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The Boy who was Raised by Librarians

A Picture Book for 4-8 Year Olds

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Cover art of the children's picture book The Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians
Peachtree Publishers
The Boy who was Raised by Librarians is not only an entertaining children's picture book, it is also a celebration of the important role public libraries and librarians play in the lives of children.

The Boy who was Raised by Librarians: The Story

This picture book is about a boy whose life is enriched by his daily visits to the Livingston Public Library and his relationship with the librarians there. Melvin first starts going to the library when he's just a little boy. When he starts school, he begins to visit the library every day after school, eager to learn as much as he can about everything. Melvin likes the fact that everything is organized at the library, but he especially likes Marge, Betty, and Leola, the librarians who are always interested in whatever he is interested in and eager to help him find the answers he needs.

In fact, the librarians not only have the skills to handle all of Melvin's queries, they can also handle emergencies, such as when Melvin's jar of bugs gets loose at the Livingston Public Library. Thanks to the librarians, "The bugs were retrieved, identified, classified, and cataloged within twenty minutes." Artist Brad Sneed's illustrations add to the fun and hyperbole. His watercolor and gouache illustrations fill each page with all of the details of life at the library. The artwork is lively, with lots of movement and expression. The characters' faces light up with emotion and enthusiasm.

With humor, hyperbole, and repetition, author Carla Morris stresses all the ways Melvin gains from his relationship with the librarians. The more Melvin learns at the library, the better he does in school. Marge, Betty, and Leola are always quick to celebrate each of his accomplishments, including his graduation from high school. Even after Melvin goes to college, he keeps in touch with his librarian friends. It's not surprising that several years later, when another little boy comes to the library, it is the Livingston Public Library's newest librarian, Melvin, who is there to help him.

The Author and the Illustrator

It's also not surprising that the author shows so much affection for libraries and librarians. Carla Morris is a children's librarian herself. She works at the Provo City Library in Provo, Utah. The Boy who was Raised by Librarians is her first children's book. The illustrator, Brad Sneed, may be familiar to you because of his other children's books. He has illustrated a number of children's picture books and has also written and illustrated several. His first picture book was Grandpa's Song, by Tony Johnston. His books include Aesop's Fables, The Bravest of Us All and When Wishes Were Horses.

The Boy who was Raised by Librarians: My Recommendation

This is a delightful book for 4-8 year olds. It would also make a great gift for your favorite librarian. (Peachtree Publishers, 2007. ISBN: 9781561453917)

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