Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book

Overview

One very special morning Beverly Billingsly becomes a proud new card-carrying member of the Piedmont Public Library. But what happens when she forgets to return her book by its due date? Will Beverly ever be able to borrow another book?
Beverly and her favorite librarian, Mrs. Del Rubio, prove just how friendly a place the library can be. In his picture book debut, Alexander Stadler introduces an endearing ...

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Overview

One very special morning Beverly Billingsly becomes a proud new card-carrying member of the Piedmont Public Library. But what happens when she forgets to return her book by its due date? Will Beverly ever be able to borrow another book?
Beverly and her favorite librarian, Mrs. Del Rubio, prove just how friendly a place the library can be. In his picture book debut, Alexander Stadler introduces an endearing character sure to delight readers of all ages.

Beverly is thrilled to finally check out a book with her own library card, but when she accidentally keeps the book too long she worries that she'll have to pay a huge fine or go to jail.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
If you think of all the wonderful experiences in your life, one of the best is getting your first library card. All that vast knowledge at your fingertips! It's no wonder, then, that little Beverly Billingsly is thrilled to have her own.

In Alexander Stadler's gentle and heartwarming picture book, little Beverly gets her borrowing privileges and winds up learning the responsibility that comes with them. After Beverly receives her new library card from Mrs. Del Rubio, she immediately finds a cool book about dinosaurs and checks it out. Beverly is so inspired by the book that she builds a prehistoric jungle habitat, but her joy quickly turns to horror when she realizes she's missed the return due date. After much worrying and warnings from friends of the severe penalties that await her (such as thousand-dollar fines and possible jail time) make her lose her appetite and give her nightmares, Beverly finally confesses her mistake to her mother. Together they return the book, and Mrs. Del Rubio kindly checks it back in. To Beverly's surprise, there's even another dinosaur lover at the library, Oliver Schumacher, with whom she shares some knowledge of pterodactyls and starts the Piedmont Dinosaur Club!

Thick ink lines and sweet expressions give Alexander's book a warm glow. Beverly is a charming new character, and children will readily connect with her interests and fears. If anything, it will help them learn that if they face their problems, things might not be as scary as they seem. We can only hope, too, that there'll be more to come for Beverly, Oliver, and the Piedmont Dinosaur Club. (Matt Warner)

Publishers Weekly
"This sympathetic tale of a budding bibliophile will be reassuring for those experiencing their first bittersweet taste of independence," according to PW. Ages 3-7. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
When Beverly receives her very own library card, her world opens up to the wonder of reading. She is obsessed with her first book, a book about dinosaurs, and reads non-stop about the creatures of the past. Beverly becomes so distracted that she forgets to turn in her library book and must face the librarian with an overdue book. The thought of this alone worries Beverly so much that she begins to have nightmares about a ferocious dinosaur librarian. All is well, however, when Beverly returns her book and learns a valuable lesson on responsibility and understanding. This is an acceptable text for a teacher and/or librarian wanting to creatively discuss the checkout process, but the story alone is far from captivating. The illustrations of Beverly and her other animal friends are disappointing as well which may leave this book sitting on a shelf for a long time. 2002, Silver Whistle,
— Andrea Sears Andrews
School Library Journal
PreS-K-A tiny gray bear goes to the library every Tuesday, but this week is special. Today she gets her own card. She approaches the librarian, portrayed as a gangly green bird with orange hair and a large beak, gets her card, and looks for a book on dinosaurs. Once it is found, Beverly takes it to the desk and is reminded by Mrs. Del Rubio that it is due on April 7th. Woe is Beverly. April 7th comes and goes, and her book is now late. Her friends tell frightening tales of how she might end up in jail or have to pay a $1000 fine. In the youngster's nightmare, the librarian even morphs into a green triceratops promising to "gobble [her] up" if she doesn't return the book. Happily, when the overdue item is returned, Mrs. Del Rubio notices that it's only two days late and reminds her young borrower to "be more careful next time." There isn't even a fine to pay. Best of all, Beverly makes a new friend who also likes dinosaurs. In addition to the book's weak plot, this librarian is too stereotypical to be believable. She's gawky, bespectacled, and underautomated. As a result, it's unlikely that this title will be a favorite choice for storytimes, class visits, or other presentations. Done in gouache and ink, the illustrations are simple, flat, and purposely two-dimensional. They mimic a childish hand. They're acceptable accompaniments to the story and not overpowering. Unfortunately, the plot, with its central theme of fears and nightmares over an overdue book, is not engaging.-Roxanne Burg, Thousand Oaks Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Beverly (a little hippo) is sky-high when she gets her first library card. She's soon deliberating on the possibilities, finally choosing Dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period. She is so smitten by the scholarly tome-"Beverly woke up early to finish the final chapter, ‘Eating Habits of the Triceratops'. "-that she misses the return date by a day. When she asks a friend what might be the consequences for an overdue library book, the friend offers the opinion that a $1,000 fine may be forthcoming. Another friend notes that he thinks prison time is a common punishment for late books. This information, understandably, puts Beverly off her feed, which runs up a flag for her parents, who calm her fears and go with her on the dreaded return of the book. Troubles shared are troubles halved, or in this case, troubles sent packing, once they are shared with the right people. The librarian (a pointy-beaked bird lady) understands, and she points out another child (a rhinoceros) who is waiting for the return of the book. Beverly is as unpretentious as sensible shoes, as is newcomer Stadler, whose drawings are gently colored gouache, outlined in heavy, squiggly, black ink, giving them the heft of granite but the warmth of old brick. A refreshingly welcome new library story. (Picture book. 3-7)
From the Publisher
"Warm and comforting."—The Horn Book Guide

"Perfectly captures the wonder of those early trips to the library, portraying the joy of discovery all beginning readers experience . . .Fantastic."—BookPage

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152025106
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.54 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

ALEXANDER STADLER is a textile designer, author, and illustrator. Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book is his first picture book. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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