The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara

You know when you see a picture book and you just KNOW it's going to be a good one?  This is one case in which it's okay to judge a book by its cover.  This is exactly how I felt when I spotted The Midnight Library (published 2014) at our local library.  The three colors make it look like each page was done with paper cutouts, making each illustration stand out even more.  The little librarian and her adorable owl assistants help all the patrons during their nighttime hours.  Until one night there are three obstacles that she must resolve. 

 The owl assistants sitting on bookstacks in  The Midnight Library  by Kazuno Kohara.

The owl assistants sitting on bookstacks in The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara.

Now, clearly I'm a bookworm.  And, I've always loved the library.  From the time when I was a little girl getting stacks of books at our small local library branch to the time when I was a mom of a toddler Mini Me when I discovered storytime and the wonderful storyteller librarians throughout our current local library system, I have loved going to the library.  So, of course I love 'what if' stories that take place at the library.  For example, what happens when the library is closed at night?  Well, in the world of The Midnight Library, this library doesn't close at night!  Which begs the question: is it only open at night?  Or are there two library worlds--one with the midnight librarian and her nocturnal owl friends, and one in the daytime? 

Either way, I was delighted with the illustrations and the storyline--the midnight librarian helps solve each problem.  And the owls are rotund and cute.  Who could ask for more?  Plus, (SPOILER ALERT) Mr. Tortoise refusing to turn over a book because he wasn't done reading yet reminds me of a favorite Backyardigans Episode, The Masked Retriever.  In this episode, Uniqua is a librarian but she is also the masked retriever, trying to regain a book that a library patron refuses to give up. 

 Uniqua from The Backyardigans as a librarian. From Nick Jr.

Uniqua from The Backyardigans as a librarian. From Nick Jr.

If you're not familiar with The Backyardigans from Nick Jr. (aired 2004-2009) and you have little ones who love to sing and dance, I urge you to check them out.  The story lines are fresh and the songs are catchy and not annoying.  Plus the dances were choreographed by the Alvin Ailey dance company.  Mini Me loved these shows when she was a toddler and so did Little Lion.  In fact, we've been re-watching old episodes lately, especially as the girls like to sing, and it warms my mommy heart to recall them singing these same songs at ages 2 and 3.  And even now at 6 and 10. 

Rating: Lowest bookshelf.  I love the illustrations too much not to give it the highest rating.  And, yes, I realize most of my books are on the lowest bookshelf or on the floor here at Dr. Bookworm, but I guess I mostly review books I want other people to read and love too. 

Ages: peaceful toddler on up. 

 This is one of my favorite scenes in  The Midnight Library  by Kazuno Kohara.

This is one of my favorite scenes in The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara.

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