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Library Lion
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The library's no place for a real live lion. But what if it was a book-loving beast that followed all the library rules, enforced by head librarian Miss Merriweather? Well, that's a different story the fun, fantastical tale in Knudsen's entertaining picture book. Library patrons and staff are perplexed and a bit frightened when a lion arrives in the local library, checking out the collection, napping in the children's corner and making himself at home for story hour. But Miss Merriweather doesn't see any reason to expel this mane attraction if he abides by her rules (e.g., "No running!"; "If you cannot be quiet, you will have to leave [the library]"). Soon the furry fellow befriends nearly everyone in the place, and even becomes Miss Merriweather's helpful assistant. One day, Miss Merriweather is in trouble. Lassie-like, the lion gets her some help, and then banishes himself from the place for breaking the rules (he unquietly roars in order to get the attention of one of the librarian's colleagues). Happily, this heroic literary lion doesn't stay away for long. Knudsen's gentle tale of a revered yet welcoming community destination will ring true for many readers. Hawkes's (Weslandia) evocative, soft-hued acrylic-and-pencil illustrations have a timeless feel, depicting a cozy book-filled haven that any story fan would love to visit, rules and all. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

PreS-Gr 2-In Michelle Knudsen's delightful picture book (Candlewick, 2006), Lion walks into the library one day and decides to stay for storytime. The librarian says that he may remain there and help maintain the library provided he obeys the rules and doesn't roar. When the librarian falls from a stool and is injured, the only way Lion can get help for her is to roar. Realizing that he has broken the rules, he leaves the library. Happily, he's fetched back and once again becomes a favored feature of the little library. Christine Marshall provides a beautifully modulated reading of this charming book, giving each character a distinct voice. Less successful are the sound effects that are very faint even when the volume is turned up high. Track one features page-turn signals. Be sure to have the book available so listeners can peruse Kevin Hawkes's wonderful acrylic-and-pencil illustrations that are integral to the telling. A fine choice for storytimes.-B. Allison Gray, Palmdale City Library, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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