Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Happy Book Birthday, The Loud Librarian by Jenna Beatrice

It's happy birthday time!!! I wish I could hand out hats and balloons to you and scream in celebration every time I get to announce one of these. Oh, and cake. Can't forget the cake! Actually, we have quite a bit of birthdays hitting our household this time of year. I call it our birthday run. Every 1-2 weeks from mid-February until the end of April, we're singing and lighting candles...which makes for a ton of cake. (Almost too much, which is why we sneak some ice cream cakes in between). My one daughter even had an Easter birthday this year.

But on to today's read! This one should be packed with humor and good vibes. Can't we all use more of that? So, let's take a look.

by Jenna Beatrice
Illustrated by Erika Lynne Jones
Atheneum Books
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

A little librarian with a larger-than-life voice finds her place in this sweet and uproarious picture book about being true to yourself—no shushing required!

Penelope is perfect for the job of student-librarian. Friendly? Check. Helpful? Check. Book lover? Check. There’s just one snag. Penelope is...LOUD. Bookcases may topple and the ground may quake at the sound of her voice, but Penelope is determined to prove she’s perfect for the job and stay true to herself. Can a little librarian with a big voice find a place where she belongs?



Tip-toeing through the library falls to pieces despite the good intentions of a very enthusiastic heroine.

Penelope dreams of the week, when it's her turn to help out at the school library. She's practiced in every possible way and is more than prepared. So when the day comes, her excitement shoots into high-gear, and she does great...except for her voice. But this isn't really her fault, since it is a naturally, overly loud one, and there doesn't seem to be anything she can do about it. 

This is a fun and hilarious read, promising giggles and laughs from beginning to end. While the book starts out normal enough, it soon becomes clear that Penelope's situation is anything but normal...and that invites silliness pure. The text is concise, pulls in, and makes for a perfect read-aloud (which is important in another way...but I'm not saying why), and the font makes sure that the emotions sit. But it's the balance with the illustrations, which really let humor fly.

The illustrations are well played by mixing normality with imagination's extremes. The humor builds bit by bit in a mostly subtle way, which isn't subtle by the end. I appreciate how ridiculousness pops up without pardon, while still keeping the characters and setting as usual as usual can be. It's a great mix, which is sure to delight. 

And here they are...

Jenna Beatrice has worked as a writer, a lawyer, and a space camp counselor. She adores libraries and has visited many around the world. Her favorite sound is the flip of a picture book page, and her favorite stories make her giggle out loud. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their young son. The Loud Librarian is her debut picture book.

Erika Lynne Jones loved the opportunity to hold new books when she was growing up. She relished the time spent reading in libraries, book mobiles, and bookstores. In fact, you can still find her hanging out in libraries and stores quietly gathering inspiration for books she is writing and/or illustrating. The Loud Librarian is Erika’s debut picture book. She lives in the Dallas, Texas, area. Find out more at ErikaLynneJones.com or on Instagram @ErikaLynneJones.

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