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Publishers Weekly -The creators of The Money Tree paint a blithe yet affectionate portrait of a woman whose life centers on reading. Elizabeth Brown's obsession begins in childhood:
She didn't like to play with dolls,
She didn't like to skate.
She learned to read quite early
And at an incredible rate.
Stewart's nimble verse follows the bibliophile through the years as she fills her home with books. Finally,
when volumes climbed the parlor walls
And blocked the big front door,
She had to face the awful fact
She could not have one more.
Elizabeth then decides to share her wealth: she donates her collection to the town, turns her home into a library and - of course - continues to read voraciously. Attuned to the story's humor and period setting, Small's (George Washington's Cows) airy illustrations charm with historical touches and soothing pastel hues. Triple-ruled black borders and filigreed corners suggest a family album of old, while black-and-white spot art highlights details of a singular life. The book's dedication adds a poignant note— "To the memory of the real Mary Elizabeth Brown, Librarian, Reader, Friend 1920-1992." All ages. (Apr.)