E
LCCN: 94030320
Dimensions: 30 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Although there is no author's note, this picture book is dedicated to the memory of the real librarian who inspired it. The story begins with young Elizabeth Brown, who doesn't like dolls or skates but instead prefers to spend her time reading. She reads through childhood and college, and as an adult, she spends her money on books, books, and more books. It's a little difficult to incorporate some of the concepts into the pithy, rhyming text. For instance: The form was for donations. / She quickly wrote this line: `I, E. Brown, gives to the town / All that was ever mine.' The next page shows a library with her name on the sign. Did she donate the books to a library, which was then named after her, or did she actually help build the building? It's a testament to Stewart and Small's collaboration that the book works as well as it does. The story of a spinster who does nothing but read isn't the most scintillating of topics, but Elizabeth's life takes on gentle humor as she is shown reading while standing on her head or trying to vacuum and read at the same time. Small's framed pastel artwork uses wonderfully unique perspectives, showing rooms with roaring fireplaces and books piled high to the ceiling. Reading has never looked quite so delicious. (Reviewed Mar. 15, 1995)
Horn Book
Elizabeth Brown learns to read early and stays up reading until late. As an adult, she tries to read her way through all the books in existence, and her house grows more and more crowded until she gives her house and its contents to the town for a library. This deeply satisfying story is told in simple rhyme; the illustrations of glorious piles of books and of happy Elizabeth Brown and a friend reading by the fire depict the acme of utter bliss for bibliomaniacs.
Publishers Weekly
The creators of The Money Tree paint a blithe yet affectionate portrait of a woman whose life centers on reading. Elizabeth Brown's obsession begins in childhood: """"She didn't like to play with dolls,/ She didn't like to skate./ She learned to read quite early/ And at an incredible rate."""" Stewart's nimble verse follows the bibliophile through the years as she fills her home with books. Finally, """"when volumes climbed the parlor walls/ And blocked the big front door,/ She had to face the awful fact/ She could not have one more."""" Elizabeth then decides to share her wealth: she donates her collection to the town, turns her home into a library and-of course-continues to read voraciously. Attuned to the story's humor and period setting, Small's (George Washington's Cows) airy illustrations charm with historical touches and soothing pastel hues. Triple-ruled black borders and filigreed corners suggest a family album of old, while black-and-white spot art highlights details of a singular life. The book's dedication adds a poignant note: ``To the memory of the real Mary Elizabeth Brown, Librarian, Reader, Friend 1920-1992.'' All ages. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4--A story told in witty rhyme, about bookish Elizabeth Brown, who ``learned to read quite early/And at an incredible rate.'' The story follows the young bibliophile from infancy to old age, as she takes her greatest pleasures in life from her literary treats. As an elderly woman, she donates her house and all of her treasures to the town for a library, and moves in with a friend. Framed watercolors give the book an old-fashioned, scrapbooklike appearance, in keeping with the details and dress of a time gone by. Books topple over beds and line her halls and walls, taking over every inch of space in her spacious home. Elizabeth is never seen without a tome, whether vacuuming or exercising. Small black-ink line drawings decorate the verses below and often add an additional touch of humor. This is a funny, heartwarming story about a quirky woman with a not-so-peculiar obsession. Cheers for Elizabeth Brown, a true patron of the arts.--Trev Jones, School Library Journal
Word Count: 440
Reading Level: 3.3
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 27493 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q17261
Lexile: NP
Guided Reading Level: D
Fountas & Pinnell: D

Meet an unforgettable bibliophile Elizabeth Brown doesn't like to play with dolls and she doesnt like to skate. What she does like to do is read books. Lots of books. The only problem is that her library has gotten so big she can't even use her front door anymore. What should Elizabeth Brown do? Start her own public library, of course! With charming verse and watercolors Sarah Stewart and David Small celebrate one of America's oldest and finest institutions. The Library is a 1995 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and Outstanding Book of the Year.

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