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Monday, January 18, 2010

Library Mouse, written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk. Scholastic, 2007. $20.95 ages 5 and up

"Every day, when the library was full of people walking up and down the aisles, studying, checking out books, and working on the computers, Sam was curled up in his little hole, sound asleep. Every night, when the people went home and the room was dark and quiet, the library belonged to Sam."

And so it is that we meet Sam, the mouse who is a bonafide library afficianado. Sam loves to read, and read, and read. What better place for a wee mouse to live and discover others times, people and places! Once he has filled his head with the words of fine writers, he thinks he might try writing his own story. Books filled with advice, and good models for writing and illustrating that story have nourished him through long quiet evenings and nights. With the idea established and the story written, he stands in front of a mirror and uses himself as the model for the illustrations in a story about Sam...who knows him better? Once his first book is completed he finds a place for it in the biography/autobiography section of 'his' library. A little girl discovers it and shows it to a librarian who shares it with the others. Sam is delighted and on his way to penning a picture book, next on his list. It, too, is found and brought to the attention of the librarians. No one knows this author, and they are intrigued.

With nonfiction and a picture book under his belt, Sam considers mystery as his next genre. A similar discovery of this third tale leads to a note from the library staff asking Sam to be a guest author, to share some of his writing secrets. Sam is shy, as mice are. He finds a solution to his dilemma and young readers will be delighted to see what it is. If you are looking to get children interested in writing their own stories, this is a great book to use. They will find a mentor mouse who has confidence that he can tell stories others want to hear, with wide ranging interests and ways to share them.

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