When the Library Lights Go Out

When the Library Lights Go Out

5.0 2
by Megan McDonald, Katherine Tillotson

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CLOSED may mean "closed" to you. But for three story-hour puppets, CLOSED means "open for adventure."
At first there are only Rabbit and Lion. Hermit Crab is missing. Where can she be in the library darkness? Find out for yourself when — magically — only puppets are up and about.


CLOSED may mean "closed" to you. But for three story-hour puppets, CLOSED means "open for adventure."
At first there are only Rabbit and Lion. Hermit Crab is missing. Where can she be in the library darkness? Find out for yourself when — magically — only puppets are up and about.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
When the library lights go out, the stuffed animals in the lost-and-found box come alive. While it is not an original idea to find toys awakening when everyone else is asleep, a library is an unusual setting. A floppy-eared rabbit and a friendly lion set out hand in hand to find their lost friend, the hermit crab. Fearing a giant around every corner, they suspect the potted plant is the giant's beanstalk and the blue rug is his bathtub. When the friendly pair rips a map that was supposed to tell them how to go home, they do not despair but turn the paper scraps into a hat and a boat. At last they find their friend and feast together on a leftover lunch. There is a lot for young minds to absorb here about imagination, looking out for friends, and not getting too scared of the unknown. The illustrations are a delight—young readers might think the soft folds of the stuffed animals could roll right off the page into their arms. It is a perfect bedtime story but also just right for a preschool storytime to make the library seem a very cozy place indeed. 2005, Atheneum, Ages 3 to 6.
—Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Three puppets enjoy a nighttime adventure in a library after hours. Amiable and amusing full-page illustrations, done in oils on paper, capture a sense of being alone in a big space and convey the warmth of wood tables and shelves full of books, but the text provides only an impressionistic and sketchy plot. Hermit Crab is missing from the puppet box after the librarian leaves, and Rabbit, who has been steeped in fairy tales, decides that she has been taken by a giant. Lion, more stolid and practical, finds a map that seems to point to landmarks within the building, but it tears as the friends pull at it. Lion folds the pieces into a boat, a sail, a captain's hat. Endearing as these puppets are to look at, they are frustrating to read about. The story reads, even aloud, like one improvised with puppets in hand: long on action and dialogue but with too many moments that pull against the center. Some of the magical elements seem inconsistent as well: Lion and Rabbit can sail the paper boat across the floor in the moonlight (the clock), but then dine on the remains of a real baloney sandwich and toast marshmallows over a lit match (in the library!!!). Overall, an appealing concept that doesn't quite live up to its magical promise.-Kathie Meizner, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Chevy Chase, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After-hours in a library transforms into a magical time as the story puppets become animated. When Rabbit discovers Hermit Crab missing from their communal box, he coaxes sleepy Lion to help find him. The duo searches the library with the aid of maps, skirts dastardly giants and enjoys a "found" picnic harvested from the garbage bins. As Lion and Rabbit explore, ordinary objects become extraordinary pathways to adventure. There is a fluid interplay between the text and artwork. Tillotson's oil paintings expand upon the imaginative flights of fancy; everyday items cast appropriately eerie shadows through clever manipulations of their placement. She also reveals the practical origins of Rabbit and Lion's grandiose imaginings; a starry night sky turns out to be children's names written on suspended star cut-outs, etc. While obviously the size and format of a traditional picture book, the story is broken into titled segments and reads more like a truncated first-chapter book. Slightly challenging as a read-aloud for younger preschoolers, the tale is ideally suited for shared story time with an older audience. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Megan McDonald, beloved author of the Judy Moody books, is also a gifted storyteller. She is the author of When the Library Lights Go Out, illustrated by Katherine Tillotson; The Hinky-Pink, illustrated by Brian Floca; and the now-classic Is This a House for Hermit Crab?, illustrated by S.D. Schindler. She lives in Sebastopol, California.

Katherine Tillotson is the illustrator of several children’s books, including All the Water in the World, Shoedog, and It’s Picture Day Today. Ms. Tillotson lives in San Francisco with her husband. Visit her at KatherineTillotson.com.

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When the Library Lights Go Out 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago