The Library

The Library

Paperback(First Edition)

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Meet an unforgettable bibliophile

Elizabeth Brown doesn't like to play with dolls and she doesnt like to skate. What she does like to do is read books. Lots of books. The only problem is that her library has gotten so big she can't even use her front door anymore. What should Elizabeth Brown do? Start her own public library, of course! With charming verse and watercolors Sarah Stewart and David Small celebrate one of America's oldest and finest institutions.

The Library is a 1995 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and Outstanding Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312384548
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 09/02/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 176,503
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 5 - 9 Years

About the Author

Husband and wife duo Sarah Stewart and David Small have worked together on several picture books, including The Gardener, a Caldecott Honor book available from Square Fish. Small has also illustrated other books, including the 2001 Caldecott Medal winner So You Want to Be President?, by Judith St. George. Stewart and Small live in a historic home on a bend of the St. Joseph River in Michigan.

Reading Group Guide

Discussion/Activities for The Library

How does David Small, the illustrator, use the endpapers to suggest what the book is about?

Have students look at the entire book without reading the text. Ask the class to choose words that best describe Elizabeth. Read the text aloud. Ask students to compare their descriptions of Elizabeth with the way she is presented in the book by Sarah Stewart.

Note the black-and-white sketches located near the text on each page (e.g., the stork on page 7). What is the purpose of these motifs?

Elizabeth Brown decides to settle down and begins tutoring for pay. Discuss why tutoring is a good job for Elizabeth Brown. Speculate:

Whom does she tutor? What subject might she tutor?

Ask students to suggest book titles for the children's collection at the Elizabeth Brown

Free Library. Have them share their suggestions in class and explain their choices.

Have the class determine how each book should be classified.

Sponsor a class "readers' olympiad." Ask students to draw up the rules (e.g., the number of books or pages to be read, ways to share the books, how winners are to be chosen). Ask each student to design a bookmark that might be given to a child who participates in the event.

Tell students that the Boston Public Library is the first public library in the United States to lend a book. Encourage students to visit the

Web site for the Boston Public Library

(, and ask them to find out what programs the library offers children. Students may also be interested in finding out the history of the public library in their community.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Library 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
CMBLA More than 1 year ago
I love Sarah Stewart and David Small, and the story, of a kid who loves reading and grows up to become a librarian of her own books, is so comically illustrated that a child I read this to, giggled and said "just like me!" Get several- one book to keep and others to give away.
JoseDelAguila on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Brown loves to read more than anything else, but when her collection of books grows and grows, she must make a change in her life.
girllovesboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book. It is fun for the kids and I love reading it.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun book about a "born bibliophile." Cute illustrations.
2wonderY on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've used this book when presenting my love of books to school children. The piles and drifts are a lot like mine. I love this character and the author. Thank you Sarah!
dangerlibearian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book! All Elizabeth Brown does is read, and read, and read. She acquires so many books that she decides to donate them to the town for a free library. Wonderful!
spartyliblover on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Brown loves nothing more than to read books and goes about life doing just that. Elizabeth is a lovable character with her nose in a book after she drops out of the sky and is developed through both the story and the pictures. The plot is nothing too exciting but the rhythm of the words and the fun pictures that accompany the story keep the book moving. The setting is done completely through the pictures, but the places that Elizabeth lives are all wonderful. This is a great book for kids who like to read and librarians, it would be great for a public library for early elementary readers.
raizel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sweet book about a born book reader and collector. I liked the fact that, having gotten lost on a trip, she buys a house and settles down to earn her living by tutoring. And that the book is dedicated to the real Elizabeth Brown.
dfarhat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Brown loves books. She loves them to the exclusion of anything else. Using short, rhyming sentences, Stewart tells a charming story of a bibliophile who collects so many books, she can't live in her house anymore. The illustrations are quiet and beautifully detailed. Really charming story, particularly for children who love to read books and are looking for a kindred spirit.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My sister-in-law gave me this for my 44th birthday this year. She picked this along with The Gardener because they both fit me to a tee and I love children's books, even if my children are all in their teens and won't sit for me to read to anymore. This is a lovely little book with interesting illustrations done by David Small. Written as a homage to a beloved librarian in the author's life.
SJeanneM on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a good book telling a fictional life of Elizabeth Brown who never can get enough books until it becomes obvious that she can no longer fit one more book into her house and then she gives all her books away to the city and gives them her house and it becomes the public library. Illustrations appear to be done in pencil and watercolors.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
This was a cute read. Love the pictures in this, conveys what the character is going through and is like. Also, by the end of it, you're thinking, that's quite a collection. So, many, books. But at the same time, can't help but think, hmmm, don't know how I feel about the ending. Doesn't mean I didn't like the book. I really did. Like I said, a cute read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i used to do nothin but read this when i was a kid and now i am going to read it to my kids once i have one and my brothers kids
Guest More than 1 year ago
A young woman goes from enjoying a solitary life of books, to giving generously. After books begin piling up at Elizabeth's house, she has a fantastic idea. Why not make my home into a library and let many others enjoy all of my wonderful books! And she does. And brings happiness to those around her by sharing what she knows best and what has been a big influence on her life. It is a charming little story about sharing and caring that readers from age 1 to 100 can enjoy!