Picture Books about Libraries and Librarians
These picture books about libraries show true stories of librarians bringing books and stories to their communities, and fiction stories of children discovering the magic of libraries.
Reading Picture Books about Libraries
Picture books about librarians and the places they work illustrate libraries as places where children can nurture their curiosity. They can choose books for themselves, 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, which makes them a haven; a haven full of books to inspire their imagination and curiosity.
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
Luis wants to share his love of books with children. The reader follows his journey from getting a burro to carry his books to delivering the books into the hands of children. Based on a true story.
Use to discuss narrative non-fiction, making a difference and libraries.
A Book for Escargot by Dashka Slater
Escargot the snail is on a journey to find the perfect book. At the library, he finds books about animals who are superheroes, astronauts and detectives, but there are no books about a daring snail. Could this be that book?
Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built by Angela Burke Kunkel
Living in Bogata are two Joses. One is a boy who can’t wait to visit the Paradise library every Saturday. The other Jose is a garbage collector who searches for books and adds them to his collection at home.
Promotes perseverance, community, and the power of books.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
Yuyi Morales recalls her own experiences of migrating from Mexico to America with her young son. They face many cultural challenges, including learning a new language and new customs. Her local library offers an opportunity to learn about this strange, new country and find a new career.
Read to discuss determination, resilience, independence, courage and hope.
Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books by Karen Leggett Abouraya
During the 2011 revolution in Egypt, thousands of people formed a human chain around the Library of Alexandria to protect it. In a time of great turmoil, a love of literature and freedom united a country.
How to Live Forever by Colin Thompson
In the library where Peter lives, he looks for a book called How to Live Forever. For two years he searches for the lost book to discover its secrets so he can make an important decision.
The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
When war comes to Iraq, librarian Alia Muhammad Baker worries about her library and its books. With the help of the community, she starts to move the books to her own home. Through Alia's courage and perseverance, much of the library collection is saved before the library burns down.
The Librarian's Stories by Lucy Falcone
The Library Book by Tom Chapin
A young girl can't play outside because it's raining. She visits her local library and discovers the wonders of what it has to offer. Keep a lookout for some popular book characters.
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
A lion visits a library every day, to the delight of the children. But the lion breaks the noise rules when it roars to help the head librarian in an emergency. What will happen to the lion now?
Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk
Sam lives in a hole in a library wall. The creative mouse creates his own book and adds it to the library shelves. When children visit the library they discover Sam's books and all want to meet the mystery author.
The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer
A lonely library book sits on a shelf until a girl takes it home. Separated, the book and girl wonder what happened to each other. Will they be reunited?
Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile by Gloris Houston
A dedicated librarian, Miss Dorothy, creates a bookmobile to deliver library books to her Appalachian neighbours. Promotes a love of reading, community, compassion and determination.
Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children by Jan Pinborough
Miss Anne Carroll Moore wanted to change the fact that children couldn’t borrow library books. In 1894 she changed this with the creation of the first children’s room at the New York Public Library.
Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa' Tarnowska
Two Syrian children use books to build a sense of community despite the war going on around them. They salvage books from bomb out homes and create a library in the basement of a half-collapsed building. The library became a safe haven for many and a beacon of hope in the darkness of war.
Use to discuss the effects of conflict and how small actions can help people through adversity.
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise
Pura Belpré journeys from Puerto Rico to America in 1921. Working as a librarian she discovered there were no books representing the Puerto Rican culture. She tells stories and then turned them into books before travelling the world to spread the stories of her homeland.
Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden
Ron loved visiting his local library to read books about the world of aviation. But the policy of segregation in South Carolina meant he couldn’t take home books. This brave young boy challenged this injustice through determination and peaceful resistance. His success meant that anyone, regardless of background or ethnicity, could have a library card.
Based on a true event in the life of Ron McNair, a scientist and astronaut. He tragically died, along with six others, in the 1986 Challenger explosion.
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford
Arturo Schomburg was an Afro–Puerto Rican who moved to Harlem. When his collection of African literature, art and music threatens to burst out of his house he created and curated a collection at New York Public Library. Today, scholars from around the world still use the collection.
Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
Tomás, the son of migrant workers, grows up listening to his grandfather's stories. His grandfather advises him to visit the library where he discovers a whole new world. Tomás' special bond with his grandfather and the librarian motives him to advance his own education.
The Tomorrow Book by Jackie French
Children left in charge of a kingdom make environmental changes. They research at the library and set out to make positive changes. By working together and seeking solutions they make a difference in their world.
Promotes environmental responsibilities, cooperation and problem-solving.
Wolves by Emily Gravett
Rabbit visits the library to learn about the behaviour of wolves. As it reads, a shadow with sharp claws and a bushy tail creeps off the page. Should the rabbit be wary of this sinister figure?
Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind by Cynthia Grady
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything through them, I will get a small referral fee and you will be supporting me and my blog at no extra cost to you, so thank you! You can find more information here.
I am sure these picture books about libraries will be popular in your classroom or school library. Use them to help your students see libraries as the magical place they are.
Do you have a school library or maybe a local one where you take your students to choose their own books?