Picture Books About Libraries and Librarians

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.

Picture Books About Libraries and Librarians

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?

The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli

The Book Hog loves books and collects them wherever he can find them. Unfortunately, he can’t read. A librarian invites him for storytime and he learns the wonderful world of possibilities within the pages of a 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.

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 the librarian helps him find a way to bring the library to his dragon. Promotes library etiquette, following rules and a love of reading.

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 Who Measured The Earth by Kathryn Lasky

This biography tells of the Greek philosopher, scientist and librarian Eratosthenes, the first person to accurately measure the globe's circumference.

The Librarian's Stories by Lucy Falcone

Inspired by the bombings of libraries in Sarajevo and Mosul. A librarian sits in front of a bombed library and starts to read. She returns every day, sowing the seeds of hope in those who are listening.

Use to discuss war, a sense of community, hope and the power of words.

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.

The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah Ohora

Every Saturday, Oskar and Theodore visit the library with their dad! They love getting lost in books but on this visit, a five-headed, hangry monster disrupts their reading. They use their knowledge from reading books to resolve the situation peacefully. 

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.

Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown

Ana loves to read but books are hard to access in her rural village. One day a travelling library arrives in her village on the back of two burros. The Biblioburro has more books than Ana could ever dream of. Based on a real service in rural Colombian.

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

Cynthia Grady presents a book of honesty and hope, using letters held at the Japanese American National Museum. She tells the story of Japanese American children who wrote to their beloved librarian while imprisoned in World War II internment camps. 

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What Next?

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?

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Picture Books About Libraries and Librarians

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