Luna Loves Library Day by Joseph Coelho and Fiona Lumbers
|Luna Loves Library Day by Joseph Coelho and Fiona Lumbers|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Beautifully shares the magic of libraries, and the magical worlds to be found inside the cover of a good book.|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: October 2017|
|Publisher: Andersen Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Luna is always excited when library day comes around, not just because she gets to take her books back and borrow some new ones, but also because it's the day she spends with her dad. Once inside the library, magical things occur as the books Luna and her dad discover seemingly come to life. They spend their time together sharing stories, some that are more significant than others, until it's time for Luna to go home. Yet even once she's home, she still has her newly borrowed books to escape into, and the memories of her day with her dad.
The illustrations in this story are gorgeous. I love Luna, with her sweet, excitable face and her joyous love of reading. There's something very gentle about the pictures, and yet there is a lot to look at and take in. I love the magical page which sees a rabbit in a hat, and cards and dice and flowers and a dove all appearing from within the pages of a book about magic. The bug page is also lovely to look at, with creepers and vines appearing from a bug book, trailing over the library shelves. In the centre of the book is another secret book. A book within a book! This was a surprise to both me and my little boy, and I enjoyed the feeling of getting an extra story inside of Luna's story.
It's also interesting to see the portrayal of Luna's family life, as she is living with her mum but spending time with her dad one day a week, on library day. We see a moment of sadness in the library when Luna is thinking that her dad knows how to disappear, and that she would like to learn how to bring him back. When she sits in a big armchair with her dad to read the book within the book, The Troll King and the Mermaid Queen it becomes quite poignant that the story is of the troll and the mermaid being unable to get along, arguing all the time even though they love their princess daughter greatly, and that in the end the troll king leaves. He tells his daughter, though:
My love for my princess daughter
Swells my heart with the force of the tides.
My love for my princess daughter
Has depths that no hole can hide.
As you turn the page to close this book within the book you see the gorgeous picture behind it of Luna wrapped in the arms of her dad on the big library armchair. It's possible that my eyes welled up a little…
It's written in a way that is easy to follow, and I liked the repetition of each item going into the library bag - check! As if Luna is ticking off her list of things to do. My only complaint, and it's a significant one for me, is that there is no librarian in this story. And I'm not just complaining because I am a librarian! The book demonstrates perfectly the magic of libraries, and the excitement of finding and choosing and taking home books, yet there is no librarian to guide and advise, or even to help in checking out the books since Luna does this with a self service checking machine. As we turned the page to see Luna checking out her books I did have to mask a little gasp, as I had been almost certain she'd be standing in front of a friendly librarian, getting her books stamped. This is the way that, unfortunately, many libraries are going nowadays, with a friendly chat replaced by the mechanical bleep of a machine. I felt sad that such an otherwise magical book would overlook the difference that a good children's librarian can play.
Still, at least we can be glad that Luna does have a library to visit, and that it's always such a special time for her to share with her dad. I really love the end papers, which show a diverse group of children at the beginning, waiting to go into the library, then the same children at the end, lounging on bean bags to read their books, immersed, engaged, lost in their stories, holding an enormous stack of stories or, in the case of one little girl, simply hugging a book to her chest. A sweet story to share, that depicts the magic of a good book in a very visual, beautiful way.
Further reading suggestion: For more library delights try The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson and Sara Ogilvie or How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel by Wendy Meddour and Rebecca Ashdown.
You can read more book reviews or buy Luna Loves Library Day by Joseph Coelho and Fiona Lumbers at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Luna Loves Library Day by Joseph Coelho and Fiona Lumbers at Amazon.com.
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