SILVER SPRING, Md, December 14, 2012 – Wild About Books by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown ISBN: 9780375925382
The story itself is great for children, and for those children who go to the library or to the zoo, it is relatable as well. Molly McGrew, the Springfield librarian is the hero of the story. Molly puts things into motion when she accidently drives the book mobile into the zoo, where she decides to teach the animals how to read. “By reading aloud from the good Dr. Seuss, she quickly attracted a minx and a moose…” and then entirety of the zoo flock to her storytime.
Soon after, all of the animals in the zoo are reading, and Molly is serving her new furry, feathery, and scaly friends as she would the patrons of the library. She finds books in Chinese for the pandas, waterproof books for the otters, and small books for crickets. After developing such a love for books, the Tasmanian devils lead the way in writing their own books. Before long, there is an entire literary culture at the zoo. With the help of the animals Molly builds a new library at the zoo – the zoobrary –where the animals put the books they have written.
Marc Brown has beautifully illustrated this fun tale about the creation of the zoobrary. The colorful illustrations catch and keep the attention of young children. He had done an excellent job of working tiny details of the story into the illustrations. So rather than simply retelling what the words say, the pictures complement and enhance the story.
Dedicated to Dr. Seuss and published on the 100th anniversary of his birth, there are references to him throughout. The most obvious of which is the rhyme and meter the story is written in, followed by the name of the Springfield librarian, Molly McGrew, who is named after Dr. Seuss’s zoo keeper Gerald McGrew. The Cat-in-the-Hat also makes a cameo as Molly chooses this book as the one to read to attract the animals.
While this book is recommended for older children (3-7) in most reviews, the book is suitable for much younger children, especially animal lovers. The colorful pictures capture their attention and the different animals keep their attention. The rhythm and pacing of the story is also well divided and planned across the pages, so there is no point when you linger on the page too long.
Wild About Books has racked up the honors and awards. It was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was named a Bank Street College of Education’s Irma Simonton Black Honor Book and an American Library Association Notable Book. In 2005 it won the E.B. White Read Aloud Award, the Mom’s Choice Platinum Award, and the National Parenting Publications Gold Award.
Published by Random House Children’s Books in 2004, Wild About Books is only available in hardcover, but you will read it so many times, you will be glad that you have a sturdy binding.
Not only does it appeal to children who love animals, but it helps instill an early love of reading and books by showing that those same animals also love reading. With its appealing fun story-telling and bright pictures this book sure to become a favorite in your household.
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