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Review of The Not So Quiet Library

The Not So Quiet Library
by Zachariah OHora; 
illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Dial    40 pp.
7/16    978-0-8037-4140-9    $17.99    g

Every Saturday Dad takes Oskar and his bear Theodore to the library after a hearty breakfast at the doughnut shop. Dad heads upstairs (to the “nap department”) while Oskar and Theodore visit the children’s room. On this Saturday, their regular quiet reading is interrupted by loud crashing and booming. An enormous green foot smashing down through the entire left-hand page perfectly counterpoints the understated text: “It appeared there was a monster in the library.” Oskar and Theodore try running away, hiding, bluffing, and even diplomacy, but they only make the hungry monster angrier. The acrylic paintings in rich colors show a creature with huge feet and many small heads, each with its own distinct personality and name — Bob, Seymour, Winston, Pat, and Chuck. Just as the monster, who hates books because they aren’t very tasty, decides that Theodore (who has doughnuts under his hat) and Oskar would make a better snack, Ms. Watson the librarian steps in with an announcement: “STORY TIME, EVERYONE! Please sit crisscross applesauce.” Story time solves everything, of course, and afterwards the monster offers to clean up the wrecked library. The narrative’s deadpan humor paired with entertaining speech-bubble dialogue work together with clever page layouts and detailed art to maximize the book’s silliness.

From the July/August 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Roach About Julie Roach

Julie Roach manages youth services at the Cambridge Public Library in Massachusetts. She also teaches children’s literature at Simmons College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science and at Lesley University.

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