Uncover the Magic of Reading: Picture Books about Libraries and Librarians
Explore picture books about libraries, invaluable resources that captivate children and introduce them to the wonders of libraries and librarians. The stories provide a vivid and relatable way to discuss the role of libraries in our communities, making them an excellent tool for inspiring young minds.
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Reading Picture Books about Libraries
One constant remains in the ever-changing landscape of education— the importance of libraries and librarians. Picture books about libraries offer a vibrant and engaging way to communicate this importance to young learners.
Stories about libraries and librarians and the places they work illustrate libraries as places where children can nurture their curiosity. They can choose books, reflect on their choices, find answers and develop their literacy tastes.
I was a teacher-librarian, so I have seen firsthand how special places libraries are for children. A children’s library looks and feels very different from an adult library, making it a haven full of books to inspire imagination and curiosity.
Questions to Pair with Picture Books about Libraries and Librarians
- What is the role of a librarian?
- What types of books are found in a library?
- How do libraries help our community?
- Describe your favourite part of visiting the library.
- How would our lives be different without libraries?
- Why do you think libraries have rules?
- Can you name some services provided by a library beyond lending books?
- What role do libraries play in promoting literacy and education?
- Imagine you are a librarian; what type of books would you recommend to your friends and why?
- What is the importance of returning books on time?
- What would you do to make the library more fun for kids?
- How do librarians help us find information or books?
- How are digital libraries different from physical ones?
Picture Books about Libraries and Librarians
Here are some suggested picture books about libraries and librarians to have on your shelves. As well as looking at real librarians, they show children choosing their own books, caring for them and following the library procedures.
Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia by Jeanette Winter
A true story of Luis Soriano Bohórquez. He amassed so many books that his house can barely contain them. He loads his books onto two burros (donkeys) and treks into the remote countryside of Colombia to distribute books to children who don't have access to them.
Biblioburro inspires discussions on a love of reading, the power of education, community service, perseverance, and creative problem-solving.
The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli
A pig adores everything about books – their look, feel, and smell – but this hog can't read! When he meets a kind librarian, Miss Olive, she helps him discover that books are gateways to amazing stories and knowledge, not something to hog.
The Book Hog promotes discussions on the role of libraries, the joy of learning, overcoming challenges, and the power of kindness.
The Book Without a Story by Carolina Rabei
A library book, Dusty, has never been borrowed. When readers take other books home, Dusty remains unchosen and unread on the shelf. His journey takes a delightful turn when he finally finds the perfect reader who cherishes him.
The Book Without a Story promotes discussions on belonging, the joy of reading, patience, and the magic of libraries.
Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built by Angela Burke Kunkel
José is a garbage collector in Bogotá, Colombia. His life takes an extraordinary turn when he starts a library with books discarded in the rubbish he collects. Another José, a young boy, eagerly awaits Saturdays to visit this “Paradise”, the library.
Digging for Words promotes discussions on perseverance, literacy, the power of books, community service, and socio-economic differences.
Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman
What would happen if you brought your dragon to the library? A young boy learns the hard way, but a librarian helps him find a way to bring the library to his dragon.
Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library promotes discussions on respect for public spaces, rules and behaviour, diversity, and the love of reading.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
Dreamers mirrors the author's experience of migrating from Mexico to America with her young son. Amidst the challenges of adapting to a new culture, language, and customs, Morales finds solace, knowledge, and inspiration in her local library, ultimately leading her to a new career.
Dreamers promotes determination, resilience, courage, and hope, cultivating empathy and an appreciation for diverse experiences.
Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books by Karen Leggett Abouraya
The Library of Alexandria is a historical and symbolic landmark of knowledge and learning. In 2011, amid the Egyptian revolution, people from all walks of life came together to form a human chain, shielding the library from potential harm.
From the perspective of an Egyptian boy, the book explores how a shared love for literature, knowledge, and freedom can bring people together even in the most tumultuous times.
The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
When conflict comes to Iraq, librarian Alia Muhammad Baker fears for the safety of her library and its treasured books. With the help of her community, Alia bravely transports the books to her own home, risking her safety to save much of the library's collection from destruction.
Alia's courage and perseverance resulted in a victory for the library, allowing people to access the resources and stories within.
The Librarian's Stories by Lucy Falcone
The library in Sarajevo, once a sanctuary for the community, is reduced to ashes by bombs. Amidst the destruction, the librarian shares stories, becoming a beacon of hope and offering comfort during dark times.
The Librarian's Stories explore storytelling to heal and connect communities, hope and resilience in adversity, the role of individuals during challenging times, and the impact of war on everyday lives.
A Library by Nikki Giovanni
Nikki Giovanni's poem is about the magic and joy of reading, books and libraries. Discover the wonders of a local library, a treasure trove filled with books waiting to be explored. The book encourages children to appreciate the value of books, storytelling, and a library's endless possibilities.
The Library Book by Tom Chapin
On a gloomy day, the protagonist's father is snoring, and the rain is pouring. To escape this dreariness, the girl embarks on an adventure to the library, a wonder-filled place where anything is possible.
The Library Book promotes discussions on the joy of reading, the role of libraries in fostering a love for reading, the power of books in sparking curiosity and creativity, and self-initiated learning.
The Library Bus by Bahram Rahman
Kabul's Library Bus offers access to education and the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. Pari's first day as a library helper is a reminder of the resilience of Afghanistan's citizens and gender equality. She discovers the Library Bus, full of books – not seats – inspires knowledge-sharing and hope among the villages and refugee camps she visits.
Read The Library Bus to uncover a story of community, resilience, and hope through the transformative power of libraries.
Library Girl: How Nancy Pearl Became America's Most Celebrated Librarian by Karen Henry Clark
Nancy Pearl faces teasing for her love of books and finds solace within her library walls. Encouraged by two librarians, Miss Whitehead and Miss Long, Nancy becomes “America's Most Celebrated Librarian,” dedicating her life to discussing literature in library aisles nationwide.
Library Girl promotes discussions on a book's power to provide comfort and knowledge, perseverance in adversity, a mentor's influence, turning our passions into a career, and libraries as safe spaces.
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
A lion becomes a beloved figure in the library but breaks the silence rule when he roars for help for his librarian friend. The lion, believing he's done wrong, leaves the library, much to everyone's dismay.
Library Lion promotes discussions on the importance of rules (and exceptions), not judging by appearances, the joy of reading, the power of communication and libraries as safe havens.
The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer
A popular book at the library rarely spends a night on the library shelf. The book becomes worn and is read less often until Alice finds and falls in love with it.
The Lonely Book promotes discussions on the emotional resonance of objects, the value beyond physical appearance or popularity, and cherishing and respecting shared resources like library books.
Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Tama is a librarian in the Minidoka incarceration camp where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Tama finds solace in the world of books and love blossoms, it offers a beacon of hope and resilience amidst adversity.
Love in the Library promotes discussions on the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, hope in challenging circumstances, libraries as sanctuaries, and the impact of war on everyday lives.