The Library Book

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The Library Book

Tom Chapin and Michael Mark
Illustrated by Chuck Groenink
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017

From the dust jacket, “The rain is pouring, Dad is snoring, and the same old stuff is on TV-boring. What is there to do today? Go to the library, of course! Who will we find there?

“Charmingly illustrated and based on the catchy “Library Song” by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark, here is an affectionate, exuberant, uproarious celebration of – SHHHH! – libraries!”

Any book about libraries, we, here at the LoC absolutely love!! In this book a young girl goes to the library and meets all sorts of friends there while she decides who to take home. It starts first with Winnie the Pooh but then Madeline wants to go home with her. Then The Cat in the Hat, Pinocchio, the Cheshire Cat, Babar and Cinderella all join in clamoring to go home with her. Suddenly more and more books are shouting “Take me home!” Which one will she take? We won’t tell!

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because any book that champions libraries and reading is the best kind of book!!!!



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Its a Book

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It’s a Book

Lane Smith
Roaring Brook Press, 2010

From the back of the book, “Can it text? Blog? Scroll? Wi-Fi? Tweet? No…it’s a book.”

So, here’s this monkey sitting happily reading a book (Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stephenson) with a monkey on his head when a jackass walks in with a laptop. No, this isn’t the beginning of a dirty joke! The jackass is an actual jackass (mule – or is he a donkey?). Anyway, the jackass asks the monkey all these questions about his book – he wants to know what it does. The monkey tries to explain to the jackass that the book does nothing, it’s meant to be read. The jackass doesn’t quite get it, even after he takes the book from the monkey and reads it for about 2-1/2 hours. The monkey gives up when the jackass refuses to give back his book and goes to the library.

Funny, really funny because do you know any kittens (or adults) like this jackass? Ones who would never pick up a book because it doesn’t do anything? Funny and yet, somehow very sad.

I guess you can guess why this book was challenged! That’s right…the word ‘jackass’. Now, the author didn’t use the word as much as I did (I did because I could and it isn’t a curse word – it’s the name of an animal); he only used it twice – once at the beginning and once at the end of the book. Of course, it’s the use at the end of the book where the challenge comes in. Is the mouse being sarcastic and insulting or is he just call the jackass ‘a jackass’ because that’s what he is. Hmmm…a bit controversial. But read it for yourself and see what you think!

Why is this on the banned/challenged book list? Briefly, a couple of Cape Ann (Massachusetts) school districts challenged the book in 2010 because of the ‘jackass’ at the end of the book. “At issue is the last line of the book, which contains a word that some find unsuitable for children. The board explains: The book “aroused the ire of some local parents because of an ending in which a character says, ‘It’s a book, Jackass,’ to a technology-loving donkey who just doesn’t get it.”
The board responded, “the “objections of some shouldn’t prevent altogether the dissemination of the book and its important message.” Bravo!!!

Click on the link to read the full story in the Boston Globe.

Rating: 5 out of 5 paws because its’ really, really funny and kittens will get a kick out of saying a curse word that’s not really a curse word!!!

Reviewer: jack-locJack, the Banned Books Librarian


Ban This Book

ban this book

Ban This Book

Alan Gratz
Starscape, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, 2017

From the dust jacket, “It all started the day Amy Anne Ollinger tried to check out her favorite book in the whole world, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, from the school library. That’s when Mrs. Jones, the librarian, told her the bad news: her favorite book was banned! All because a classmate’s mom thought the book wasn’t appropriate for kids to read.

“Amy Anne decides to fight back by starting a secret banned-books library out of her locker. As word spreads Amy Anne’s locker stash quickly grows into a school-wide sensation. Soon, she and her friends find themselves on the front line of an unexpected battle over book banning, censorship, and who has the right to decide what kids can read.”

In the beginning of this wonderful book, Amy Anne is as quiet as a mouse. At nine-years-old she lives with 2 busy parents, 2 younger sisters and 2 Rottweilers – which equals a very chaotic house. She seeks solitary refuge in the school library and books. As the dust jacket blurb relates, the banning of her favorite book (a book about kids running away from home, which she dreams of doing) forces her outside herself to take action. The book is really about two things: one, the arbitrary banning of books; and, two, learning to stand up for what you believe in, even if it makes others (and you) uncomfortable.

This is well-written, thoughtful and a page-turner. It was good to read about Amy Anne struggle to transform herself from mouse to lion and succeed. She is an excellent role model for anyone who wants to do the same. And bravo to the author for including in Amy Anne’s locker library books that have been banned by various libraries across the country.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws for learning to stand-up for yourself and the freedom to read!



A sampling of banned books in Amy Anne’s locker library:

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

All the June B. Jones books by Barbara Park

All the Captain Underpants books by Dave Pilkey

All the Goosebumps books by R. L. Stine

The Book No One Ever Read

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The Book No One Ever Read

Cornelia Funke
Breathing Books, 2017

From the dust jacket: “The Book No One Ever Read is written and illustrated by Cornelia Funke, author of Inkheart, Dragon Rider, and many others, and tells the story of a young book who yearns for a reader.

“It is a tale about the enchantment that can be found on printed pages. Parents and children alike will love discovering famous authors and illustrators lending their faces to the book characters, the heroes of the story.”

There’s nothing better than reading a library book about … a book in a library!! Funke is a favorite author here at our Library – she writes fiction for kittens, youth and young adults – all of it wonderful! And this book is no exception – I love how every creature in the book is a book (except for a scary orange cat!) and how just about all the objects have faces. It’s fun trying to guess which book is which author – I only guessed three and it was only on the second reading did I figure out who the young book named Morry was. This is a wonderful way to remind kittens and adults alike of the trans-formative power of reading good books. Love, love, love!!!

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because of gorgeous and creative illustrations and a unique story line!



Lola Gets a Cat

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Lola Gets a Cat

Anna McQuinn
Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Charlesbridge, 2017

From the dust jacket: “Lola really wants a cat. But Mommy says pets are a lot of work. Lola is eager to find out more.
“She reads all about cats at the library. She takes extra good care of her stuffed cat toys. When Lola finally gets to adopt a cat of her own, she knows just what to do.”

Awwwww – this book is very Awwwww worthy! If you’re a human and your kitten, er, child wants a cat, this is a book to read. It shows exactly how it should happen. Read, practice, adopt!!!

Lola is so adorable with all her cat paraphernalia in her room (she reminds me of mom and her cat stuff!). We ABSOLUTELY LOVE that Lola’s mom takes her to the LIBRARY to find out more information. Books are way better than Googling it! Then she puts in to practice what she’s read – never were stuffed kitties so well fed! Then it’s time and off to the shelter they go – another thing we ABSOLUTELY LOVE! – to find the right kitty. Kitty is finally brought home and learns how much Lola loves her.

Thinking of adopting one of us regal creatures to grace your home? Read this ‘how-to’ book first! You won’t regret it.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because there is nothing we don’t like about this story and has everything to love in it!!