Knudsen, Michelle. 2006. Library Lion. Illus. by Kevin Hawkes. Cambridge: Candlewick Press. ISBN: 0763622621.
When a lion decides to visit the library one day no one knew what to think. Does a lion really belong in a library? Well, according to rule-enforcing head librarian Miss Merriweather, if he wasn’t “breaking any rules” he is as welcomed as anyone. So everyday, the lion comes to the library before his beloved story hour and makes himself useful by dusting with his tail, licking Miss Merriweather’s envelops and being a backrest for reading children. The beloved lion never broke the rules until one day there is an emergency and he lets out a great RAAHHHRRR! to get attention, which meant he had to leave the library. Through the pleasantly simple and direct narrative and through Hawkes’ delightfully soft and beautiful acrylic and pencil illustrations, the reader will immediately fall in love with the lion just as everyone in the story has. As Knudsen’s words carry the story along, it is through the complimenting illustrations, which blend quietly into the off-white book pages, that the emotions of the character are expressed and the various moods of the story are provided, which range from surprise on the on the story who discovered the lion was listening to her, to the lion’s sad face when he is looking into the doors of the library, wishing to be welcomed back in, and to the love and joy on everyone’s faces when he is. Readers of all ages, including librarians, will enjoy Library Lion of how everyone is welcome to the library and that, “sometimes there [is] a good reason to break the rules. Even in the library.” And just perhaps, they will even begin to wonder, “Does my library have any rules about lions in the library?”
*Ask the group what would they think and react if they saw a lion walk through the door of their library.
*For more books about animals visiting the library read: I.Q. Goes to the Library by Mary Ann Fraser and Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk.