My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World by Malcom Mitchell

My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World by Malcom Mitchell, illustrated by Michael Robertson. 2021. Hand-done texture with ink and pencil, Photoshop. Published by Orchard Books.

Brief summary: Henley is not a reader. The book was too hard; another was too boring. He could not find a book that had his interests. He preferred playing outside. One day in school, his teacher assigns her students to bring in their favorite book to class tomorrow. Henley goes to the library after school and asks the librarian to help him find his favorite book in the whole wide world. Nothing.

He goes to the bookshop and asks the owner, Mrs. Rackley, if she could help find him a book that he could call his favorite. Again, after looking at several books, Henley does not find one. He goes home and tells his mother his problem. She says something to her son that helps him find his favorite to share the next day. What book is it?

Comments: So good to see how he went to the public librarian and bookstore owner to help him. Henley, I did not have an elementary library either. I had to find my books at the public library.

I love that he was able to find his favorite book and have something so meaningful to share with his classmates. This could be a great introduction for primary students to reflect and share their favorite stories or perhaps an end-of-the-year summary of the favorite books they enjoyed that school year.

My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World by Malcolm Mitchell | Book Trailer
My Very Favorite Book – Author Read a Loud

Digging for Words: Jose Alberto Gutierrez and the Library He Built by Angela Burke Kunkel

Digging for Words: Jose Alberto Gutierrez and the Library He Built by Angela Burke Kunkel; illustrated by Paola Escobar. 2020. Illustrations were made digitally. Published by Schwartz & Wade Books.

Brief summary: Jose, a garbage collector, begins his nightly route in Bogota, Columbia. Jose keeps the books others discard in the trash and adds them to his own library. Each Saturday, he kindly opens his home full of shelves of books for others to borrow, as there is not a library in their area.

Comments: There is a parallel story of a boy in the neighborhood also named Jose who looks forward to Saturday when he can borrow a book from the garbage man’s home library.

This is a superb story to remind many of how lucky we are in the USA to have more free access to books with so many public libraries and Little Free Libraries.

The back pages have an Author’s Note, Featured Books, and Selected Online Sources. There are photos of Jose in the back too.

I thought of that famous quote, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” as I was reading this picture book. I also reflected upon what my life would be like without having a public library close to where I live.

The Library Book by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark

The Library Book

The Library Book by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark, illustrated by Chuck Groenink. 2017. Illustrations done digitally and in pencil. Published by Antheneum Books for Young Readers.

Brief summary: A young girl goes to the library on a rainy Saturday morning and discovers several  favorite characters and stories inside as she walks throughout the library looking for library books to check out.

Comments: Love that Tom Chapin’s song is now in book form. The illustrations are full and colorful and make the song come alive as the child walks through the library seeing children book characters around her. The library is full of fun and imagination as she decides what books to check out. This is  definitely a great choice to have in any library collection.

Buy here. 

The Book No One Ever Read by Cornelia Funke

The Book No One Ever Read

The Book No One Every Read by Cornelia Funke; illustrated by Cornelia Funke. 2016(Copyright by Cornelia Funke), 2017(published by Breathing Books).

Brief summary: Morry, a five-year old book, decides to push himself forward a bit on the library’s book shelf but is scolded by the other books explaining what is was like to be read. The fingerprints. The food stains.  Morry did not care. He fell off the shelf and went on a little adventure landing in front of a child with sticky fingers. Morry is now happy with a name written in his front pages and worn pages from being read several times.

Comments: When reading the book, the young reader may not pick up on all the contributes that the author made of her favorite authors and poets in the way of the books on the shelves. They are hilarious and are mentioned in a back dedication page. I am considering reading this to my students at the beginning of the year as a part of a library orientation lesson.

Buy here.

(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).