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Libraries: Books For Kids

Julie Andrews said: "The world is full of magical places, and the library has always been one of them for me. A library can be that special place for our children." A building full of books, any of which can be checked out, taken home, and read and re-read—how amazing is that? We love reading over here, and while we're huge proponents of building your personal library (agreeing with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that "It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own."), public libraries simply allow you access to that many more books, which is a powerful thing. In honor of libraries and they wonderful stewards the librarians, check out this list of some truly fantastic titles about libraries!

Top 10 Libraries Books

Library Mouse #1 book
#1
Library Mouse #1
Written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sam, a shy but creative mouse who lives in a library, decides to write and illustrate his own stories which he places on the shelves with the other library books but when children find the tales, they all want to meet the author. 10,000 first printing.

Max and Bird book
#2
Max and Bird
Written and illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Max, a kitten, and Bird, a very young bird, want to be friends but Max also wants to eat Bird, so they strike a deal.

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog book
#3
Madeline Finn and the Library Dog
Written and illustrated by Lisa Papp
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Gorgeous illustrations to accompany this story of a little girl who struggles with reading despite her persistence. Encouraged by her teacher, mother and the librarian, she finally finds the perfect listener to practice on and gains the self-confidence she needs to get a coveted reading star. The story is sweet and beautiful and I love that Madeline discovers she loves to read in a very out of the box way!

Madeline Finn does NOT like to read. But she DOES want a gold star from her teacher. But, stars are for good readers. Stars are for understanding words, and for saying them out loud. Fortunately, Madeline Finn meets Bonnie, a library dog. Reading out loud to Bonnie isn’t so bad; when Madeline Finn gets stuck, Bonnie doesn’t mind. As it turns out, it’s fun to read when you’re not afraid of making mistakes. Bonnie teaches Madeline Finn that it’s okay to go slow. And to keep trying. With endearing illustrations, Lisa Papp brings an inspiring and comforting book to all new readers who just need a little confidence to overcome their fears.

Bunny's Book Club book
#4
Bunny's Book Club
Written by Annie Silvestro and illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is an adorable book about a little rabbit who discovers the library and a love of reading and then introduces his friends to the fun as well. The illustrations are as sweet as the story, and the excitement the animals feel about reading is palpable! While borrowing books without permission isn't a great idea, the librarian's kind resolution is the perfect ending.

Bunny loves reading so much that he begins sneaking into the library at night to borrow books, and soon his friends want to join him.

Library Lion book
#5
Library Lion
Written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There are no rules about lions in the library. When something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how.

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré book
#6
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Written by Anika Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This is a meaningful story of heritage, immigration, and carving a path for others to follow. I loved learning about Pura Belpré and her love of storytelling and work as a librarian. The inclusion of Spanish words that can be understood in context adds an authentic touch, and the illustrations are also very unique and bright.

An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature. When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy. Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life. Informative backmatter and suggested further reading included.

Miss Brooks Loves Books! book
#7
Miss Brooks Loves Books!
Written by Barbara Bottner and illustrated by Michael Emberley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The teacher in this book really puts a lot of effort into helping her students fall in love with reading! One little girl doesn't think she'll ever love a book as much as her teacher, as the books she sees are all too pink or flowery. She eventually finds a book about ogres that she falls in love with and shares with her entire class, and it just goes to show that there is a book for everyone--if you don't love reading, you simply haven't found the right book!

A first-grade girl who does not like to read stubbornly resists her school librarian's efforts to convince her to love books until she finds one that might change her mind.

Tomás and the Library Lady book
#8
Tomás and the Library Lady
Written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Raul Colon, Pat Mora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

While helping his family in their work as migrant laborers far from their home, Tomas finds an entire world to explore in the books at the local public library.

Inkheart book
#9
Inkheart
Written by Cornelia Funke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Cornelia Funke, the enormously talented author of the international best-seller THE THIEF LORD, brings readers another spellbinding tale of adventure and magic. Meggie lives a quiet life alone with her father, a book-binder. But her father has a deep secret-- he posseses an extraordinary magical power. One day a mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father's past. Who is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father's life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?

The Library book
#10
The Library
Written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

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.

Books About Reading & Libraries

Library Mouse #1 book
#1
Library Mouse #1
Written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sam, a shy but creative mouse who lives in a library, decides to write and illustrate his own stories which he places on the shelves with the other library books but when children find the tales, they all want to meet the author. 10,000 first printing.

