Take a magical trip to the New York Public Library for Perfect Picture Book Friday. Here’s a touching tale of stories, loved ones, precious memories, and the magical power of the library lions that stand guard in the front..
Title: The Night Library
Written by: David Zeltser
Illustrated by: Raul Colón
Random House 2019
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/topics: patience, fortitude, books, libraries, memories
It was the night before my eighth birthday, and I was having trouble falling asleep. A thick blanket of snow had silenced the street outside. I could hear my parents’ whispers in the hallway. I heard footsteps approaching, and my door opened.
After a young boy goes to sleep upset that he’s getting a book for his birthday, he’s visited in the night by Patience and Fortitude, the two stone lions who guard the New York Public Library. Soon, he’s magically whisked away from his cozy home in the Bronx, and the two mighty lions show him the wonder of the library. There, the inquisitive Latino boy discovers the power of books and their role not only in his own life, but also in the lives of the people he loves.
Raul Colon’s gorgeous, rich art creates an immersive world in this book about books, which is sure to capture the imaginations of kids and adults and inspire them to grab their library cards and dive into the worlds of stories.
Activities and Resources:
What is one of your favorite books? What memories do you have that go with it?
Make up a magical story about a statue you’ve seen.
Why I like this book:
Raul Colón has an almost vintage style, so unique, so soft and warm. This story reminds me of Chris Van Allsburg and his thought-provoking endings that leave you with something magical. And a library is magical – the power of books goes beyond the story they contain to include the experience of reading together, learning to read, and special moments embedded in memories. They can even carry a sadness of loss. The gentle narrative lets us know that fond memories, along with Fortitude and Patience – the library lions, can carry us past loss and and through challenges.
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.