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Library Lion

Library Lion

4.8 17
by Michelle Knudsen, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)

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Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren't any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library


Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren't any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how. Michelle Knudsen's disarming story, illustrated by the matchless Kevin Hawkes in an expressive timeless style, will win over even the most ardent of rule keepers.

An affectionate storybook tribute to that truly wonderful place: the library.

Editorial Reviews

No roaring allowed. That's the only stipulation Miss Merriweather the librarian places on her unusual new visitor at storytime: a lion. He turns out to be a model patron, "doing things without being asked. He dusted the encyclopedias. He licked the envelopes." But a thorny dilemma arises when Miss Merriweather falls and injures her arm: Should the lion break the rules and roar for help? Delicate, expressive pictures pair well with the understated humor of the text-which, for all its fun, may spark discussions about when it's okay to break the rules. For kids who love forays to the library, this is a must-read. (Ages 4 to 6)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2006
Publishers Weekly
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.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
"One day, a lion came to the library." Upset, Mr. McBee runs to report to the head librarian, Miss Merriweather. But since the lion is breaking no rules, he is left alone to explore and then nap in the story corner. During story hour he listens attentively, but when told it is over and time to go, he really roars. Since he is now breaking the rules, Miss Merriweather asks him to leave but says he can return for story hour if quiet. Soon Miss Merriweather has put him to work, dusting, licking envelopes, helping children. Only Mr. McBee still feels lions do not belong in the library. When Miss Merriweather has an accident, the lion has to break rules to get her help. He leaves then but is sorely missed. Soon it is Mr. McBee who searches him out to tell him that he can return, to the delight of all. "Sometimes there was a good reason to break the rules. Even in the library." Hawkes uses his acrylics and pencils to create a lion with a really appealing personality and a wide range of emotions. The rest of the cast and the hints of library furniture, including a relic card catalog, do not distract us from the sympathetic moral fantasy. The double-page scene of the lion giving a humungous roar that knocks McBee's glasses right off his nose makes a convincing climax. The lions stalks toward the library across the front endpapers, but on the back we see two lion statues in front of the library, perhaps a tribute. Lift the jacket to enjoy the contrasting cover.
Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
When a lion walks into the library, surprising patrons and uptight staff member Mr. McBee, librarian Miss Merriweather is content to "leave him be" since he is not breaking any rules. He wanders around, settling in at story time, where he roars when story time is over for the day. Miss Merriweather comes running, admonishing him about following the library rules. Chastised, he returns early the next day and soon becomes Miss Merriweather's helpful assistant and a favorite of the young patrons—but not Mr. McBee. When Miss Merriweather falls off her chair and breaks an arm, lion roars to bring Mr. McBee to her assistance and then banishes himself for breaking the rules. His absence extends for days, leading Mr. McBee to search the city for the lion and convince him to come back, assuring him that sometimes it is all right to break a rule. Hawkes' warm acrylic and pencil illustrations bring an old fashioned look to the book. His library is a blend of old and new—computers and a card catalog. Both Miss Merriweather and Mr. McBee are somewhat stereotyped, but that works in this gentle story. Their expressive faces and the lion's regal yet friendly stance will draw in readers who hopefully, like lion, will want to explore the many treasures to be found in the library.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Miss Merriweather, head librarian and decorum-keeper, first meets Lion when he saunters past his stone counterparts and into the stacks. Scowling circulation assistant Mr. McBee seems intent on having the enormous cat ejected, but his boss declares that as long as he breaks no rules, he is welcome. The beast does misbehave though, roaring loud displeasure when storytime ends. At Miss Merriweather's reprimand, the contrite-looking lion promises to reform. In fact, he becomes something of a fixture in the building, dusting with his tail, licking envelopes, and serving as a stepstool for small patrons. Everyone appreciates him-except Mr. McBee. When Lion lets out another tremendous "RAAAHHHRRR!," the man bursts into Miss Merriweather's office to snitch-and there he finds her in distress, having fallen from a stool and broken her arm. Lion, la Lassie, has saved the day, but he is so chagrined by his own rule-breaking behavior that he doesn't return to the library. People miss him. Even Mr. McBee. A feel-good ending and a reminder that "Sometimes, there is a good reason to break the rules" bring the story to its most-satisfactory conclusion. Hawkes's deft acrylic-and-pencil pictures have appeal for generations of library lovers. They are rich with expression, movement, and detail. The lordly, lovable lion is a masterful mix-regal beast and furry friend-and the many human characters are drawn with animation and emotion. This winsome pairing of text and illustration is a natural for storytime and a first purchase for every collection.-Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

Live Oak Media
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 13.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Michelle Knudsen has worked in libraries in New York City and Ithaca, New York. She is the author of more than forty books, among them Marilyn’s Monster, illustrated by Matt Phelan; Big Mean Mike, illustrated by Scott Magoon; and Argus, illustrated by Andréa Wesson. Michelle Knudsen lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of more than forty books for children, including The Three Mouths of Little Tom Drum by Nancy Willard; Weslandia and Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman; and Handel, Who Knew What He Liked and Me, All Alone, at the End of the World by M. T. Anderson. Kevin Hawkes lives in southern Maine.

