Review by Booklist Review
PreS-Gr. 2. This story's appealing premise is clear in the first sentence: "One day, a lion came to the library." There's the expected uproar as the lion pads through the stacks, but librarian Miss Merriweather only asks: "Is he breaking any rules?" The lion is not, and so he is allowed to stay. He makes himself useful and enjoys story hour until Miss Merriweather falls and breaks her arm. The lion roars for help, but his noise prompts a scolding from an uptight, oblivious staff member. The story falters a bit as it explores messages about rules and exceptions in a way that feels both purposeful and a bit convoluted. The warm friendships will easily draw interest, though, as will the handsome, nostalgic pencil-and-acrylic illustrations. Children will easily see themselves in the wild lion, which yearns to explore and enjoy the library but worries about the constraining rules. A fine partner for other library tales, such as Judy Sierra's Wild about Books0 (2004) and Lauren Child's But Excuse Me That Is My Book0 (2006). --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2006 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
The library's no place for a real live lion. But what if it was a book-loving beast that followed all the library rules, enforced by head librarian Miss Merriweather? Well, that's a different story the fun, fantastical tale in Knudsen's entertaining picture book. Library patrons and staff are perplexed and a bit frightened when a lion arrives in the local library, checking out the collection, napping in the children's corner and making himself at home for story hour. But Miss Merriweather doesn't see any reason to expel this mane attraction if he abides by her rules (e.g., "No running!"; "If you cannot be quiet, you will have to leave [the library]"). Soon the furry fellow befriends nearly everyone in the place, and even becomes Miss Merriweather's helpful assistant. One day, Miss Merriweather is in trouble. Lassie-like, the lion gets her some help, and then banishes himself from the place for breaking the rules (he unquietly roars in order to get the attention of one of the librarian's colleagues). Happily, this heroic literary lion doesn't stay away for long. Knudsen's gentle tale of a revered yet welcoming community destination will ring true for many readers. Hawkes's (Weslandia) evocative, soft-hued acrylic-and-pencil illustrations have a timeless feel, depicting a cozy book-filled haven that any story fan would love to visit, rules and all. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-In Michelle Knudsen's delightful picture book (Candlewick, 2006), Lion walks into the library one day and decides to stay for storytime. The librarian says that he may remain there and help maintain the library provided he obeys the rules and doesn't roar. When the librarian falls from a stool and is injured, the only way Lion can get help for her is to roar. Realizing that he has broken the rules, he leaves the library. Happily, he's fetched back and once again becomes a favored feature of the little library. Christine Marshall provides a beautifully modulated reading of this charming book, giving each character a distinct voice. Less successful are the sound effects that are very faint even when the volume is turned up high. Track one features page-turn signals. Be sure to have the book available so listeners can peruse Kevin Hawkes's wonderful acrylic-and-pencil illustrations that are integral to the telling. A fine choice for storytimes.-B. Allison Gray, Palmdale City Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Knudsen and Hawkes pick a perfect setting to express the idea that breaking rules can sometimes be a good thing. When a lion wanders into a small town public library the Head Librarian, Miss Merriweather, brushes off the protestations of her realistically officious colleague Mr. McBee and allows it to stay--so long as it keeps quiet, doesn't run and makes itself useful cleaning books and licking envelopes while waiting for storytime to begin. Anxious-looking patrons of all ages quickly become accepting ones in Hawkes's soft toned watercolors, and if Miss Merriweather's hair and dress seem a bit stereotypical, occasional CRT monitors balance glimpses of rubber date stamps and a card catalog in his gracious, old style interiors. When Miss Merriweather takes a fall, the lion roars to attract help, then slinks out in shame--but McBee redeems himself by bustling out into the rain to inform the offender that Exceptions to the Rules are sometimes allowed. Consider this a less prescriptive alternative to Eric A. Kimmel's I Took My Frog to the Library (1990), illustrated by Blanche Sims--and it doesn't hurt that the maned visitor is as huge and friendly looking as the one in James Daugherty's classic Andy and the Lion. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.