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog book
#2
Madeline Finn and the Library Dog
Written and illustrated by Lisa Papp
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Gorgeous illustrations to accompany this story of a little girl who struggles with reading despite her persistence. Encouraged by her teacher, mother and the librarian, she finally finds the perfect listener to practice on and gains the self-confidence she needs to get a coveted reading star. The story is sweet and beautiful and I love that Madeline discovers she loves to read in a very out of the box way!

Madeline Finn does NOT like to read. But she DOES want a gold star from her teacher. But, stars are for good readers. Stars are for understanding words, and for saying them out loud. Fortunately, Madeline Finn meets Bonnie, a library dog. Reading out loud to Bonnie isn’t so bad; when Madeline Finn gets stuck, Bonnie doesn’t mind. As it turns out, it’s fun to read when you’re not afraid of making mistakes. Bonnie teaches Madeline Finn that it’s okay to go slow. And to keep trying. With endearing illustrations, Lisa Papp brings an inspiring and comforting book to all new readers who just need a little confidence to overcome their fears.

Bunny's Book Club book
#3
Bunny's Book Club
Written by Annie Silvestro and illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is an adorable book about a little rabbit who discovers the library and a love of reading and then introduces his friends to the fun as well. The illustrations are as sweet as the story, and the excitement the animals feel about reading is palpable! While borrowing books without permission isn't a great idea, the librarian's kind resolution is the perfect ending.

Bunny loves reading so much that he begins sneaking into the library at night to borrow books, and soon his friends want to join him.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Miss Brooks Loves Books! - B is for Bookworm - The teacher in this book really puts a lot of effort into helping her students fall in love with reading! One little girl doesn't think she'll ever love a book as much as her teacher, as the books she sees are all too pink or flowery. She eventually finds a book about ogres that she falls in love with and shares with her entire class, and it just goes to show that there is a book for everyone--if you don't love reading, you simply haven't found the right book!

  2. Inkheart - Cornelia Funke, the enormously talented author of the international best-seller THE THIEF LORD, brings readers another spellbinding tale of adventure and magic. Meggie lives a quiet life alone with her father, a book-binder. But her father has a deep secret-- he posseses an extraordinary magical power. One day a mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father's past. Who is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father's life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?

  3. The Boy who was Raised by Librarians - Melvin discovers that the public library is the place where he can find just about anything--including three librarians who help in his quest for knowledge.

  4. Wild about Books - All the animals are very curious when a mobile library arrives but soon they can't wait to learn about this new something called reading. They read thin books and fat books and Cat in the Hat books. Molly even found waterproof books for the otter, who never goes swimming without Harry Potter! Read along with the book-loving animals and go wild, simply wild, about wonderful books.

Want to see even more books about libraries and reading?

How about books about reading?

Books About Library & Libraries

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré book
#1
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Written by Anika Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This is a meaningful story of heritage, immigration, and carving a path for others to follow. I loved learning about Pura Belpré and her love of storytelling and work as a librarian. The inclusion of Spanish words that can be understood in context adds an authentic touch, and the illustrations are also very unique and bright.

An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature. When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy. Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life. Informative backmatter and suggested further reading included.

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library book
#2
Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library
Written by Julie Gassman and illustrated by Andy Elkerton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I thought this book was cute and fun, but a little repetitive and long. The illustrations are great and I love that it talks about how fun the library can be with the reading time, singing time, and different books available. Plus, dragons are always a fun addition, in my opinion. :)

A child brings a dragon to the library and learns a valuable lesson--libraries and dragons do not mix.

The Not So Quiet Library book
#3
The Not So Quiet Library
Written and illustrated by Zachariah OHora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s Saturday, which means Oskar and Theodore get to go to the library with their dad! It means donuts for breakfast! And it means endless quiet hours lost in stories. But on this not so quiet Saturday, Oskar and Teddy get a rude surprise when they’re interrupted by a five-headed, hangry monster! Will Oskar ever get to finish his book in peace? Will Teddy ever get to gorge on his donuts? Or might both of them hold the secret weapons to taming the beast?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library - "Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape"--

  2. Lost in the Library - Steadfast Fortitude and curious Patience are waiting every morning to greet visitors of the Library. That is until, one early morning, when Fortitude finds Patience is missing. The city is about to awake, and the lions absolutely must be in their places before the sun rises. Now, Fortitude must abandon his own post to find his best friend in the Library’s labyrinthine halls. With Josh Funk's clever rhymes and Stevie Lewis' vibrant art, Lost in the Library introduces young readers to a pair of unforgettable lions, as well as the famed New York Public Library, and includes bonus material loaded with facts about Patience, Fortitude, and the NYPL's history.