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Library Lion 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
ChatWithVera More than 1 year ago
Recently my granddaughters visited, and when they saw that I had a copy of Library Lion, they were positively ecstatic. They were quite familiar with the book since it is one they have checked out repeatedly from their local library in Virginia. Needless-to-say, it was read several times during their visit with Grandmama. What is the draw of this book? What is its charm? Why is it a winner of a plethora of awards? The library is a very special place and has rules. Miss Merriweather is the librarian and she makes certain that folks obey the rules. One day a lion walks into the library. No rule against a lion in the library. The lion goes to story time.  No rule against that.   As time goes by, the lion visits earlier and earlier and becomes Miss Merriweather’s library helper. And one day she falls off her stepladder. Oh my! Now a rule must be broken. This gentle story about the lovely library and the gentle giant of a lion is sweet and endearing. It gently teaches that rules are important. Yet it also teaches that there are circumstances where we must make a decision to break a rule. Beautifully drawn illustrations capture the essence of the story. Together the words and pictures create a story that a child wants to hear again and again. DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick Press to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.
StephanieCFoxJD More than 1 year ago
I love libraries and books. Rules are different. I love situations in which rules are shown NOT to be absolute. There can be no justice or good when rules are absolute. This is a wonderful book with a great story in it.
NYC-OT-Mama More than 1 year ago
We all really enjoy reading this book - my son (2 1/2 yrs old) especially likes acting out the roaring :). The lion, the librarian, and the illustrations are all deliciously charming...and I think the message is fabulous: rules are important but sometimes it's okay to break them when it counts. We've already gotten this book as a gift for friends who also praised it highly!
areneez More than 1 year ago
The library is a birth place for imagination. It is a glorious retreat for action, adventure, silliness, any emotional excitement that exists. Knudson displays the comforting, homey feeling of a library through her Children's book, Library Lion. The librarian, Miss Merriweather, is apprehensive at first to the lion's presence, unsure if he can follow the rules of the library but soon she finds him to be delightful. Mr McBee, the library assistant is not so keen on the lion and does his best to act on his jealousy by ignoring the lion. The lion does his best to be helpful and kind to all while following all the rules. However, when an incident arises, the lion will have to decide whether or not to break a library rule. This story is heartwarming while teaching children about rules, jealousy, and what to do when a true emergency occurs. Knudson really knows how to write simply so all ages can enjoy and comprehend the story all the while creating and maintaining character development. One of the best things about this book, besides the story itself, is the classical feel that the illustrations lend to the story. I love how they make you feel like the book itself has been passed down from generation to generation. It adds that warm, comforting feeling to the audience. Knudson's Library Lion will always have a home on my bookshelf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MSiroky More than 1 year ago
This is one of my and my daughter's favorite books. She has been requesting it at bedtime since she was one. It is a sweet story of freindship and great for encouraging your children's love of books and storytime. We just bought a copy for my nephew.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AtticusNYC More than 1 year ago
This is a favourite book, which has been reread many times. Illustrations are great too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kahlara More than 1 year ago
This was one of the random books my 2 1/2 year old pulled off the shelf at the library. We both love it and added it to our home library. The illustrations are wonderful, the story is sweet and teaches a little lesson about rules and why sometimes it is ok to break them. The style reminds me of books from 30-40 years ago.
alchemy More than 1 year ago
this is a rare book that young toddlers can enjoy without having everything pictured for them--a great first introduction to being read aloud to without pictures. don't get me wrong, the pictures are beautiful, evocative (wonderful depiction of emotion), with a touch of magical realism as with a real-looking lion is accepted as part of a library scene. but the storytelling and dialogue are first-rate. not to mention, of course, that gently underscoring the whole story is a quiet emphasis on the love and importance of books and reading. we've loved reading this book to our two boys since the older one was 2, and when i was asked to buy a book to donate to a ronald mcdonald house fundraiser, library lion was my first choice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HeatherBKC More than 1 year ago
My son actually recommended this to buy for his younger sister. I thought it was creative and had wonderful lessons. A classic for young readers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a cute story about a lion that comes to the library and how much he enjoys being there with the children. There are rules to follow while in the library and what happens when you don't follow rules. The art work is beautiful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband and I are avid readers and it seems our three year old son is just as interested. Library Lion is a favorite in our son's vast collection. Not only does he like it read to him but we love reading it. The story is so sweet, the message clear and the illustrations are lovely. Out of the blue my son said 'the lion in the library is helpful' Yes he is Sam, yes he is. This book is a must!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A pure pleasure to read - an endearing story and lovely illustrations. The Library Lion is an excellent choice for any reader, young or old, who loves the library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An immediate classic and must have for any private or public library!