Monday, September 10, 2007

Children's Book Monday

The Library
Written by Sarah Stewart
Pictures by David Small

Elizabeth Brown
Entered the world
Dropping straight down from the sky.

Despite this unbelievable opening sentence, to which Corban responded, "Well. I don't think that's true," we were immediately captivated by this story. The heroine, Elizabeth Brown, almost always has a book in her hands; her glasses and red hair peeking over the top are sometimes the only indicators that a live person is behind the tome she holds.

Elizabeth Brown
Entered the world
Skinny, nearsighted, and shy.

We follow along as Elizabeth travels to school, dragging a steamer trunk full of books which are so numerous, their combined weight cracks the upper bunk in her dorm room right in two.

She prefers books over dates, and while her friends go out dancing till dawn, she stays up late to read. One day, when taking a trip on the train, she loses her way. Instead of finding her way home, she buys a house and settles down to a cozy job of tutoring in her home.

We laugh as we watch Elizabeth reading a book while exercising - standing on her head. We howl as she walks right into a doorframe as she vacuums while reading. (It hits a little close to home for this reading mama!)

And we look closely, and in awe, as Miss Brown's collection of books takes over her home, while she reads obliviously by the fire.

When she finally faces the awful fact that she cannot acquire one more book, we sadly nod our heads in agreement. What shall she do?

Make sure you take time to examine the pictures closely - there are two nearly constant companions of Elizabeth's that remain with her to the end of the book! Can you find them?

David Small's illustrations are simple and delightful, and a perfect accompaniment to Sarah Stewart's sweetly poetic story. The books that this husband and wife team produce are treasures - look into some others while you're at the library; The Journey, The Friend, and The Gardener.

I confess to a liking for this book that is almost stronger than my own children's; although my skinny days are long gone, I, too, am nearsighted and shy. And of course, I share a love for books that rivals Miss Brown's - I've been known to have a tower or two on my nightstand, and to burst into tears if the library is closed and I had my heart set on a lovely walk through the biography section.

So it is no surprise that my mama heart beat proud when, upon completion of this funny tale, my boys solemnly agreed that Library Day is the best day.

Happy Reading!

12 fellow travelers shared:

Andrea said...

this book looks like it was written for my 2nd daughter...she *always* has her nose in a book, she is skinny, and she is shy. I bet she'll love it!

Stacy said...

This is one of my favorites! :) And hands down my favorite author-illustrator team!
You have such good taste, Elise!
~Stacy (a fellow bookworm)

Beka said...

Looks like a very sweet book!

Praying for you today (and every day!)

Anna said...

I've never heard of this book or the author/illustrator team.

I love reading your reviews! It sure beats just randomly looking through the books at the library and hoping for a good one!



Beverly said...

I've never heard of this husband/wife team! I'm so excited to read this book and the others by them. This soooooo reminds me of me in my younger days ... awkwardly skinny ... nose in a book ... oblivious to the world around me!

Joyful Days said...

We will be looking for this. I love books that get them to talk back!! And doesn't everyone love books that much? "Eclecic Library" is our decorating style. :)

Blessings & prayers,


Christine said...

This is a great book! We got it from the library last might be time to get it again!

Lizard Princess said...

I don't have any girls, but it looks delightful!
I'm sure I would have loved it back in my "holly-hobbie-sleeping-bag" days!!

Karen@FamilyBriefs said...

We love the library too - we'll have to check this one out. Thanks for the great review!

QueenHeroical said...

OH OH OH point me in the direction of that book -- oh must find it -- I know a little someone (and not just me) who will probably love that book and she has a birthday really soon (12 more sleeps)

Thanks again Elise!

Hmmm ... books ...

and for the record 60% is about perfect.


Jessica said...

I love this book too! Thanks for your wonderful reviews.

Library Day is the best day around here too--if we end up having a surly morning, we MAKE it be Library Day!

Erna said...

We're still gleaning from your book lists. Your reviews are missed but I know Shelfari is on your site too. :0) We've gained quite a few favourites from your site. (One of the last times I commented I shared how I realied my categories were similar in flavour to yours but I've since changed them. Smile.)

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