About the Holiday
Don’t you wish there was somewhere that you could find all the books you’d love to read and then be able to take them home for free? Oh! You’re right! There is such a place—and what’s even more amazing is that there’s one in almost every town. Libraries are one of the most valuable community services, and this month people are encouraged to visit their local library and sign up for a library card. It’s easy and free and pays way more benefits than any of the store cards hanging from your keychain. Kids, especially, are excited to get their own library card that can start them off on a lifetime love of reading. So, if you or your child don’t have a library card, visit your library and make it a special event!
A Big Surprise for Little Card
Written by Charise Mericle Harper | Illustrated by Anna Raff
Little Card lived with a whole bunch of other cards who had important jobs and knew just what they were for. Only “Little Card and Long Card were still waiting for their special letters to arrive” telling them what they were. One day when Little Card and Long Card raced to bring the mail back inside, they slipped and the envelopes went flying. Little Card picked one up addressed to him and opened it. He jumped with joy to read, “‘Dear L.C., Congratulations! You are a birthday card. Your training starts tomorrow.’”
Little Card excelled at birthday card school and loved everything about parties—the decorating, the games, and especially the singing. Little Card “always sang the loudest.” But one day, Long Card met him at the door with some big news. Their letters had gotten mixed up and Long Card was the birthday card, not Little Card. Not only that, but it was delivery day and neither of them had time to go back to school. All Long Card could tell Little Card was that his job was “interesting and exciting,” and then she added, “‘Just remember, always use a quiet voice.’”
As Little Card waited to be delivered, he decided that his job sounded a lot like a party, so when he was dropped off, he ran in and “shouted…HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” He was immediately shushed and told that this was a library. Little Card thought that should be celebrated too, so he shouted, “HAPPY LIBRARY!” Miss Penny, the librarian came to see what all the fuss was about, and when she saw Little Card, she took him to meet Alex, who was getting her first library card.
They spent the afternoon playing games, having a snack, and decorating with “a rainbow of books” that they couldn’t wait to read. All that was missing was a song, Little Card thought. So he sang as quietly as he could. When it was time to go, “Miss Penny smiled gave Little Card a gold star” as she checked out Alex’s books.
As they left Little Card was sad that Happy Library Day was only once a year. But when Alex showed him that Happy Library Day was six days a week, Little Card cheered. Not only that, but the next day was Miss Penny’s birthday. Little Card knew exactly how to celebrate—and he knew “just who to invite.”
Charise Mericle Harper’s sweet story cleverly addresses so many themes of childhood from discovering one’s talents, to dealing with new and unexpected situations to obeying rules while still having fun. On top of this, Harper infuses her story with a love of books and an introduction to all the things a library has to offer. Comparing the library to a party will delight children and adults alike, and the combined Happy Library Day and Happy Birthday party to come brings two friends together and may inspire unique parties of all kinds.
Anna Raff’s Little Card is as excited and enthusiastic as any child eager to learn and explore their world. As he impatiently waits to shout out “Happy Birthday,” he giggles and taps his toes, and when his fortunes turn, Little Card takes on the new challenge with a smile and boundless energy. Kids and adults will enjoy laughing together over the rainbow of book titles—and may even want to try making up their own stories to go with them.
Filled with humor, joy, and friendship, A Big Surprise for Little Card will be a favorite for home and classroom story times.
Ages 4 – 8
Candlewick, 2016 | ISBN 978-0763674854
Discover more about Charise Mericle Harper and her books on her website.
To learn more about Anna Raff, her books, and her art, visit her website.
It’s Library Card Sign-Up Month Activity
Bookmobiles are love on wheels! If libraries are some of your favorite places, you’ll like making this bookmobile from a recycled box! You can even use it as a desk organizer!
- Printable Book Shelves and Sign Template
- Cardboard box, 16-oz pasta or other recyclable boxes work well (I used a 5” x 7 ¼ -inch pasta box)
- Small wooden spools or wheels
- X-acto knife
- Strong glue
- Paint brush
1.Gently pull the box apart at the seam and lie flat with the unprinted side facing up
2. To Make the Awning:
- On one of the wide sides of the box, measure a rectangle 1 inch from the top of the box, leaving at least 1 ¼ inches at the bottom of the box and 1 ¼ inches on both sides
- With the x-acto knife or scissors cut the sides and bottom of the rectable, leaving the top uncut
- Paint the top and underside of the awning (if you want to make stripes on the awning lay strips of tape side by side across the awning. Remove every other strip of tape. Paint the open stripes one color of paint. When the paint dries replace the tape over the paint and remove the tape from the unpainted stripes. Paint those stripes a different color.)
3. Paint the rest of the box on the unprinted side any way you like, let dry
4. Cut the Printable Book Shelf template to fit the size of your window opening, leaving at least a ½ inch margin all around
5. Tape the book shelf to the inside of the window
6. Reconstruct the box, making the original seam an inside flap
7. Glue the flap and sides together
8. If using small spools for wheels, paint them black. Let dry
9. Glue the wheels to the bottom of the box
10, Attach the Bookmobile sign, found on the printable template, above the awning
** To Make a Desk Organizer from the Bookmobile
- Cut an opening in the top of the bookmobile with the x-acto knife or a scissor
You can find A Big Surprise for Little Card at these booksellers
Picture Book Review