Review of The Loud Librarian

The Loud Librarian The Loud Librarian
by Jenna Beatrice; illus. by Erika Lynne Jones
Primary    Atheneum    40 pp.
4/23    9781665910545    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781665910552    $10.99

Finally, the secret’s out: librarians can be loud! Penelope is thrilled when she is selected to be her school’s ­student-­librarian of the week. She’s been preparing for this moment all year by alphabetizing her home pantry and stickering any book she can find. There’s only one problem: Penelope can’t quite harness her “library voice.” Books fly off the shelves and computer screens shatter as Penelope innocently shouts curious questions at her classmates. After one great big bellow leaves students ducking for cover and the library in shambles, Penelope starts to question whether she’s meant to be a librarian after all. Her disappointment is short-lived, as she soon discovers storytime, where both her enthusiasm and her volume are of great benefit. Jones’s mixed-media and collage illustrations are playful and eye-catching, with a three-dimensional feel. Penelope’s shouts explode across the page in giant speech bubbles reverberating all the way to outer space (the astronauts know her by name). Brown-skinned Penelope sports a rainbow skirt with ­red-and-white striped socks—a style as loud as her booming voice. Although she may want to steer clear of a research library, Penelope’s eager attitude lands her the perfect gig. This one is sure to be a ­storytime favorite—especially for ­librarians.

From the March/April 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Hill Saxton

Hill Saxton is a youth services librarian at the Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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