  3. Schomburg: the Man Who Built a Library - In luminous paintings and arresting poems, two of children’s literature’s top African-American scholars track Arturo Schomburg’s quest to correct history. Where is our historian to give us our side? Arturo asked. Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro–Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk’s life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. When Schomburg’s collection became so big it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created and curated a collection that was the cornerstone of a new Negro Division. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.

  4. The Night Library - The Polar Express meets The Night at the Museum in this fantastical picture-book adventure about the magic of books and libraries, perfect for book lovers of all ages! After a young boy goes to sleep upset that he's getting a book for his birthday, he's visited in the night by Patience and Fortitude, the two stone lions who guard the New York Public Library. Soon, he's magically whisked away from his cozy home in the Bronx, and the two mighty lions show him the wonder of the library. There, the inquisitive Latino boy discovers the power of books and their role not only in his own life, but also in the lives of the people he loves. Raul Colon's gorgeous, rich art creates an immersive world in this book about books, which is sure to capture the imaginations of kids and adults and inspire them to grab their library cards and dive into the worlds of stories.

Want to see even more books about libraries and library?

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Bonus Recommendations

  1. That Book Woman - The Book Snob Mom - While to my understanding this is not based on one specific true story, it does honor the pack horse librarians as a special part of American history. David Small's illustrations are lovely and I love the emphasis on facial expressions, particularly the little boy's as his opinion of books changes from one of disgust and annoyance to true enjoyment as he witnesses the librarian's commitment to bringing new books to his family come what may. The story is definitely on the longer side and may be geared towards a bit of an older audience, but it is beautifully written and provides an accessible glimpse into one small piece of isolated Appalachian life.

  2. The Librarian of Basra - Presents the true story of how Alia Baker, the librarian of the Basra library, and her friends managed to save the books of the library before the library was burned to the ground during the 2003 Iraq War.

  3. Margret & H.A. Rey's Curious George Visits the Library - Curious George is lucky to arrive at the library just in time for story hour, but it is not easy for a little monkey to sit still very long. Simultaneous. 58,000 first printing.

  4. Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile - When Dorothy was a young girl, she loved books, and she loved people, so she decided that she would become a librarian. Dorothy's dearest wish is to be a librarian in a fine brick library just like the one she visited when she was small. But her new home in North Carolina has valleys and streams but no libraries, so Miss Dorothy and her neighbors decide to start a bookmobile. Instead of people coming to a fine brick library, Miss Dorothy can now bring the books to them—at school, on the farm, even once in the middle of a river! Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile is an inspiring story about the love of books, the power of perseverance, and how a librarian can change people's lives.

  1. Library on Wheels - If you can't bring the man to the books, bring the books to the man. Mary Lemist Titcomb (1852-1932) was always looking for ways to improve her library. As librarian at the Washington County Free Library in Maryland, Titcomb was concerned that the library was not reaching all the people it could. She was determined that everyone should have access to the library--not just adults and those who lived in town. Realizing its limitations and inability to reach the county's 25,000 rural residents, including farmers and their families, Titcomb set about to change the library system forever with the introduction of book-deposit stations throughout the country, a children's room in the library, and her most revolutionary idea of all--a horse-drawn Book Wagon. Soon book wagons were appearing in other parts of the country, and by 1922, the book wagon idea had received widespread support. The bookmobile was born!

  2. Bats at the Library - The Book Snob Mom - This was a fun and different take on a visit to the library... by a group of bats just delighted that the library window has been left open at night. The illustrations are filled with lots of fun details (like the bats hanging upside down for storytime to be read an upside down book!) that add humor and extra movement to the story. My favorite part of this book is the bats palpable excitement to be able to spend time in the library, and how while the bats new to the library initially just want to goof off, they soon discover the delights of books in the library and learn it's true joy.

  3. Otto the Book Bear - Otto lives in a book and is happiest when his story is being read. But Otto has a secret: when no one is looking and the mood strikes, Otto walks right off of his book's pages! Full color.

