April 4 – National School Librarian Day

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

One of the best parts of going to school is visiting the school library! Whether you go to the library to listen to a story or do research, the librarian is there to help you discover amazing books! School librarians thoughtfully read hundreds of books a year to choose just the right ones. Many school librarians are also involved in multimedia education and programs for school assemblies, morning news programs, and special meetings.

Today, thank your school librarian and tell them how much they mean to you!

The Midnight Library

By Kazuno Kohara

 

A little librarian opens the doors to her library only as the sun goes down. Working with her three assistant owls, she helps the forest animals find the perfect book. The animals read quietly and the library is peaceful until one night when a band of squirrels begins playing their instruments in the reading room. The little librarian shushes the squirrels and they apologize, saying they’re just working on a new song. The librarian has the perfect solution and shows the band to the upstairs activity room. Peace reigns once more in the library,

Later that night it begins to rain—inside! The little librarian climbs the ladder to look at the roof, but instead of a leak she finds a wolf sobbing away. Her book is so sad, she says, that she can’t read on. Gently, the librarian takes her to the storytelling corner where she, the owls, and Miss Wolf read the story together. The wolf discovers the book has a happy ending, something the library workers knew all along.

All too soon the sun peeks over the horizon, and it’s time for the library to close. The patrons file out one by one, but who is left plodding along with his book in the corner? It’s a tortoise who says he is not leaving until he finishes his book—only 500 pages to go! Once again the little librarian has the answer! She gives the tortoise a library card and reveals that he can take the book home with him and finish it there. The tortoise leaves happy and feeling lucky with the book strapped to his shell.

The owls and the librarian tidy up the shelves and grab one last book—bedtime stories for the sleepy owls.

The Midnight Library is a perfect bedtime—or daytime—book for budding bibliophiles and library lovers. While simply written, Kazuno Kohara’s story has a dreamy quality and is as inviting as a favorite library reading nook. Just as libraries are comforting in their hushed rooms and neatly organized shelves, the little librarian of the story is reassuring as she quickly and calmly resolves the issues that arise in her domain. 

The characters are sweetly drawn, smiling with pleasure at being in their favorite place, and the picture of the owls holding Miss Wolf’s hands as they read her book together is particularly touching. The pages are composed of three colors—the structures inside the library are the black of night’s shadows; the walls and characters are the gold of starlight and moonlight; and the beloved books are the violet blue of the deep night sky. As you reach the end of the story, you will look forward to the next night when you can visit the midnight library again.

Ages 3 – 6

Roaring Brook Press, 2014 | ISBN 978-1596439856

National School Librarian Day Activity

CPB - Librarian Thank You card

Create a Thank You Card

 

Today’s a perfect day to make a card to thank your school librarians or the librarians at your local town library. Here’s one that you can use to tell your librarians why you love them and what you like best about the programs they create for you! Print the Thank You! card, draw a picture on the front and/or inside, sign your name, and write a message. Then fold it and give it to your favorite librarian. Get the Thank You! card here.

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