  4. Froggy Goes to the Library - Froggy loves the library! When Froggy and Mom and Pollywogilina set out for the library, Froggy brings a wheelbarrow to hold all the books he plans to borrow. There are so many to choose from: Dinosaur books! Books about Space Frog! Froggy is so excited that he forgets to use his indoor voice. Readers enjoy Froggy’s antics, and so does Miss Otterbottom, the librarian. “Come again soon, Froggy,” she says.

  1. Lola at the Library - Every Tuesday Lola and her mother visit their local library to return and check out books, attend story readings, and share a special treat.

  2. The Library Dragon - Sunrise Elementary School has a BIG problem. Their new librarian, Miss Lotta Scales, is a real dragon. When Sunrise Elementary School advertised for a thick-skinned librarian with a burning love of books, Miss Lotta Scales knew she was perfect for the job. Who could guard books better than a REAL dragon? But when she won’t let any of the children take a book from the shelves, the teachers form a delegation. Not even sweet Miss Lemon can convince Miss Lotta Scales that “the library belongs to the children.”Fortunately, when nearsighted Molly Brickmeyer stumbles onto a copy of Snuff the Magic Dragon and reads the tale out loud, her storytelling beckons the children back to the library and brings them face to face with the Library Dragon. Can an open book temper the flames of the school’s hotheaded librarian? This humorous tale by New York Times best-selling author – Carmen Agra Deedy – is paired with Michael P. White’s lively illustrations for an entertaining story about the power and importance of books for both children and adults.

  3. Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library! - The story of Dewey the celebrated library cat is now available for the youngest of readers in this new, fully-illustrated picture book adventure. When Librarian Vicki Myron finds a young kitten abandoned in the Spencer Library return box, she nurses him back to health, deciding then and there that he will be their library cat, and naming him, appropriately, Dewey Readmore Books. Dewey loves his new home, but once he discovers the littlest library visitors-who like to chase him, pull his tail, and squeeze him extra tight-Dewey begins to wonder if he's truly cut out for the demands of his new job. In the end, he is triumphant as he realizes that helping people big and small is what he is meant to do, and that by sharing his special brand of Dewey love, he can be the best library cat of all.

  4. Wolves - When a young rabbit checks out a library book about wolves, he learns much more about their behavior than he wanted to know, in a dramatic and witty story with two surprise endings.

  1. Library Lil - A formidable librarian makes readers not only out of the once resistant residents of her small town, but out of a tough-talking, television-watching motorcycle gang as well. An ALA Notable Book. Reprint.

  2. Story Thieves - Except for reading the Kiel Gnomenfoot magic adventure series, Owen's life is boring until he sees his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. Bethany is half-fictional and has been searching every book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character.

  3. Book! Book! Book! - When the children go back to school, the animals on the farm are bored, so they go into the library in town trying to find something to do.

  4. Stella Louella's Runaway Book - As she tries to find the book that she must return to the library that day, Stella gathers a growing group of people who have all enjoyed reading the book.

  1. Please Bury Me in the Library - A joyful celebration of books, reading, and all things literary is presented through an amusing collection of poems from the author of Scien-Trickery, and is enhanced with full-color illustrations from a debut artist.

  2. Tinyville Town: I'm a Librarian - The Tinyville Town preschool series stacks up in a whole new way with the addition of the fourth volume, "I m a Librarian" the latest board book to feature one of the many diverse residents of the charming town. In "I m a Librarian," readers get to know the town librarian as he helps a little boy find a favorite book. As the search progresses, fans of the series will recognize many other residents of Tinyville Town also visiting the library. From"New York Times"bestselling author and illustrator Brian Biggs, the Tinyville Town series launched in 2016 with three books: "Tinyville Town Gets to Work!, "a world-establishing picture book that introduces the town and its many residents, and two board books: "I m a Veterinarian"and"I m a Firefighter."With a nod to the busy world of Richard Scarry and the neighborhood feel of "Sesame Street," this new series is becoming a favorite among preschoolers and a staple of preschool classroom libraries.Set in a cozy community of kind, friendly people, the Tinyville Town books are idealfor story time and class discussions about occupations and community helpers. "

  3. But Excuse Me that is My Book - When Lola's favorite book is not on the library's shelf, her older brother, Charlie, tries to find another book she will enjoy.

Did you enjoy our libraries book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Table of Contents
  1. Top 10 Libraries Books
  2. + reading (15)
  3. + library (9)
  4. Bonus (19)
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